Baltan Laboratories is a collaborative platform for future thinking that places art and design research at the core of its activities. Baltan claims the role of pioneer ‘’in the cultivation of the existing potential in the high-tech and creative industry.’’ (Policy note 2014/15).
Baltan is both a network and a methodology: It sees the lab as a way of working and as a place where ideas are put into practice through projects in which freedom of thought, openness towards the unknown, experiment and playfulness are key.
Baltan stimulates a cross-disciplinary approach conducted in an open-minded atmosphere based on trust, empathy and mutual inspiration.
Mission: the lab of the future
Baltan Laboratories brings together people and organizations to initiate and promote free experimentation on the crossroads of disciplines such as art and technology, with the conviction that this will evoke totally new ideas for - and insights in - products, services, knowledge and society.
How to interact with the lab
Baltan is a platform and a philosophy where individuals as well as organizations (big and small) can meet each other. In order to give this some kind of structure, we mainly put forward the following collaboration models.
The ‘free’ model: Open Labs
As an open community, everyone is able to join or tap into Open Labs free of charge. In theory, Baltan does not interfere with individual projects, unless projects or interactions are a direct threat towards the continuity of the Open Labs initiative itself or if there is mutual interest to create interaction between Baltan and the project members. It’s a low-threshold and low-cost way to interact with(in) the lab. Interested? Make sure to join one of our monthly meetups and get a taste of how Open Labs can work for you.
The ‘Open innovation’ model: Themes and Programs
Based on sharing of resources, Baltan defines long-term programs to explore a common theme. Multiple organizations can participate in the program based on their own interests, capabilities and timing. These program partners actively participate and share in the costs and results. The outcomes of the activities and the perceived value strongly relate to the background of the partners. For example, one partner could aim for direct return via ‘the results’ (such as new ideas for products and services, artistic value, coverage in media or events…). Another might be mainly interested in the indirect aspects ‘hidden’ in the process (active learning, new process insights, access to new networks, social change…).
Currently we have one program actively running: “Age of Wonderland”, jointly coordinated with Dutch ngo Hivos and centered around the thematic of social innovation. In parallel we are investigating additional themes that could be launched as a program in the near future. To stay tuned on the development of our programs, we recommend you subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on twitter or directly contact us with your ideas.
The ‘exclusive model’: The Studio
Assignments for The Studio are based on a 1:1 interaction between a ‘client’ and Baltan. To execute projects, we work with multidisciplinary student teams under professional coaching and guidance. Do you have a specific challenge that could be solved by a multidisciplinary and experimental approach? Contact us and we will make you an offer.
Other interactions between art and technology
Via our network of likeminded organizations, we are also able to point you towards other collaboration models that involve combinations of art and technology, as there are: workshops, artist residencies…
Do not hesitate to contact us with your specific need and we will be happy to connect you within our network.
Baltan’s fixed staff
Koen Snoeckx, Managing Director
Olga Mink, Artistic Director
Marlou van der Cruijsen, Project Officer
VIF’s (Very important freelancers)
Nicole de Boer
and many others
CeesJan Mol, UApproach (chairman)
Annie Fletcher, Van Abbemuseum
Herman Schoo, Holst Centre
Jo de Boeck, imec
Joe Davis, MIT
Ulrike Erbslöh, Van Abbemuseum
Project and program partners
We are grateful to the following organizations for their support of Baltan’s activities from 2014 - 2015:
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