An ecosystem building for an ecosystem district

Frame and mediapark.brussels are relying on the distinctive dynamic associated with the grouping together of actors in the media, audiovisual and communication industries

Like mediapark.brussels, Frame reflects the ambition of the Brussels-Capital Region to give its media, audiovisual and communication sectors a boost. Both rely on the principle of a specialised economic ecosystem.

This concept is based on the idea that to create growth and innovation, it is vital to accumulate and transfer knowledge and experience. Bringing together various actors from a specific economic sector in the same place will give rise a distinctive dynamic, generating added value for each component.

Project-based and agile

This approach is all the more relevant in a media sector characterised by a project-based mode of operation. Each project is like a business in its own right, and its success depends on dovetailing together the talents and expertise required to carry it out. Teams are therefore formed and evolve according to the project’s nature and life cycle, in a dynamic where agility is at a premium.

Frame aims to apply this agile ecosystem approach within the building, creating conditions favourable to the exchange of expertise in collaborative mode. This will be done by means of architecture and facilities (pp. 14-15) that promote new social interactions in order to generate innovative content and concepts.

Sociological approach

Frame’s design has taken account of the sociology of the people who work inthe industry. They can be categorised into two main profiles, although individuals can combine the two profiles or move from one group to the other.(*)

First of all, there are the digital nomads or hunter-gatherers: freelancers who operate on an intermittent, temporary, independent basis. They work in agile, mobile mode, often alone, but are looking for infrastructure that encourages a collaborative approach. Their working hours are often lengthy or unconventional, and their projects do not necessarily take shape in the traditional normative frameworks. They include creators of content (e.g. journalists, authors, screenwriters, copywriters), artists (e.g. actors, musicians, directors), content transformers (e.g. graphic designers, editors, mixers), technicians (e.g. cameramen, sound engineers, set designers) and future professionals (e.g. students, trainees).

Then, there are the sedentary workers: professionals on fixed-term or open-ended contracts who, although they work in a more ‘structured’ manner, often end up collaborating with the first group. They are often employed in larger structures, a number of which will be occupants or neighbours of Frame: public or private media organisations, communication agencies, digital agencies, production houses, related companies or organisations (such as professional organisations or education or training providers), etc.

Frame (Brussels media community)

This collaborative approach within an ecosystem lies behind the full name of the future building, ‘Frame (Brussels media community)’, chosen by its owner, the Urban Development Corporation (pp. 4-5) and its four main future occupants: BX1 regional television channel, screen.brussels, the IHECS Academy and the Brussels Video Centre (p. 10).

These four actors alone cover a very broad spectrum of activities in their fields, and they will be joined by an innovation platform dedicated to the sector and consisting of a co-working space and a business centre. Frame will thus become the first Belgian public/private/academic collaborative platform dedicated to the media, audiovisual and communication industries.

Given the integration of these different operators and multiple functions and services within the same building, it will also be a kind of ‘miniature mediapark.brussels’.

(*) Source: screen.brussels