Visual Notes - ECHN Campus, Brussels

Date: March 2018
The European Creative Hubs Network was a European Commission project that sought to create a platform to help creative hubs from across Europe to connect and collaborate.

Over the past ten years, there’s been a global grow in the development of communities of creative people convening in spaces to invent, collaborate, make, create and support one another. These communities are essential in mapping and understanding the creative sector in the 21st century; as such the program sought to convene various forums and programs to create a dialogue amongst leading hubs and new spaces.

CAMPUS was the finalization of the two-year project.In January 2018, a grand gathering took place in Brussels, for a three-day conference hosted by La Vallée and, with the mission to discuss the findings of the two-year project, cement existing partnerships, and develop new networks.

These types of gathering have great power. They allow for long-term friendships, the ideation of future projects and collaborations, and the sharing of enlightening expert knowledge. But often they can also be very hermetic, and like ripples in a pond, their effects can soon fade away if they are not replicated. This self-initiated reportage project was created not just as a way to make notes that we would like to go back and read time and time again, but as a point of reference the delegates could go back to and use from time to time.

Cooked Illustration focuses on visualizing the stories, data and news shared by panelists and keynote speakers. However, while on site, Ian noticed that some of the most interesting and enlightening information were the “chance encounters” and serendipitous moments that could only happen when so many people are given the chance to speak and connect. Questions asked to the panelists, live discussions, conversations happening over wine and cheese and many more examples of networks forming took place. There’s a wealth of knowledge to be had when experts share their thoughts, of course, but often the real nuggets of gold in an event like these are the ideas that happen over a drink and a laugh.
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Each of these moments was expertly captured by hand in a sketchbook. This step of the process is all about capturing, documenting, and allowing for our reporter to come up with ideas that can only happen when a disruptive thinker is there to witness the event. It is impossible not to be inspired by these events, after all!

All content created in-situ, was later edited and digitized. Cooked Illustrations didn’t have a client brief to meet, which gave us quite a bit of freedom in deciding the final look of the project. The natural way in which Ian’s sketches flowed on the page defined the layout and look of the overall project, both in print and screen. We used CAMPUS’s existing branding to make sure that the final result evoked in our audience an immediate memory of the event. That way, creating in our audience a neat mental map that connected the event, the ideas they had then, and the information they would now recall once looking at our final product. Once finished, the illustrated digital book was shared with the event organisers, approved and shared online. A physical copy was produced for promotional purposes.
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The visual notes you see here were created from drawings and sketches made in-situ by our reportage illustrator and creative director Ian Cooke-Tapia.
Two delegates sharing thoughts that formed during a live discussion.

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