Creative Zisa is a multisided approach for the design, implementation and governance of a creative space within the urban area of Palermo.
The chosen area is the cultural campus “Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa” owned by the local Municipality. This campus is hosting many cultural institutions at the Art Academy, the Experimental School of Cinema and the foreign culture centers of the city. The campus is a post-industrial site characterized by the strong and deep memory of the “Ducrot Factory”, where about 2.500 people were manufacturing modernist liberty furniture and decorations about one century ago in collaboration with great designers and artists. In more recent periods even airplanes and trains have been manufactured there. Now the site is surrounded by a dense and popular district with a high level of unemployment, especially among the young generations.
In agreement with the municipal government, a multidisciplinary design team has been created to mix tech innovators (ruling the high-tech incubator ARCA, in the local University), cultural innovators (managing the cultural&creative cowork Re Federico) and social innovators (working with the most relevant social organization of the district).
Accordingly with this blended approach the new space will integrate (i) community engagement processes (ii) self-employment promotion, (iii) innovative startup incubation, all connected by some shared tools as (i) a digital library, (ii) vertical creative making workshops, (iii) exhibition and meeting areas, (iv) incubation workspaces. The site is about 1.000 square meters within an area counting about 20.000 square meters of covered spaces. The innovation pipeline is inspired by the Ductrot heritage, where the technical innovation was deeply linked to the cultural one with the aim to produce beautiful, meaningful and usable objects destinated to high-end national and international markets.
The long term declared goal is to drive the Mediterranean attitude to creativity and experience design into economical value, promoting both socially inclusive jobs and innovative export-oriented and scalable creative start-ups, breaking the boundaries between social and economic innovation.
The first stage of the Creative Zisa project has been financed by the partners and it has recently got a significant grant by the Fondazione Con il Sud, a private foundation that is supporting innovative projects in the southern part of Italy. According to the plans, space will be ready by the end of 2016.
It will be structurally linked with the other sites of the local ecosystem thanks to the networked governance: Arca Incubator and Fabbrica, Re Federico Cowork, GAME cultural heritage living lab, Mare Memoria Viva Ecomuseum, the FabLab@School, empowering and being empowered by the open innovation culture that is permeating such distributed network of actors and facilities. Creative Zisa will also be connected within the euromediterranean partnerships that have been already promoted by Consorzio Arca in the framework of the European Union programmes.
After the end of the financial aid granted by Fondazione Con il Sud, Creative Zisa will be self-financed by events, social projects, services to individuals and by the creation of innovative and scalable companies.