“It’s extremely difficult to know the future. What people will need and want over time will only reveal itself in small steps,” LUSTlab founder Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen says. This notion is what inspired him to found LUSTlab – a research lab that focuses on media and technology in unconventional ways.
Bringing the internet down to earth
At the lab, altogether new forms of communication are being experimented with. LUSTlab works on a tremendous variety of experiments. Nonetheless, all of their projects have in common that they focus on new and different interactions between content, context, and internet data.
LUSTlab wants to shape the future of digital media by influencing the design of its use. Central to their mission is the ‘humanization of the unhuman’, bringing the internet down to earth, and finding the missing link between the digital and the physical. Interesting projects result, such as “Binnen de Lijnen” – a collective art project in Schilderswijk neighborhood that asks what the use of data can tell us about improving city life. How can it inform urban planning and governance?
Big and bold
“Binnen de Lijnen” aims to make the public space more visible and tangible. A Go Pro camera captured the movement of people in the Oranjeplein (Oranje Square), their exact locations, and group composition. This information was used to create a heatmap that represents the visitors’ spatial-behavioral patterns – red representing many people gathering for a longer period of time, blue representing the opposite. Neighborhood residents were invited to recreate the heatmap together by coloring in the actual square using chalk.
“Technology is always half finished by definition,” according to LUSTlab founder Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen. “It always represents the step between the last technological breakthrough, and the next. That’s why, generally speaking, it makes sense not to focus too much on what’s currently possible,” he says, “but to think big and bold.”