Work In Progress

Behind the Godsbanen center for cultural production sits the Institut for (X): a place that, according to CEO Mads Peter Laursen, is more philosophy than place.

By Erika Astudillo and Daphne Henning

The goal of the Institut for (X) is to teach people how they can make a little bit of money out of what they like to do. People interested in graphic design, architecture, interior design, music and more offer their services in the different workshops located here. Currently 60 people work on-site permanently, but there are around 300 people that are part of the greater project.

The goal of the Institut for (X) is to teach people how they can make a little bit of money out of what they like to do. People interested in graphic design, architecture, interior design, music and more offer their services in the different workshops located here. Currently 60 people work on-site permanently, but there are around 300 people that are part of the greater project.

“Culture doesn’t start as business but for something you love to do. There wasn’t a set vision, it just happened,” says CEO Mads Peter Laursen.

“Culture doesn’t start as business but for something you love to do. There wasn’t a set vision, it just happened,” says CEO Mads Peter Laursen.

 

Laursen left Aarhus some years ago because he could not find space for subcultures, and to develop his creativity. He worked in the “homemade culture” of Copenhagen and Berlin until, missing his home city of Aarhus, Laursen decided to reproduce this culture and feel in Jutland.

Laursen left Aarhus some years ago because he could not find space for subcultures, and to develop his creativity. He worked in the “homemade culture” of Copenhagen and Berlin until, missing his home city of Aarhus, Laursen decided to reproduce this culture and feel in Jutland.

 

About the time of Laursen’s return, Aarhus’s Municipality offered 20.000 kroner to develop a cultural project, and his idea of Institut for (X) was selected. He found an abandoned railway area, today part of Godsbanen, and he chose it to develop his idea.

About the time of Laursen’s return, Aarhus’s Municipality offered 20.000 kroner to develop a cultural project, and his idea of Institut for (X) was selected. He found an abandoned railway area, today part of Godsbanen, and he chose it to develop his idea. Photo: Institut for (X)

 

People with different skill levels are able to share their experiences with one another in this community. Individuals can carry the networks they develop here on to the rest of their careers.

People with different skill levels are able to share their experiences with one another in this community. Individuals can carry the networks they develop here on to the rest of their careers.

 

Personalized services for external people and businesses are available from the Institut for (X), along with the continued chance to network with professionals and bright apprentices.

Personalized services for external people and businesses are available from the Institut for (X), along with the continued chance to network with professionals and bright apprentices.

 

Part of Laursen’s inspiration for the project comes from a desire to “recreate old city systems,” especially regarding artisan communities.

Part of Laursen’s inspiration for the project comes from a desire to “recreate old city systems,” especially regarding artisan communities.

 

They produce cultural projects not only for Denmark, but also for other countries. “We try to get jobs from the world and make them here,” says Laursen.

They produce cultural projects not only for Denmark, but also for other countries. “We try to get jobs from the world and make them here,” says Laursen.

 

One of Institut for (X)’s strengths is organizing concerts or music festivals. Presently they have 15 studios with bands and expert technicians in sound, scenography and lighting.

One of Institut for (X)’s strengths is organizing concerts or music festivals. Presently they have 15 studios with bands and expert technicians in sound, scenography and lighting. Photo: Institut for (X).

 

Institut for (X) does not have a set vision or mission as other businesses do. It has a philosophy where freedom and the exchange of experiences and cultures are the main focus.

Institut for (X) does not have a set vision or mission as other businesses do. It has a philosophy where freedom and the exchange of experiences and cultures are the main focus.

 

As a nontraditional company, the Institut avoids long meetings by having only one boss (Laursen) to coordinate the main issues, and everyone has a responsibility to do the maintain the work and community spaces. Every person there with a workshop or a company must pay rent to Institut for (X), with the average price varying between 900 to 1.100 dkk.

As a nontraditional company, the Institut avoids long meetings by having only one boss (Laursen) to coordinate the main issues, and everyone has a responsibility to do the maintain the work and community spaces. Every person there with a workshop or a company must pay rent to Institut for (X), with the average price varying between 900 to 1.100 dkk.

 

Laursen calls the Institut for (X) a sort of “double city,” where people connect to the space in their own ways, and you never see the same crowd twice.

Laursen calls the Institut for (X) a sort of “double city,” where people connect to the space in their own ways, and you never see the same crowd twice.

 

“The people who are attracted to this need freedom,” he stresses.

“The people who are attracted to this need freedom,” he stresses.

 

Lately, the people of the Institut for (X) are readying for the 2014 Christmas Market, to be held on-site Saturday, December 13th, from 11:00-19:00, alongside the greater Godsbanen Christmas Market from 11:00-17:00.

Lately, the people of the Institut for (X) are readying for the 2014 Christmas Market, to be held on-site Saturday, December 13th, from 11:00-19:00, alongside the greater Godsbanen Christmas Market from 11:00-17:00.

 

See more of the Institut for (X) at: http://www.institutforx.dk/

See more of the Institut for (X) at: http://www.institutforx.dk/

 

Erika Astudillo is a journalist from Ecuador doing the first year of her Master’s program in Journalism, Media and Globalization in Aarhus and is a contributor for Jutland Station.

Daphne Henning is a photojournalist from the USA with a mildly unhealthy penchant for graffiti, subcultures, and stringed instruments. She is currently the Photo and Copy Editor for Jutland Station.