In 2007, Stefan Shankland initiated the HQAC protocol (démarche haute qualité artistique et culturelle – HQAC). The HQAC protocol seeks to transforme a conventional urban regeneration programme into a new resource for contemporary art, experimental design and participatory projects.
The HQAC protocol is an artist-lead cross-disciplinary project conducted in close ties with the professionals in charge of regeneration programs and the local inhabitants. The aim is to transform a construction site into a workshop, an exhibition space or a research laboratory, fostering a new cultural approche to urban changes.
The HQAC protocol seeks to develop different forms of relationships:
Relationships between what happens inside a building site and its serrounding. Relationships betwen those who work there and those who live nearby.
Relationships between what happens before, during and after an urban regeneration program. Relationships between those who lived there, those who will settle there later and those who work on site now.
Relationships between professionals in charge of a regenration programm and those operating whithin the cultural sector, local inhabitants and users of a city at large.
The HQAC protocol setsup a network of users, stakeholders and audiences who foster, through collective practices, a new form of urban (transformation) culture.