Blog

2017 and moving on

It has been quite a journey. From May 2006 until December 2016 I’ve worked vigorously and passionately at Waag Society, seeing an overwhelming  amount of projects and programmes come to life. Scottie, 7scenes, PICNIC Festival, Fablab Amsterdam, Apps for Amsterdam & Apps for Europe, Express to Connect, Digital Social Innovation, Fairphone, the Big Open & Beautiful series at Pakhuis de Zwijger, the Bio Art & Design Award, and recently MakeHealth, FabSchool, Pet shop, Riches, Textile Academy, Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab and Making Sense, to name but a few of the 250+ projects currently on the website.

What holds these amazing and seemingly disparate projects together is their focus on Waag Society’s core values: if you can't open it, you don’t own it; learning by making; relational aesthetics; code is culture; critical making, and it’s unifying philosophy users as designers. In short: its desire to democratise the use of technology, and understand its volatile meaning.

And so many interesting things lie ahead! The expansion of the Fablabs into the public libraries of Amsterdam; the new Fabschoolino, that provides an outstanding way of introducing young children in opening up closed systems of knowledge; the self enhancement clinic that will be opened at the Wetlab; using blockchains to make a fair AirBnB and distributed identity management, the coming edition of the BioHack Academy - and many many more. As technology develops so rapidly, there is an pressing need to get a first-hand understanding of its (im)possibilities. The same Internet that can empower and uplift can control and manipulate us far beyond what George Orwell had envisioned in his visionary novel 1984. Any new technology needs checks and balances, artistic explorations into its limitations, and rigorous scrutiny - things that Waag Society and its extensive network can provide so well.

For me, this journey has morphed into a different direction with accepting a new job at the University of Twente. From January 2017, I’ll be the managing director of the newly founded DesignLab, where science, technology and philosophy collide with design thinking to develop solutions to some of the worlds many pressing problems. I look forward to this challenge and invite you to come and visit and be part of this change in my professional life in one way or other.

For ten years I have enjoyed and learned a lot from my many gifted colleagues, amongst which its charismatic and visionary founder/director Marleen Stikker. It is absolutely amazing how she keeps this 22 year old institution vibrant and fresh, adapting it to society’s course to stay relevant and snappy. I’m certain that Waag Society will live up to its potential for many years to come, and I’m very happy to have been appointed a fellowship to enable future collaborations.

Meanwhile, I wish you a very happy, fruitful and inspiring new year with many new ventures, insights and inventions as well as time for reflection and pauzes. Thank you for your generous support in the past; I’m looking forward to extend and deepen our relationship in the future - so please don’t hesitate to keep in touch.

@Kresin

Blog

- dinsdag 10 januari 2017

Ane Baztarrika researched traditional Japanese pigment dyeing, which uses soybeans and earth pigments, at our TextileLab Amsterdam.

- maandag 09 januari 2017

Frank Kresin looks ahead to 2017, that brings new challenges and opportunities and a new job for him at the University of Twente, managing the newly founded DesignLab.

- donderdag 05 januari 2017

Overleeft een kunstvorm als opera in een VR omgeving? Pam bezocht een voorstelling waarin VR centraal stond, een ervaring vol oergeluiden en operagezang door een VR bril.

- vrijdag 16 december 2016

Several smart citizen projects have seen the light in the past years. But we should not forget to present the raw numbers into some kind of advice for the user that he or she can act upon.

- donderdag 15 december 2016

Hoeveel mensen zullen inmiddels een oude elektrische tandenborstel in de vuilnisbak hebben gegooid, zonder zich te realiseren dat daar een oplaadbare batterij in zit?

- donderdag 08 december 2016

At MU gallery in Eindhoven, the 7th edition of the Bio Art & Design Award shows works of the winning teams and several other works of bio art and bio design under the title Fluid Matter.

- woensdag 07 december 2016

One of our Textile Academy participants, print and pattern designer Laura Luchtman, made a recap of the second Textile Dialogue: "Working in this industry? On our conditions."

- dinsdag 06 december 2016

De eerste bijeenkomst van het Open Planbureau was een aanzet voor een complexe maar noodzakelijke ontdekkingsreis.

- dinsdag 06 december 2016

By making and breaking open up processes, materials, textiles, tools and techniques we explore how we want things to be in the textile and clothing industry.

- maandag 28 november 2016

Greta Castellana set off to design a system to better and pro-actively respond to individual needs of patients for a personalised and integrated healthcare experience.