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Arts, culture, creativity and tech: key trends for 2016

A panel of artists, designers, composers and coders share the digital and technological developments that will affect arts and culture this year

Artful Spark is a quarterly event series all about the gap between creative ideas and technical execution. In the words of its founders – Sam Howey Nunn, director of Stellar Network, and Ben Templeton, founder of Thought Den and associate creative director at Preloaded – the project aims to support more informed, creative, cross-discipline conversations around the vast wealth of possibilities presented by emerging technology. Here, speakers past and present share what they think will be the key trends in arts, culture, creativity and technology in 2016.

Dr Tine Bech, artist and designer
Cities take centre stage
We live in a world of megacities, where urbanisation is a fast-growing fact of
life. In 2016 we will see trends such as urban farming, local food growing initiatives, green architecture, intelligent buildings and even smart cities. In today’s automated world, digital and playful art projects contribute to debates about the design and implementation of interactive, smart environments, including cities. What will the cities of the future look like? Will they allow playful interaction (quirky, imaginative behaviour and flexibility) or are we developing smart cities with visions of efficiency and safety above all else? These are the questions we’ll be answering this year.

As new technologies emerge, different ways to creatively interact and collaborate arise with them. In this context, play is a persuasive and powerful tool. The invitation to play can bridge the gap from observation to participating and, as such, playable spaces have the potential to provide a deeply social dimension. Key, however, will be how we ensure these playful interactions are not about our relation to technology, but about creating new ways of experiencing culture.

The Guardian, Culture professionals network