Esteio Cultural Center
In today’s advanced societies, development has been increasingly measured by the quality of life index. The parameters, therefore, are no longer purely economic (objective), but mainly cultural (subjective). More than a utopia, the goal of the 21st century is the integral, intelligent, creative human being who is an interactive consumer of information, culture, art and leisure rather than the bored consumers of industrial products.
If this reality is often considered unattainable in a society that struggles daily for the basic goods, there are signs that culture can still be seen as an important beacon through which we can achieve full development. One of the most evident symptoms of this change is the proliferation of cultural centers despite the adverse conditions.
Cultural centers can establish benchmarks and provide identity to a population. More than that, they enhance the communities’ self-esteem, bringing new symbolic references to them, contributing so that they can recognize themselves as autonomous organisms that are capable of determining their own future.
The project for Esteio Cultural Center was based on that idea. Esteio, an industrial city with 70,000 inhabitants and a high income level, lacked symbolic values to unite its citizens. Esteio Cultural Center will provide to the city – and to the whole region – a theater, a movie theater, a library (with a special music and video collection), workshops of performance art, visual art and child art, and an exhibition room. Serving as a mini convention center, it will allow the organization of conferences, seminars and everything the social, commercial and cultural lives of an industrial city require.
Many people still fail to understand why “in times like these” mayors (and also private entities) invest in cultural centers. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of people who believe that this is the best way to recover a sense of social unity, which is the only way to bring back development (since the financial side is only one of its aspects).