How do we find resources to help cultures grow →
UKAI Experiments in Culture.
Culture is a collective resource upon which we all draw to make sense of the world. A society that lacks diversity in culture is a society that lacks the imagination to deal with the massive issues of our times.
We research and model new approaches to cultural production.
We look for cracks in existing structures, break down what we find there, and make the resources available for new ideas and production.
UKAI Projects helps people outside of traditional and institutional cultural production do their work and contribute to our collective well-being. We do this through research and experimentation on emerging business models, new platforms and methods for collaboration, and unexpected sources of income.
UKAI, through our Ferment program, prototypes digital solutions for clients working in hybrid, diasporic and non-Western traditions. We involve our partners in the design and delivery of solutions related to digital creation, dissemination, and discoverability.
The program provides direct experience for young creators and low-cost prototypes for resource-constrained organizations wanting to build out digital solutions.
Placekeeping refers to the care and maintenance of a place’s cultural legacy, social fabric, and environmental health by the people who live and work there.
The primary goal of this service is to provide a process for local people to maintain their way of life as they choose. Current projects are underway in Kensington Market in Toronto, the border region of Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, USA, and in Detroit, USA.
UKAI designs and deploys collaborative programs to deliver deep impacts without the need for long-term infrastructure or intensive capital investment. We offer human-centered approaches as opposed to depersonalized state and corporate forms of organization. We work across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries to grow local responses to global challenges.
Ferment is a year-long collective exploration for cultural producers looking to sustain themselves creatively and financially while drawing on different ways of understanding the world. Projects centre on leveraging the tools of capitalism toward different ends. The 2019 cohort is exploring urban development, national borders, artificial intelligence, and financial instruments.
Research & Experimentation
UKAI actively researches emerging practices in cultural production and applies these findings to its projects. We do this through ethnographic study and experimental interventions. Our research projects map out the future of cultural production.
The outputs support creators to bypass stages of organizational development to access best practices, platforms of support, and unexpected collaborators.
Past research has focused on culture’s role in addressing UN Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequality, emerging models of creative incubation across North America, and innovation in financial instruments to support the precariously employed.
Past Research Projects
Events & Workshops
UKAI produces workshops and events regularly.