The Design & The City conference is looking for participants for its Lab of Labs programme.

In the Lab of Labs, participants will explore a variety of design research methods for living labs. How can design methods help to investigate or address societal issues, fire up a debate around them or explore solutions? Five leading labs from throughout the world will share their processes with participants and give insight in their methodologies, working in a two-day charrette around local issues based on ‘the knowledge mile’ in Amsterdam. Each of these charrettes will work towards a conceptual prototype, to be presented and discussed at a final event, open to the public.

The goal of the event is to familiarize participants with a broad variety of design methods to tackle and explore real world issues, as demonstrated by some of the leading labs in a variety of design fields. In addition, participants and labs will engage in a broader discussion about design research methodologies.

We are looking for motivated, creative professionals, policy makers, designers or advanced students, from a variety of backgrounds who would like to work together in interdisciplinary teams, collaborating to tackle an issue brought up by a local Amsterdam stakeholder.

There are only a few places available per Lab, and the deadline for applications is March 19th. Candidates will be selected based on their motivations, experience and particular skills or experiences they want to develop further.

Introducing Lab of Labs

The Lab of Labs consists of five hands-on design charrettes that explore a variety of approaches for living labs and design research practices, with high-profile international practitioners concretely demonstrating their own process, framing and methods. Each lab will conduct a two-day charrette, open to the active participation of professionals, teachers, artists, policy makers, designers and excellent students.

Lab – Ideal Lab – ‘Roots and Identities’1

  • Ideal Lab is a design research program that invites designers, researchers, artists and scholars sharing a broadly interdisciplinary perspective and a process-oriented approach. Since 2010, Ideal Lab carries out design investigations through fieldwork and workshops, with the objectives of defining upcoming needs, providing human results and realising future scenarios through tangible products and processes.

Lab – Fields of View – ‘Designing for dialogue and sociality in smart cities’2

  • Fields of View is a research lab that aims at a better understanding of the urban environment, working in cooperation with local administrations, academia, industry, and civil society. In this charette we will design for events and activities – such as urban games, geo-localized storytelling, etc., – to promote dialogue and sociality, fostering an inclusive and participatory culture.

Lab – Kitchen Budapest – ‘Hyperlocal civic platforms’3

  • Kitchen Budapest (KIBU) is an innovation and incubation lab operating in Hungary since 2007, supporting young talents and aiming to provide solutions to global and mass-cultural issues. Working with a broad network of international partners, KIBU provides guidance to digital innovators through idea development programs and design methodologies.

Lab – Waag Society – ‘Designing inclusive interactions’4

  • Waag Society, Institute for Art, Science & Technology, is an interdisciplinary non-profit media lab aiming at understanding and reflecting on the role of technology in society through artistic research, critical design and social innovation. We will use this charette to produce critical and speculative design concepts for “inclusive interactions” in future smart cities, empowering all citizens to experience public spaces on their own terms, regardless of age, health conditions, and cognitive or physical abilities.

Lab – Centre for Design Informatics – ‘Blockchain City’5

  • The Centre for Design Informatics is situated across the schools of Edinburgh College of Art and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and is home to a combination of researchers working across the fields of interaction design, temporal design, anthropology, software engineering and cryptocurrencies. Interdisciplinary in intent, the Centre has demonstrated its distinctive capacity to anticipate the emerging paradigm of Human Data Interaction, through research collaborations, conference contributions and recognition within a peer community.

The Labs will take place on the Knowledge Mile, a living lab in the center of Amsterdam, and they will practically tease out different styles, approaches and methodologies in design/co-design.

Practical information

  • The Lab of Labs is a two-day thematic event, part of the Design & The City event organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, taking place in Amsterdam, from April 19-22. The event as a whole explores citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city. Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and sociable urban futures.
  • The Lab of Labs can be attended in combination with the main conference (April 21th) and the workshops (April 22st), or also separately.
  • There is a registration fee of Euro 75, covering coffee, tea and lunch on both days as an evening meal on day 2.

Want to participate?

  • Application for the Lab of Labs sessions is open until March 19th, notifications of acceptance will be sent out a few days later. To register and learn more about the event, please visit this page6

Public presentation of outcomes

  • Outcomes, insights and reflections will be presented in a conclusive meeting and used as a starting point for a broader discussion about design methodologies, and their relationship with living labs and smart cities.
  • The public presentation of the Lab of Labs will take place on Wednesday night (April 20th) at the Kohnstammzaal of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, on the ninth floor of the Kohnstammhuis, Wibautstraat 2-4 in Amsterdam and is open to the general public. Attendance is free, tickets will become available on March 20th.
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