About Baltan

Working on the edges of disciplines

Baltan initiates experimentation on the crossroads of art, design, science and technology, evoking inquisitive ideas and insights by bridging the gaps between disciplines. The lab functions as a collaborative mindset and network, connecting curious individuals and organisations. By placing art and design research at the core of its activities, Baltan explores the implications, promises and pitfalls of our technological society. Baltan translates these ideas into different outputs, including collaborations, events, workshops, storytelling, publications and expos, creating a space for reflection, research and experimentation.

Speculating the imaginary

Our programme consists of fundamental topics that respond to developments in today's society. We believe that disciplines are containers created in an age of overspecialisation. By getting rid of these boxes, we bring together (un)related fields to create a larger body of knowledge. We don't have one methodology, we don't aim for pre-established outcomes, we don't think new is better. We speculate the imaginary, we focus on fundamental questions beyond the excitement of technology, we explore the present unknown by reclaiming the future and rethinking the past.

Shifting towards new paradigms

Baltan is inspired by the work of Dick Raaijmakers aka Kid Baltan, a pioneer in electronic sound working at the former Physics Laboratory of Philips. Seeing the artist as the fundamental researcher, Baltan provides a space for ideas, detached from current paradigms and constraints. By curiously exploring the notion of what it means to be human, we look at how technology is changing our values, behaviours, perception, bodies, even our notion of reality. We constantly observe this interplay. We love to question and re-imagine the future of this relationship with technology.

What?
How?
Why?

Baltan Topics

Economia

Economia explores new ideas and thinking about our economy. It is a laboratory for ideas which allows us to step out of the existing frame of thought. The programme presents unexpected and playful approaches looking at the essence of economy, thus establishing a fresh point of view on the economic system and our society.

Age of Wonderland

Social innovation program that revolves around the understanding that we need a more robust collaboration between creatives from all over the world. When it comes to the great challenges of our time, we need to act on a global scale to secure a liveable, inclusive society and planet.

Hack the Body

Exploring the blurry lines between the human body and technology, the program connects partners from the cultural, scientific and corporate sector and stimulates them to work together to develop their projects and knowledge around biometric data, the human body, and identity.

Seeds

Besides our three main topics, we have an incubator called Seeds, a place to test and explore ideas for potential new Baltan topics.

History

2008-2010

A two-year research pilot

Founded as a two-year pilot, Baltan Laboratories explores what the media lab of the future could look like. The lab opens its doors and makes the first step towards a broader art science lab. Baltan’s identity and ambitions are closely connected to the history and DNA of the city of Eindhoven, The NatLab, as well as developments on Strijp S, the former industrial area of Philips previously known as the ‘forbidden’ city.

2010 - 2012

A Blueprint for a Lab of the Future

Baltan publishes A Blueprint for a Lab of the Future, an extensive publication, presenting the results and reflections on Baltan’s pilot phase undertaken from 2008 to 2010. The book features conversations that illustrate the process of building the lab, interviews featuring personal perspectives on the lab and reflections on projects supported by Baltan.

2012-2014

The plug-in methodology

Baltan successfully connects artistic projects with the research conducted in the Brainport Region. By implementing the plug-in methodology, Baltan embraces a flexible structure and way of working, while tapping into temporary infrastructures, stakeholders, communications and audiences of strategic partner organisations. The strength of Baltan is her strategic positioning amongst local and international networks to foster art and technology collaborations.

2014-2015

The true method of knowledge is experiment

The renovated Natlab building is officially opened, with Baltan as a key inhabitant. The former physics laboratory of Philips is internationally recognised for its innovative research. Located on Strijp S, Baltan is now at the heart of the creative community. The inauguration is celebrated with projects inspired by the work of Dick Raaijmakers aka Kid Baltan, pioneer in electronic music, working at the former NatLab.

2015-2017

The Lab as a collaborative framework

Baltan stimulates a cross-disciplinary approach conducted in an open-minded atmosphere based on trust and mutual inspiration. A solid model for long-term partnerships is established, facilitating open innovation research by reaching out to the creative and high tech community. Baltan interrogates the role of labs and hubs, being convinced that artists and designers are the most relevant critics of our time. Baltan makes these processes tangible by sharing ideas and knowledge with others.

2018

Ten Years a Lab

The organisation proven model for the development of structural connections between art, design, science, technology has become the premise for innovative artistic collaborations. Becoming a main actor in an international ecosystem of academics, industry and culture, Baltan continuously keeps reinventing ideas, methods and tools, exploring societal issues on the edges of disciplines.

Testimonials

I see Baltan as an extremely valuable addition to a worldwide, Dutch and, Eindhoven’s network of cultural institutions.

Dick Rijken - Director of STEIM

100 Days of Learning was one of the most deep learning experiences that kickstarted the students' research. The format forces everyone to reflect on what we can contribute to society.

Jan Boelen - Head of Master department Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven

Baltan invited me into a wonderful network of artists, thinkers and technologists, which enabled me to further develop my projects.

Monique Grimord - Interactive Designer

Baltan’s open-minded approach enabled me to test out a series of workshops and allowed me to communicate my research early in its development.

Louise Mackenzie - Artist and PhD researcher at Northumbria University, Newcastle

Together with Baltan, we made a fun and interactive demonstrator for a sensor, which opened lively discussions afterwards.

Marcel Zevenbergen - Senior Researcher Sensors & Energy Harvesters, Holst Centre/Imec

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Annual reports

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Partners

Structural partners

Programme partners

Collaborate with Baltan as an

Is your organisation's vision future-proof? Do you want to enter into a context that challenges the paradigms you base your choices on? Baltan has a diverse network of public and private partners. We offer open-innovation partnerships as well as dedicated services.

Baltan is a platform and a philosophy where individuals as well as organizations (big and small) can meet each other. To stay tuned on the development of our programs, we recommend you subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on twitter or directly contact us with your ideas.

Meet the Baltan Team

Contact

+31 (0)6 16 71 71 66 info@baltanlaboratories.org

Office

Torenallee 34 – 6th floor 5603 EA Eindhoven

Visiting address

Kastanjelaan 500 5616 LZ Eindhoven