Andy Pratt gave a paper at a symposium on ‘Theorising the Experience Economy: toward a future agenda?’ organised on November 3-4th at Hafen City University (HCU).
HCU is a new university established in the converted port area of Hamburg focusing on the built environment and metropolitan development, specialising on urban cultures, design, planning and architecture. The whole port area is undergoing a massive redevelopment (see image of the new opera house)
Andy’s paper was entitled ‘Whose experience, which economy?’ and offered a critique of the way that the experience economy (for example the work of Pine and Gilmore) which has been used in place marketing to focus on the corporate branding of cities and cultures. Andy asked participants to consider instead the experience of those working in the cultural economy who sustain and make happen the consumption experiences. These production experiences are quite different, commonly marked by low wages and precarious employment conditions, but paradoxically relying upon a very high degree of emotional and affective investment on behalf of the workers. This revealed another but important aspect if the experience economy of the cultural economy.