Waag Society

Waag Society

Waag Society is an interdisciplinary non-profit media lab researching, developing new technology, art and culture. The mission is to work in interdisciplinary teams to provide meaning and give direction to the role of technology in society. In co-operation with end-users it develops technology that enables people to express, connect, reflect and share. It hosts events and plays an active role in debates about technology and related issues like trust, privacy and IP. Founded in 1994, Waag Society is part of the Dutch national infrastructure for the arts and culture. Its roots are in the Digital City (1994), the first online community aimed to question The Internet – in those days limited to science and defense – and make it available for everybody. Nowadays new technologies are to be explored and made usable, such as RFID, GPS, Fablabs, Cradle to Cradle and new forms of gaming, participation and distributed cooperation.

Waag Society has experience in interdisciplinary community building, project management in innovative and avant-garde projects and hosting technical infrastructures of several cultural institutions in Amsterdam.

Waag Society is part of MIT’s global Fablab (Fabrication Lab) network of standardized open hardware setups with i.e. laser cutter’s and 3D printers. Based on Fablab philosophy Waag Society organize the annual (un)limited Design Contest, proclaiming that the design of products is no longer restricted to professional designers. Contestants are stimulated to practice Open Design, making mash-ups of existing designs and in return the blueprints are to be given back to the community.

Waag Society is co-founder of PICNIC Amsterdam - an interdisciplinary annual network festival bringing together and disseminating the ideas and knowledge of the world's best creators and innovators. In 2009 Waag Society, AIM and partners hosted the EcoMap Lab at PICNIC. Participants built and shared understanding on how to map the environment, aggregate the data and visualize it to promote behavioral changes and reduce CO2 footprints.

It is part of a think tank of the Municipality of Amsterdam addressing Open Data & Sustainability. It focuses on the topic from several perspectives: public administration, public engagement and interactivity, legal and regulatory issues, service development on shared open data platforms and competitiveness.

Role in the project:

Waag Society is involved in the work package 4.