Creative Industries Switzerland: Facts.Models.Culture
By Christoph Weckerle, Manfred Gerig and Michael Söndermann
Zurich University of the Arts/Birkhäuser, 2009, 158 pp, ISBN 978-3-7643-7973-5
The book Creative Industries Switzerland: facts.models.culture provides a greatly needed overview of the concepts and specific characteristics of this sector. It analyzes the international discourse, presents up-to-date empirical-statistical Europe-wide analyses, derives models and draws conclusions for the current debate in Switzerland, and places special emphasis on the innovative potential of the creative scene and its dynamics for the entire creative industry.
Policy makers at all levels are discovering the notion of creative industries: the music industry, literature and book market, art market, film and television industries, performing arts, design, architecture, advertising, software / computer games - from economic and innovation strategies to education policy and urban development, the creative industries are being described as a model for success. However, strategies for real, practical implementation remain vague.
The question of how discussions of constructing approaches to the creative industries' complex sectors can be derived from analyzing current debates on these industries. Two often contradicting approaches are seen. In one, creative industries studies concentrate on the industry's empirical aspect and present a highly dynamic world, illustrated with steeply rising curves. These studies implicitly focus on the question "What are the creative industries?" and tend to confirm the outsider view of political and other decision makers. The other approach describes the creative industries from a sociological perspective, where precarious labour relations are a central issue. This type of study places the question "Who are the creative industries?" at the fore, and presents an insider view.
The aim of this book is to bring these perspectives closer as to complement one another and as to advance the discussion on the creative industries. Such an approach impacts the structure of the publication: integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches remains a challenge and consequently both will always exist side by side.
The book is divided in four complementary sections. The first presents an overview of the international discourse on the creative industries and analyzes different terminologies, arguments, and special aspects.
The second section is empirically oriented in which issues of an adequate and internationally applicable version of the Swiss creative industries are raised and answered. It gives statistical indicators as well as empirical-statistical analyses of the individual submarkets in the creative industries in Switzerland compared to Europe.
The third section concentrates on the creative scene, and within it on the design industry while the fourth section summarized the findings of the first three and identifies various aspects of funding methods. Taking Switzerland as an example, concrete topics are defined and the appropriate funding bodies recommended.
The publication addresses individuals who wish to familiarize themselves with the creative industries on a strategic-political level, who want to deepen their knowledge, or who are active in developing means of funding.
For more information or to obtain the book, please contact: Birkhäuser Verlag AG, Viaduktstrasse 42, CH – 4051 Basel, Switzerland; +41 61 205 0745; fax: +41 61 205 0799; www.birkhauser.ch