Early in 2017, the British Council commissioned a research report to map creative hubs in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia as part of its creative economy work in the Southeast Asia region. The reports are published for Malaysia and the Philippines, presenting a directory of creative hubs and spaces, with information on the structures researched.
In Malaysia, the research casts a bird’s eye view on existing creative hubs across the country – studying the contextual definition of hubs, their histories, business models, organisational structures and more.
This resulted in a beautifully designed 54-pages long mapping report, featuring responses from established and start-up hubs grouped into four main categories, namely: ‘Funding’, ‘Network’, ‘Training’ and ‘Space’. The report also features a growing directory of creative hubs and spaces in Malaysia.
Further information and Malaysia report download
In The Philippines, Ateneo Art Gallery undertook an in-depth research in 2017 to better understand the context, nature, and aspirations of creative hubs in the Philippines. The study aims to provide an overview of the creative hubs scene and its underlying collaborative ventures in arts and innovation. Based on a similar study from 2016 , a creative hub is a community or “place, that may be physical or virtual, which brings together creative people. It may also be a convener, providing space and support for networking, business development and community engagement within the creative, cultural and tech sectors.”
This mapping exercise further aims to provide a profile of the cities and the creative communities that dwell in them through an assessment of the hubs’ directions, challenges and merits. The study grounds itself on the idea of “exchange, transfer and facilitation of knowledge.”
With this as starting point, the research looks into varying forms of hubs — as alternative spaces, artist-run spaces, makerspaces, innovation centres or coworking spaces. It has chosen to focus on nine hubs that represent unique models and processes in terms of operations and objectives within Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
Further information and Philippines report download
Through the British Council’s Creative Economy Resources section, you can also find an earlier report from Viet Nam (2014 Mapping of Creative Hubs in Viet Nam)
Top image courtesy Recci Bacolor, British Council 2017.