LAB have undergone a few changes recently. Following our run of workshops throughout Sideshow, our activities and practices were changing and together with a new commission, we decided that it was time for a new name and identity. LAB has now become The Institute for Boundary Interactions, and while the LAB activities and ethos will continue to be a part of what we’re doing, we will also be concentrating on our own creative output.
So, the big new is that we have been awarded a commission by the Broadway Digital Innovation initiative Making Future Work, to undertake our proposed project, Urban Immune System Research. Here’s the opening blurb from our proposal:
Urban Immune System Research [UISR] is a critical design project exploring parallel futures in the emergence of the ‘smart-city’ and the appropriation of humans as data-agents in urban systems.
“Our cities are non-living and yet our cities are growing and we are covering every square inch of this planet which means that we are going to engineer things that we can live with, that give us some value and purpose.”
– Andrew Hessel – The Internet of Living Things
LAB will design, prototype and produce a range of speculative future technologies that will take form as a mixture of wearable and portable devices, mixing consumer electronics, couture fashion, ecological systems and organic components. These will constitute strategies for creating more fluid interactions between humans, technology and both the built and natural environment .
Re-imagining the urban environment as a multi-cellular living organism, what might threaten or support the health of the city? If the economy is our digestive tract what is it trying to feed? If communications networks are the nervous system what is the city trying to feel? How might we design more sustainable and healthy futures by modelling our cities, peripheral devices and interactions with technology on ecological systems?
We’re really excited about this project as it gives us the chance to further develop our collective practice, and to explore an area of research that we feel has real potential.
Our new site is currently under development, but there’ll be much more information and regular updates on the project available soon, and we’ll be blogging our activities and progress on the Making Future Work site too. There will also be a more comprehensive archive of all the activity from the Sideshow Open Laboratory residency.
Check out the MFW site soon to see the other commissions – there’s going to be some great work coming out.