An application created by Arture, Adrian Abdaloui and Maxim Dubuy that seeks to give everyone access to art and culture. From sculptures of antiquity to photographs of the liberation of Paris, Arture allows you to explore humanity’s greatest masterpieces without limits.
How did the idea of Arure come to your mind?
I studied history at the Sorbonne and, in parallel with my studies, I worked from a very young age as a salesperson from the age of 18, initially in the transportation of luxury goods and then in debt-wear. Then, I cut my teeth at a French luxury house in Paris, which immediately gave me a taste of getting to know haute couture workshops. I sold high-end ready-to-wear collections to multi-brands in Europe and I was still studying at university. I was at the end of my cycle at university and I went there with curiosity and passion instead. Gradually, I realized that art and culture were unfortunately not very accessible to part of the population or not. I found it difficult to explain myself, as I developed my knowledge, what I was reading to the people around me or those near me. I actually asked myself the question, along with a colleague who is no longer part of the team, on how one can democratize access to arts and culture at their level and elevate heritage through digital technology. These questions inspired us to develop an application to provide unlimited access to the artistic and cultural heritage of the world.
When and how did you do it? What steps until launch?
In 2016, together with Adrian Abdaloui, a former partner, we started the ARTURE project. The application was available in September 2019, during all these years, we went through many stages and challenges. We had to invest a lot in the design, and collect a lot of user feedback. To understand what we have done, the current application version is 10. A large part of the work is also to make digital exhibitions present in the application, with over 450 thematic exhibitions available today. This is a continuous work as we publish three new exhibitions every week. We deliver an immersive experience based on a virtual walk through tasks in high definition, which require incredible quality control. For information, each of the 19,000 published works has been analyzed and validated manually.
What was Arture doing in the beginning and today?
The Arture application has been the first on the Appstore and Play Store in France several times in all categories. Since January, we have been selected by the AppStore France team to support us in the international development of the application. In recent weeks, the ARTURE application is now available in French and English in 175 countries! However, we do not see digital as an end, it is a means, a medium of arbitration. This is why, for more than 18 months, we have been developing cultural mediation in favor of so-called “disabled” audiences. The goal is to provide access to arts and culture at the heart of EHPAD and hospitals. It aims to provide establishments with a means of improving the autonomy and well-being of the people achieved by establishing a cultural space offering a window onto the world.
What inspired you to take an interest in these places of life?
People living in these establishments have a genuine cultural appetite, a desire to discover, share and continue to learn. We have a real sense of utility in supporting these distinguished establishments, that we feel that our actions are changing the daily lives of those we welcome, that we are “really” democratizing art and culture . Nursing staff and professionals have also won, we have exceptional feedback from testimonials that touch us, which motivates us to continue this commitment.
And what are the main difficulties faced so far? And how did you conquer them?
The biggest challenge before us was to develop the app. In all fairness setting up the technical team was very complicated initially and the first team we recruited did not give us any satisfaction at all. We “wandered” for several months because we didn’t master the technical part. Today we have an internal team with whom everything is going well. We have a process that allows us to be responsive very quickly and to continually improve our cultural offering. For example, the ARTURE terminal, our offering of cultural mediation at the center of places of life, has been a sacred technological challenge, having all its content locally for a few months.
Our application is available for personal use on his phone for less than one euro per month. Since the international launch, membership numbers have continued to grow, which allows us to continue creating high-quality exhibitions bringing together the works of 50 international museums. For a few months now, we have been developing a business proposition that aims to allow a company to provide cultural access to its employees. A few weeks ago, we just signed a contract with a big company. We are very pleased to be able to give thousands of employees access to 5,000 years of art and history from their phones in the coming weeks.
Our digital cultural mediation is increasingly being recognized, prompting administrations, regions and departments to contact us to reflect on the implementation of local initiatives. We aim to continue to develop the establishment of cultural proposals at the center of places of life, throughout France. By the end of this year, we will have equipped dozens of senior installations across France. One of our current objectives is to continue to develop our cultural mediation in hospitals and especially with regard to sick children. Our commitment will always be: “Art for all, Culture everywhere!”,