Waag is a Future Lab for technology and society.
Technology is not neutral. Waag reinforces critical reflection on technology, develops technological and social design skills, and encourages social innovation.
Waag works in a trans-disciplinary team of designers, artists and scientists, utilising public research methods in the realms of technology and society. This is how Waag empowers as many people as possible to design an open, honest and inclusive future.
As of January 2021, Waag has been assigned the role of Future Lab by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. This role can be described as follows: ‘A Future Lab is a centre for the future-oriented development of design and for the use of design and technology to solve social challenges.’ Waag was awarded this position due, in part, to the organisation’s 25 years of experience in design and artistic research in the field of technology and society.
Waag's activities primarily take place in research labs, where research and development are carried out on technological and social issues. As part of its public programme, Waag organises workshops, exhibitions, and debates. Additionally, Waag offers educational courses on creative technology and society with its Waag Academy programme. As Future Lab, Waag will be organising expeditions to planet B over the next four years, seeking an answer to the social, technological, and ecological challenges of our time.
Waag was founded in 1994 by Marleen Stikker and Caroline Nevejan. Its precedent was ‘De Digitale Stad’ (the digital city), which was the first public access portal to the internet and a social media platform before the idea even existed. Stikker stood at the forefront of the digital public domain. In her book ‘Het internet is stuk (maar we kunnen het repareren)' (The internet is broken, but we can fix it), she describes the evolution of the internet since the Digital City.
Known as the ‘Society for Old and New Media’ in its early years, Waag has since evolved into a Future Lab for technology and society. The organisation’s development and evolution has occurred gradually through many projects at the intersection of technology, art and science. In the timeline down below, you will find an overview of the highlights of Waag's work since its inception.