Since about a year, the reframing of the former Institute of Research in Art and Design is carried out intensively and more and more comes to fruition now. We began by establishing new research topics, covering the fields of experimental design and media cultures as well as (post-)digital practices of culture and knowledge. We also could enrich our interdisciplinary team with new junior and senior researchers, that are currently developing projects located in our new research scopes.

In the past year, three new projects could successfully be acquired already: Firstly, an interdisciplinary research project on experimental data aesthetics, secondly, a strategic initiative in the field of gamification and creative media practices in cooperation with the Academy of Music and the School of Engineering of the FHNW, and thirdly, an exhibition project exploring creative approaches to big data in cooperation with the House of Electronic Arts Basel. Prior, the conference “Synthesize! On the Future of Digital Media Cultures” held in last September already represented the newly shifted scope of the institute.

In the past months we were also intensively engaged in the planning and realization of the Critical Media Lab, we are excited to come about as part of the new research facilities of the institute on the Campus of the Arts Basel later this year. The lab will be the scaffolding for realizing and presenting projects within our new research foci and to bring together a culture of artistic experimentation with theoretical reflection and critique.

To project the reframing of the institute, its reserch foci and activities, we decided to give us a new name. The title Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures covers our redefined fields of research interests, embraces our future research facilities and expresses the interdisciplinary nature of our team of scholars, designers, artists and engineers. The new website accompanies this shift, documenting influential activities of the past and everything coming up from now on.

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