About Baltan

Rehearsing living otherwise

Baltan Laboratories is a cultural indisciplinary lab based in Eindhoven. We focus on societal issues through a relational approach, creating spaces to rehearse living otherwise. We believe that the increasing complexity of our world and of the challenges we have to face no longer allows for a strictly disciplinary, reductionist and western-based approach. In a world full of uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, the interactions and exchanges between different disciplines are fundamental to achieving a relational approach that responds to the environmental, political, social, economic and technological issues we must address today. We can no longer divide a problem into its parts, deal with those in separate disciplines and then recompose them in a solution.

Bridging different ways of knowing

We try to achieve this attitude by designing learning trajectories, projects and collaborations that bridge different ways of knowing (not just the artistic and the scientific ones) through creative strategies, including embodied, sensory, intuitive and performative techniques. The core of an indisciplinary approach is de-organizing knowledge, temporarily dismantling how it operates to reveal that we are not really touching the complexity of reality but just scraping the layers of abstractions that we put on it to feel in control. In this way, we can become aware of some of the assumptions and ideologies that shape our understanding and action in the world, especially the hegemonic ones that become natural, automatic, unconscious and apparently unquestionable. We acknowledge the importance of creating a non-hierarchical and safe space where people from all kinds of social, ethnic, discipline, and cultural backgrounds can talk to each other on an equal and non-judgemental level. We strive to include diverse knowledges and value systems in our projects and collaborations, not relying solely on a western perspective.

Transgressing disciplinary boundaries

Disciplines separate those considered qualified to think from those who are not; for this reason, we rather focus on indisciplinarity: an approach which transgresses disciplinary boundaries to achieve intellectual emancipation and evades disciplinary specialism and hierarchisation. Indisciplinarity is not undisciplined. It opposes what, in the discipline, limits the process of discovery and the free movement of serendipity. That means that we shouldn’t get rid of disciplines but instead design ways for their borders to be more permeable and for a new collaboration attitude to emerge.

What?
How?
Why?

Baltan Topics

History

2008-2010

A two-year research pilot

Founded as a two-year pilot, Baltan Laboratories explores what the media lab of the future could look like. The lab opens its doors and makes the first step towards a broader art science lab. Baltan’s identity and ambitions are closely connected to the history and DNA of the city of Eindhoven, The NatLab, as well as developments on Strijp S, the former industrial area of Philips previously known as the ‘forbidden’ city.

2010 - 2012

A Blueprint for a Lab of the Future

Baltan publishes A Blueprint for a Lab of the Future, an extensive publication, presenting the results and reflections on Baltan’s pilot phase undertaken from 2008 to 2010. The book features conversations that illustrate the process of building the lab, interviews featuring personal perspectives on the lab and reflections on projects supported by Baltan.

2012-2014

The plug-in methodology

Baltan successfully connects artistic projects with the research conducted in the Brainport Region. By implementing the plug-in methodology, Baltan embraces a flexible structure and way of working, while tapping into temporary infrastructures, stakeholders, communications and audiences of strategic partner organisations. The strength of Baltan is her strategic positioning amongst local and international networks to foster art and technology collaborations.

2014-2015

The true method of knowledge is experiment

The renovated Natlab building is officially opened, with Baltan as a key inhabitant. The former physics laboratory of Philips is internationally recognised for its innovative research. Located on Strijp S, Baltan is now at the heart of the creative community. The inauguration is celebrated with projects inspired by the work of Dick Raaijmakers aka Kid Baltan, pioneer in electronic music, working at the former NatLab.

2015-2017

The Lab as a collaborative framework

Baltan stimulates a cross-disciplinary approach conducted in an open-minded atmosphere based on trust and mutual inspiration. A solid model for long-term partnerships is established, facilitating open innovation research by reaching out to the creative and high tech community. Baltan interrogates the role of labs and hubs, being convinced that artists and designers are the most relevant critics of our time. Baltan makes these processes tangible by sharing ideas and knowledge with others.

2018

Ten Years a Lab

The organisation proven model for the development of structural connections between art, design, science, technology has become the premise for innovative artistic collaborations. Becoming a main actor in an international ecosystem of academics, industry and culture, Baltan continuously keeps reinventing ideas, methods and tools, exploring societal issues on the edges of disciplines.

Testimonials

I see Baltan as an extremely valuable addition to a worldwide, Dutch and, Eindhoven’s network of cultural institutions.

Dick Rijken - Director of STEIM

100 Days of Learning was one of the most deep learning experiences that kickstarted the students' research. The format forces everyone to reflect on what we can contribute to society.

Jan Boelen - Head of Master department Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven

Baltan invited me into a wonderful network of artists, thinkers and technologists, which enabled me to further develop my projects.

Monique Grimord - Interactive Designer

Baltan’s open-minded approach enabled me to test out a series of workshops and allowed me to communicate my research early in its development.

Louise Mackenzie - Artist and PhD researcher at Northumbria University, Newcastle

Together with Baltan, we made a fun and interactive demonstrator for a sensor, which opened lively discussions afterwards.

Marcel Zevenbergen - Senior Researcher Sensors & Energy Harvesters, Holst Centre/Imec

Downloads

Financial reports

2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

Partners

Structural partners

Programme partners

Meet the Baltan Team

Contact

+31 (0)6 16 71 71 66 info@baltanlaboratories.org

Office

Kelderman en Van Noort Galileistraat 2 5621 AE Eindhoven

Visiting address

Kastanjelaan 500 5616 LZ Eindhoven