In this section you will read updated contents and news about our project and its implementation.
RECHARGE World in Words: Living Labs
Living Labs are at the core of the RECHARGE project, where cultural heritage institutions experiment and co-create with their network of stakeholders. Within the context of RECHARGE, we plan to have 9 museums setting up Living Labs to engage with different communities and innovate their business models in order to create and capture value, collaborating with the different stakeholders involved in their ecosystem.
Mapping out the scholarship related to collaborative practices in the CH sector, we define Living Labs as dynamic spaces where ideas and solutions can be co-created, tested, and iterated by collaborating stakeholders. The Living Lab offers methods for cultural heritage institutions, researchers, industry, communities, and government to co-design concrete solutions in real-life environments. Operating as 'innovation zones', Living Labs can bring together community knowledge with professional expertise for action-based projects.
Our definition of Living Labs distinguishes itself from previous research on the topic by hinting at a different approach to understanding what a Living Labs is and, most importantly, how it functions. The RECHARGE project aims to provide cultural heritage institutions with an operational - an ‘active’ and applicable - definition of Living Labs based on the distinction between their process, key elements, and intended outcomes.
Figure 1: Visualization of Living Labs’ process and its iteration, elements, and intended outcomes, to be monitored and evaluated in their direct, indirect, and diffused impact (RECHARGE, 2023)
This definition is the result of a systematic review of interdisciplinary literature on Living Labs combined with the expertise of cultural heritage organisations in the RECHARGE consortium.
We believe that the participatory processes enabled by the Living Labs approach will bring innovation to the business models of cultural heritage institutions while also benefiting their network of stakeholders. This is why they are the beating heart of the RECHARGE project, and the first space where to experiment new ways of recharging the cultural heritage sector.
Eventually, Living Labs will contribute to the development of more sustainable solutions and the organisations involved will strengthen their resilience in a post-pandemic Europe.