The House of Culture and Digital Innovation is inaugurated

The Maison Gaudard will soon house the House of Culture and Digital Innovation. File Image KEYSTONE/DOMINIC FAVRE sda-ats

This content was published on April 29, 2022 – 16:19


The House of Culture and Digital Innovation will occupy the Maison Gaudard on the esplanade of the Lausanne Cathedral. This new structure, which intends to dedicate itself to the digital transition while remaining open to the public, unveiled its general lines on Friday.

A laboratory dedicated to culture and digital participation will open its doors there. Its function will be “to be both an incubator for digital mediation, a platform for the creation of networks of resources in the digital sector, a digital education tool and an observatory of digital cultures”, indicates the City of Lausanne in its application for work credit.

The House will also have a “resource center for the cultural scene” with the transfer to its walls of the Vaud Culture Office, which rents technical material at affordable prices. It will also provide permanent offices for six Lausanne festivals, namely the Festival de la Cité, Label Suisse, Lausanne Garden Parties, the Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival (LUFF), the Fête du Slip and the Fête de la Musique.

The public will still be able to visit the Maison Gaudard, as the new structure will feature a “multi-purpose broadcast room” that will offer, among other things, exhibitions, installations and conferences. They will also be welcome in the “cultural cafe” which, in addition to drinks, will offer the possibility of consulting specialized works.

Digitization needed

“This is a deliberately hybrid project,” Lausanne administrator Grégoire Junod told reporters and project stakeholders on Friday. “There is a very important creativity in the digital field that is little recognized by the public powers”, he added.

However, it is worth taking an interest in it because, according to the figures cited by the socialist, the cultural economy and the creative economy generate 5 to 7% of jobs in Switzerland. “Digital culture is, in a way, the missing link in the cultural economy,” he said.

“The digitization of culture has increased with the pandemic,” said Michael Kinzer, head of the City Department of Culture. “While digital art has been around for a long time, its potential for culture and science is enormous.”

In addition, the canton has excellence in cultural digitization at the level of the University of Lausanne and EPFL, as well as in the creative industry, such as Creal, a start-up active in augmented reality, continued Michael Kinzer. “The House of Culture and Digital Innovation is intended as a platform where these actors can meet,” he said.

ambitious and lazy

More specifically, as indicated in the credit application for a book, the laboratory dedicated to culture and digital participation could offer “a digital exhibition space” aimed at a young audience and that highlights the heritage collections of the town. It could also offer tutorials for the implementation of digital projects, support for the use of digital tools or participatory research residencies.

The creation of the digital laboratory is the subject of a collaboration with the Fabulerie de Marseille, a “digital factory and cultural third place aimed at opening knowledge to as many people as possible”. The University of Lausanne will be a regular partner of the new Lausanne structure.

“This is a new place whose future we do not know. We are willing to be flexible so that this project can evolve,” said Michael Kinzer. The terminology remains to be defined and it could well change the name of “House of culture and digital innovation”, he specified.

The new occupants of the Maison Gaudard are expected in the spring of 2023. By then, the Museum of Design and Contemporary Applied Arts (mudac), which is currently located there, must complete its move to Platform 10 in the Arts district, while interior renovation work is being carried out. must be carried out a value of 890,000 francs.

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