The Other Lab

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The name of the site is a cheeky steal from Nicholas Negroponte who, when talking about relabeling the MIT Media Lab, put it this way:
simply Other in the hope that it would be known for doing things that are not bandwagons, fashions or fields, but work at the edges and in the intersections of disciplines1.

So too for me. This is a place/space that I hope in Michael Schrage's2 words is a shared play space for me and anyone else who wants to play in this little digital sandpit (contact me if interested). As he put it:
The best shared spaces are an invitation to innovation...

You need to have media where the ideas can be captured and represented and those representations can be modified and played with. And that's the essence of Serious Play...

There are all kinds of shared space that are possible. First, Iíll tell you what a shared space is not. It is not an exchange of memos. It is not a meeting. It is not email. It is not videoconferencing. A shared space is the place or the medium where people put up and play with--in a shared context--the representations and models of their ideas. It can be a blackboard. It can be a whiteboard. It can be Lotus Notes. It can be a Web page. It can be a Web site. It can be a prototype. It can be a model. It can be a virtual prototype. It can be a virtual model. But it is a shared space--a shared place--where people can manipulate and iterate ideas and representations of the ideas.

Without getting into debates about representationalism, it is also a laboratory, which as Richard Edwards3argues,
"is a space for experimentation and intervention".

It is also a space that is being built slowly as you may notice if you poke around! For those who believe in a merging of meat and dirty silicon-based devices, this site might be seen as a kind of a 'mind dump'. The image4? I have something of an affinity for water, particularly water that forms waves that one can body surf. It's the place, free of the silly stuff, where the odd good idea emerges.

Welcome to the other lab!
 Notes 1: Or as Joi Ito, the current director of the Labput itrecently, antidisciplinary.
2: Schrage, Michael (1999) Serious Play: How the World`s Best Companies Simulate to Innovate, Harvard Business School Press, Boston
3: Edwards, R. (2009). Materialising theory: does theory matter? BERA Annual Conference, Manchester. Retrieved from http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/documents/MaterialisingTheory_doestheorymatter_.pdf
4: It is a photo taken from a tall building of a surf beach on the Gold Coast as the sun rises.

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