Frank Kresin, Marleen Stikker, Roel Dekker


Lessons learned from the PICNIC Labs

26 Sep 2008

Brought to you by De Baak Management Centrum VNO-NCW: Mediagilde: IIP Create
RE:LABS will bring together the organizers of the PICNIC Labs as well as thinkers and decision makers interested in new creative approaches to invention, innovation and change. We investigate the individual approaches of the PICNIC Labs, the outcomes and the validity of their practices to develop a new discourse and new products, services and business models. RE:LABS will put the Labs in a larger context, in time, scope and space.

RE:LABS takes place at the FlexBar of the Gashouder on the evening of the 26th of September.



There is a growing awareness that to stay ahead of competition and to deal with societies diverse needs, companies, governments and institutions have to search for and implement new ways of innovation. Models in which monolithic knowledge silos compete on a small scale are no longer sufficient in a highly connected world in search of meaning. Ideas and concepts need collaboration with and participation of many disciplines, many of which are not to be found within a single agency, company or department. What is needed is, simply put, collaboration. But how do we achieve mutually beneficial collaboration when people speak different languages, histories, protocols and values? How do they get to understand each other and work from what each participant has to bring to mutual goals – when they succeed to find it? Which practices and tools can help us to speed up the pace of innovation?

Fast changes in information architectures and the rapid innovation cannot be channelled anymore through old methodologies, as they are too slow. The old role of the university and text as the generator of new ideas does not longer work in isolation. The fast cycles of iteration of designers and artists (brainstorms with very different people, concepts, prototypes, scenarios of prototypes with real users) and the intuitive ideas of artists who can draw from a history of centuries of ideas, should be taken into account together with the knowledge of the technical developers and the content specialists that are masters of their fields of knowledge.

Summit on New Media Art, Policy and Practice
Singapore 24-26 July

We call the answer “Creative Research”. Creative Research is concerned with “what if…” questions. It is experimental, interdisciplinary, critical research in which artists, designers, scientists, hackers and users play a central role in coming up with new visions, solutions and approaches, new products and business models. Creative Research is related to participatory design, rapid prototyping, practice based research and tinkering from which it borrows some methods. It generally comes up with applications, methods and tools that are well suited to the needs and means of users in different stages of their lives.

For inspiration we look at the PICNIC Labs that will take place during the Cross Media Week in September 2008. RE:LABS will be set up as a focussed session in which the lab experiences will be shared and integrated into recommendations for practice.


The PICNIC Labs are hands-on workshops, demo sessions and master classes that challenge participants to re-imagine businesses, develop new products and services, refine ideas and formats and come up with creative business concepts. Products and services developed will get feedback from experts, and a selection will be demonstrated at PICNIC.

More information:

The PICNIC labs are tailored to find new ways of collaboration between hackers, artists, scientists, prospective users and others.


RE:LABS is organised by Waag Society, de Baak and IIP CREATE. We collaborate with PICNIC, Amsterdam Innovation Motor and Living Lab Amsterdam. The number of participants for RE:LABS is limited to 40 people.

The programme starts at 19:30 and ends at 21:30 with drinks. Preliminary programme:

19:00 Entrance open
19:30 Welcome by Marleen Stikker
19:40 Impression of the Labs
19:50 Open Discussion moderated by Valentijn Ouwens (De Baak)
21:00 Reflections by Geleyn Meijer and Anne Nigten (IIP CREATE)
21:30 Drinks