4 November 2015

Foteini Valeonti on the Bartlett Annual Review


Crowdsourcing Monet: everyone’s a curator with the new Instagram of art 

by Emma Todd 

I want to put the user at the centre of USEUM,” explains Foteini Valeonti earnestly. She’s the founder of an interactive online platform for art and a doctoral researcher at The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). “With content creators now outnumbering content consumers, expectation of what user-centric digital platforms should offer is higher than ever,” she adds. USEUM, she is determined, will meet this demand. [Read the whole interview]



What makes USEUM different is that it allows users not just to comment but to rate, tag, upload and share. All of these elements determine the curation of the collection, essentially making it a crowd-curated platform. Art lovers are rewarded for their engagement; the more they do, the more privileges they get. Additionally, they can send any artwork as a free e-card and purchase merchandising displaying the artwork of their choice. [Read the whole interview]



So, what advice would Foteini give other budding entrepreneurs? “Firstly, I’d say you must validate your idea. Check there is a need for it. Once that’s clear make sure you exploit all of the resources you have at your disposal. There is so much out there, like accelerators and competitions – the UK is extremely entrepreneur friendly.”

She’d also like to pass on a key piece of advice, given to her by her supervisor Dr Andy Hudson- Smith: “He told me, ‘do something you’re passionate about. In the hard times, which will inevitably come, this passion will see you through.’ And he was right. There have been moments of frustration and I’ve had to be resilient, but the positives have far outweighed any negatives.” [Read the whole interview]