Alain Otjens

Alain OtjensSoftware Developer & Designer

Alain Otjens is front-end developer and designer with Waag. In the projects he works on, he wants to contribute to technology that is better attuned to democratic values, and fosters positive societal change. His work mainly involves interaction design, graphic design and front-end development on websites, data visualisations and interactive toolboxes.

Alain studied Sociology and New Media at the University of Amsterdam. Here, he developed his interest in the ways technology is perceived, discussed and imagined, and how this influences the choices that are eventually embedded in technology. Before working at Waag, Alain was a freelance developer and designer for various clients, mainly in the cultural sector.

Current projects

Future Internet Lab

Balanced Choices

Waag develops a recommender application for libraries and other cultural institutions where values such as privacy and autonomy are central and the data is managed by the end-user themselves
Screen with ChatGPT
Future Internet Lab

Social research agenda for AI

Making researchers in the field of AI more aware of the questions and concerns surrounding AI that exist in society.
Metro traffic data
Future Internet Lab

Grip on Own Data

Waag Futurelab investigates how citizens can get 'grip on their own data'. We will analyse existing tools that the government currently makes available to give citizens insight into data that the government processes about them.
Platformcoöp Accelerator
Smart Citizens Lab


With a broad coalition of social organisations, Waag works to strengthen the local, cooperative community economy in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.
Future Internet Lab

Living Lab Open Cultuurdata

Making cultural events easier to find with open-source technology. By NPO, Sound & Vision, PublicSpaces and Waag.
Open Wetlab


In BioCommons, we investigate how we as a society can deal with our biological and genetic data, and how this data can be seen as a commons.
Digitale Identiteit visual
Future Internet Lab

Proof of Provenance

Tackling disinformation by guaranteeing the authenticity of messages? Waag is working on a way to do this through digital certificates.
Evening air traffic in Europe
Future Internet Lab


ACROSS improves privacy-friendly data exchange between EU member states' public services.
Expeditie: toekomst campagnebeeld

Expedition to planet B

Waag is embarking on an expedition to planet B in order to design and create a desired future that is open, fair and inclusive. Join us!
Maakplaats Reigersbos FabSchool
Maker Education Lab

Make it Open

Transforming schools into community partnerships. Maker education and citizen science function as a transformative approach for Open Schooling.
Woman with sensor
Smart Citizens Lab

Hollandse Luchten

Hollandse Luchten is a citizens science project where we involve citizens in measuring air quality in their environment in the Province of North Holland.

Closed projects

Waag_Microbiome Center_Gezond leven
Smart Citizens Lab

Healthy life, healthy microbiome

Waag and the Microbiome Center are joining forces to research how technological solutions contributing to more control for patients in diseases related to their microbiome.
Code voor kinderrechten, Waag, 2020
Future Internet Lab

Code for Children's Rights

Waag works together with Leiden University to create a Code for children's rights, creating a safer digital environment for children.
Public Stack visual
Future Internet Lab

Public Stack: the alternative internet

The internet is broken, but alternatives are available. We call the collection of these open, fair and safe alternatives the Public Stack.
Participatie Waternet
Smart Citizens Lab

Participation @ Waternet

Waternet strives to make the participative approach their standard approach in working, when possible and relevant. Waag's Smart Citizen Lab, aimed at citizen science, will help Waternet in taking the first step from pilots to a new policy.
Commons Lab

Gaming for the Commons

Can serious games help us to reimagine our political and economic system? We aim to discover the potential of serious games to help us reclaim the urban commons.
Brein AI visual
Future Internet Lab

Algorithms: practical guidelines

The government is working on a framework for the use of algorithms. Waag investigates how this framework works in practice. Does it ask relevant questions? Can decisions be explained? Is it clear what the impact and responsibilities are?
SySTEM 2020 learning outside the classroom
Maker Education Lab

SySTEM 2020

The SySTEM 2020 project is aimed at connecting STEAM learning outside the classroom.
Commons Lab
Commons Lab

Chamber of Commons

The Chamber of Commons bolsters the interests of commons and commoners.
Amsterdam Sounds project
Smart Citizens Lab

Amsterdam Sounds

Making cooperative tools for civic participation and citizen science in the field of noise pollution.
Co-creation navigator map
Co-creation Lab

Co-creation navigator

Co-creation is a powerful way to deal with 'wicked problems' and innovate your professional practice.
DO IT - Maakplaats 021
Maker Education Lab


DO IT contributes to youth employment and to create new jobs in the social economy by nurturing in young pupils seeds for active social innovation: entrepreneurial mind-sets, knowhow and skills.
Amsterdam waters aerial view
Smart Citizens Lab


The Amsterdecks project aims to offer insights in the water quality and the accessibility of the public waters of Amsterdam for its citizens and visitors.