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KABK/Royal Academy of Art Research Lab-10sep2014

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In the KABK Research Lab, initiated by the dept.of what if (Arne Hendriks & Ronald van Tienhoven) students will envision, investigate and implement speculative design scenarios and integrate them in their creative practises. The research lab consists of writing assignments (website), speculative materials research, the creation of an experimental environment and a talk and a final presentation.
Such projections have the power to ignite a powerful artistic practise. Speculation on what could happen if… has become a serious tool to explore alternative realities and turn such fantasy into actual research and product development. If we can imagine something there’s a real chance it will happen. The research lab has a focus on how to turn societal and cultural concerns into personal action. For students applying to this research lab it helps if you have a fair amount of social and cultural awareness and want to think about the BIG challenges that lie ahead of humanity, such as increasing populations, resource scarcity, migration, and longevity. It asks much of the imagination.

Partly in conjunction with the national Council for Public Health and Health Care (Raad voor de Volksgezondheid en Zorg) the dept.of what if will explore both challenges and benefits of being old, specifically with respect to the public and semi-public domain. We will not perceive ageing and longevity as a problem but as an asset by means of (re-) defining and questioning the social and physical status quo and future perspectives of elderly people in society.
Firstly the dept.of what if will ask the participants to identify with the target group as much as possible through a period of LARP (Life-Acting Role Playing) living, in the vein of the pioneer of LARP research, Patricia Moore. This will be the basis for further explorations into the subject matter and the people involved. What will be primarily addressed during this research is the notion of slowness versus speed, and the way space and action are perceived and bent into a different space-time reality.
These explorations will not only be limited to design in the conventional sense of the word: socio-economical research can become just as much the backbone of what if scenarios, situations and products.
Students will need to dream hard but they could end up with ways to engage yourself to a society that more than ever needs creative thinkers to help it succeed.

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KABK/Royal Academy of Art Research Lab-10sep2014

  1. 1. KABK RESEARCHLAB
  2. 2. DEPT. OF WHAT IF
  3. 3. APPLY NOW
  4. 4. STUDENTS APPLYING TO THIS RESEARCH LAB WILL BECOME AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF, A COMPANY DEDICATED TO THE PRODUCTION OF SPECULATIVE SCENARIOS FOR THE NEARBY FUTURE.
  5. 5. THIS SEMESTER THE DIRECTORS AND EMPLOYEES OF DEPT.OF WHAT IF WILL EXPLORE THE RAPIDLY APPROACHING AGE OF OLD.
  6. 6. THIS RESEARCH LAB INVESTIGATES THE QUALITY OF OLD: OLD WINE, OLD FURNITURE, OLD PLACES, OLD PEOPLE… ! AS WE ENTER THE AGE OF OLD THERE IS A NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW AN AGEING POPULATION INFLUENCES SOCIETY AT LARGE. THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF DOESN’T PERCEIVE AGEING AS A PROBLEM BUT AS A QUALITY. THIS QUALITY WILL CHANGE HUMANKIND IN WAYS UNFORESEEN. RIGHT NOW AGEING IS BEING REGARDED AS A ‘PROBLEM’, AND THEREFORE MANY PEOPLE ARE ONLY ABLE TO THINK IN FINDING SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM. ! BUT THIS WAY OF THINKING LIMITS OUR CREATIVE ABILITIES.
  7. 7. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE (RAAD VOOR DE VOLKSGEZONDHEID EN ZORG) THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF WILL EXPLORE CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF BEING OLD, SPECIFICALLY WITH RESPECT TO THE PUBLIC AND SEMI-PUBLIC DOMAIN. WE WON’T PERCEIVE AGEING AND LONGEVITY AS A PROBLEM BUT AS AN ASSET BY MEANS OF DEFINING AND QUESTIONING THE SOCIAL AND PHYSICAL STATUS QUO AND (NEAR-)FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF OLD PEOPLE IN SOCIETY. WHAT WILL BE EXPLORED BY THE DEPT.OF WHAT IF IS THE NOTION OF SLOWNESS VERSUS SPEED, AND THE WAY SPACE AND ACTION ARE ENVISIONED AND BENT INTO A DIFFERENT SPACE-TIME REALITY. THE REALITY OF THE AGE OF OLD.
  8. 8. YOU WILL NEED TO DREAM HARD BUT YOU COULD END UP WITH WAYS TO ENGAGE YOURSELF TO A RAPIDLY CHANGING SOCIETY THAT MORE THAN EVER NEEDS CREATIVE THINKERS TO HELP IT SUCCEED. THE AGE OF OLD IS NEAR.

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