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Cultural and Creative Industries

Full Title : Mapping the Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam

Status : Non-funded

Start Date : August 2016

End Date : December 2020

Principal Investigator : Rui Oliveira Lopes

Project Researcher : Awanku Mohammad Rahiman bin Pg Aliudin

Partner : Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd

Project Consultants :
Hj Osman Mohammad, FASS/UBD and Creative Art Space
Shinny Chia, The Collective Art Events
Charlotte Lim, The Creative Core BN
Osveanne Osman, Creative Art Space

Project Description

During the 1990’s and early 2000’s policy documents issued by several organizations, such as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the World Bank, started including innovation and creativity has keywords to enhance world economy strategies.


Initially, the scope of the cultural and creative industries or the creative sector was focused in the booming of the Information Technology at the time, as this was the foundation to the establishment of the global economy.


Countries such as Australia (1994) and the United Kingdom (1997) pioneered in the launching to strategic plans to develop the cultural and creative industries with the aim to adapt to new economic imperatives.


Since then, terms such as cultural and creative industries (CCI), creative economy, and creative clusters have been frequently used to define business activities that trade with creativity, knowledge, and information, with potential to generate economic growth and development.


The realization of the greater impact of the cultural and creative industries in the development and diversification of economy, in the creation of employment, in the social cohesion, cultural diversity and human capital development, has been motivating governmental departments and institutions of higher education to reassess national cultural policies.


In line with these recent developments, Dr Rui Oliveira Lopes, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam is leading an academic research project entitled Mapping the Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam.


Mapping the Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam is the first step of a participatory action research (PAR) project that aims to enhance the economical value of businesses with creativity at their heart. This project aims to assess the impact of the CCI in Brunei Darussalam by mapping the business operating in eight working clusters. The initial phase in the mapping of the Cultural and Creative Industries aims to define, classify and organize the CCI in Brunei Darussalam. In addition, the project aims to understand which are the clusters with a higher impact in Brunei’s economy and to elaborate a statistical study on the creative demographics in the country.

What is the relevance of this research project?

There is no doubts left about the relevance of the cultural and creative industries to the world economy as the sector alone constitutes of 7% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), amounting in approximately 3 trillion (3,000,000,000,000) US dollars of revenue. The cultural and creative industries also generate 29.5 million jobs, constituting 1% of the world active population. Since 2012 that the cultural and creative industries have been pointed as a significant plan to increase economic diversification in conjunction with its potential to the transmission and valorisation of traditional arts and crafts and Bruneian cultural heritage to future generations. The strategies and national plans outlined by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports urges the revision of cultural policies to focus in the affirmation of cultural identity and, to an extent, in the development of the creative economy. Five years after the first steps given to develop the CCI it is now time to assess the state of the cultural and creative industries in Brunei Darussalam with the aim to outline a report and draft sustainable and realistic guidelines for the development of the sector.


Additionally, the Mapping of the Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam will make possible the creation of a comprehensive free access online database of the creative community. This online platform will bring more visibility to both freelancer artists and established corporations active in the sector, as well as to the vast array of creative services and products traded.

How is this going to be done?

This is a long-term research project divided in two different stages:

  1. Mapping (Assessment, Definition, Classification, Organisation);
  2. Strategy (Project, Activation, and Reassessment)


Stage 1. Mapping will run from August 2016 to December 2017. During this stage the project aims to identify and analyse business activities that trade with creativity, knowledge and information in Brunei Darussalam and then outline definitions and classifications to the cultural and creative industries. Additionally, this project aims to evaluate the creative demography, looking at the number of people working in the creative industries, the average of age, and gender ration. Finally, during this stage the project aims to analyse the impact of the creative economy compared to other industries in Brunei Darussalam.


During Step 1 in Stage 1. Mapping (August to December 2016) UBD students conducted a general survey of the cultural and creative industries in Brunei Darussalam, identifying the most visible and well-known businesses operating in the sector. For this students used social media networks, newspapers, magazines, yellow pages and Internet search engines. This exercise allowed to draft a working categorisation and classification of the CCI in Brunei Darussalam and to outline a broad-spectrum state of the businesses active in the sector. (See the description of the working clusters)


For Step 2 in Stage 1. Mapping (January to July 2017) FASS/UBD is partnering with Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd in the launching of an online Call for Creative Community (CCC) open to all Individual and Corporate entities involved in the CCI in Brunei. This CCC will be advertised through the social media with the aim to reach both freelancers and creative enterprises trading active in the Cultural and Creative Industries and to encourage them to participate in the mapping project by registering in the Creative Community Brunei Online Database.


Finally, Step 3 in Stage 1. Mapping (July to December 2017) the data will be analysed in collaboration with the consultants of the project and the results will be discussed in a Forum for Developing Sustainable Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam (November 2017). During the Forum will be launched a book / report on the Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam.


Stage 2. Strategy (Project, Activation, and Reassessment 2017/2020) will initiate with the strategic projects discussed during the Forum for Developing Sustainable Cultural and Creative Industries in Brunei Darussalam.

Description of the Working Clusters

1. Architecture

Architecture cluster refers to businesses providing core services in three main areas: building design; interior design; and feasibility studies. Additionally, architecture business also provides consultancy services: planning consultancy and planning supervision. This creative cluster is mostly responsible for urban planning and design, landscape architecture, and conservation of historic buildings. As a result of its activity it bears a greater impact in the construction industry as well as in the life quality and social health.


2. Advertising

Advertising cluster comprises businesses with core services fully concentrated in management of clients marketing strategies in view to commerce products and services. Its services are mostly creating marketing strategies and advertise products and services using multimedia platforms as billboards, posters, video, photography, TV and Radio. Due to its mass communication requirements advertising is very much related to other creative clusters such as visual arts, multimedia, and publishing. It is majorly concentrated in marketing consultancy, designing campaigns, buy and sell advertising space, produces and distributes advertising materials.


3. Publishing

Publishing cluster refers to businesses that deal with editorial services, which includes producing books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, and catalogues.


These main categories of publishing have traditionally been mainly engaged in “print on paper” but the sector gradually involved in producing interactive media. The potential of publishing is its broad public reach, ranging from leisure, information, commercial / advertising, and academic / professional content publishing.


4. Multimedia

Multimedia cluster stands for businesses concentrated on audio and visual production and distribution of copyrighted materials such as film, video, photography, radio, animation, and interactive content.


5. Crafts and Heritage

Crafts and Heritage includes artistic production that involves particular skills to make craft production processes (manufacturing by hand with or without the aid of tools).


6. Visual Arts

Visual arts cluster includes the freelance artist activity, art and design studio production, event management, art and design exhibitions and art market. Artists and designers in general work under the cluster for Visual Arts.


7. Fashion Design

Fashion design industry encompasses artistic activity concentrated in original designer market product ranging from clothing to jewellery, fashion accessories and costumes.


8. Music and Performance Arts

Music and Performance arts comprises all artistic activity concentrated in musical production, recording, and distribution, as well as the writing and production of live performances such as dance, theatre, and music-theatre.