Creative Ring – Aarhus Creative

Right next to the sea and to ancient forests, the City of Aarhus lies as a vibrant urban environment surrounded by the beauty of nature.

With a population of 320,000, Aarhus is Denmark’s second-largest city and the fastest-growing in the country. In the past ten years, the city has received 15,000 new residents and created 20,000 new jobs, the majority within knowledge, service, innovation and creative industries. Being a city of engaged creative citizens, innovative businesses and students from all over the world, Aarhus is characterised by a strong spirit of cooperation, social cohesion and civic participation.

The Aarhus creative ecosystem is a vibrant growing community bringing artists, designers, maker communities, SMEs, cultural institutions, educational institutions, public libraries, as well as local and regional authorities together, united in the idea that creativity and culture is an important driver for inclusive urban development. Our ecosystem meets regularly and we help each other organising events, developing businesses, solutions, projects and policies. Just our meeting brings new ideas and projects to life.


ITK is a department in the municipality of Aarhus, Denmark, and is located in Dokk1, the new award-winning public library and media space. ITK is short for innovation, technology and creativity. ITK is a part of the city’s larger department called “Culture and Citizens’ Service”. ITK works among other things digital library and cultural development, smart city development, open source and open data.

A part of ITK is ITK Lab, a creative space that leads innovative development projects both on a national and an international basis. To mention a few, projects like OrganiCity and CityPulse focus on how open data can contribute to building a smarter city. Other projects investigate how new technologies, for instance, humanoid robots and wearables, can be used in relevant contexts.

Moreover, ITK Lab manages an area of the library focused on technology. The area is used for events, arranged in collaboration with partners, where citizens can learn about new technologies and participate in activities such as workshops and presentations. Thus, ITK Lab conveys knowledge about new technologies and services and how these can change future citizenship and involves citizens in idea processes and evaluation.

ITK Lab is also involved in bigger annual events. Some examples are Aarhus Mini Maker Faire, an event celebrating DIY culture, and CounterPlay, a festival of playfulness. Events like these turn all of Dokk1 into a high-activity space with a multitude of experiences – even more than it usually is.

Aarhus University

At Aarhus University, the Digital Living Research Commons including AU Smart Cities is co-founder of the Creative Ring. DLRC is an educational and experimental space with a holistic and participatory approach to urban development.

Institute for X

Institute for X is an independent and not-for-profit culture association arising from citizen initiatives The outdoor spaces and park areas are public and we invite everyone to use and co-produce them. We try to build the best possible neighbourhood in Aarhus for all. X facilitates and enhance cultural activities, combining artistic creativity with business, public debate and public education.

X is a dynamic organisation and a laboratory for urban experiments, where initiatives grow organically.

Aarhus Godsbanen

Godsbanen is a centre for cultural production in Aarhus. With open work shops, studios, project rooms, theatre stages, auditoriums, dance halls and much more, Godsbanen provides every opportunity; whether you want to stage a week-long theatre festival, practice your dance moves or perhaps host a meeting.

Alexandra Insitute

The Alexandra Institute helps public and private organisations develop innovative, IT-based products and services based on cutting-edge IT research. We are a non-profit company with a mission to create value, growth and welfare in society.

Our team of specialists design novel, innovative IT-based products and services. We apply our skills in software, user involvement and innovation methods to create technological solutions of commercial relevance with the aim of helping companies boost their business.

For creative industries:

Over the years 2016,2017 and 2018 we have a project with the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation within the area of creative digital industries. The project aims to improve the opportunities for selling digitally produced images and videos produced in the creative digital business to other companies and public institutions beyond entertainment. The digitally produced images and videos have the potential to give companies a more effective communication and marketing – and thus a greater impact and visibility of products. Today the challenge is that traditional production of photographs and films are very costly, although there is a huge potential in using good visual material in the sales, marketing, packaging and communication – particularly for small and medium enterprises that need to compete for attention. Our project will contribute to a more efficient production of digital visual material. We focus on optimizing the creative professional workflows by developing new forms of organization and new software that can enable them to effectively deliver high quality productions to new audiences outside the traditional entertainment segment. At the same time, we will prepare new markets by developing business-oriented tools to support sales and business development for the creative industries and their customers.

A current product of the Alexandra Institute is the Elementacular plugin for Maya that can speed up production and rendering of clouds specifically: