Cities in Transition

City Makers

Students of the University of Amsterdam explored European cities, visited local initiatives and interviewed City Makers. This summer we publish their articles and interviews weekly. Maarten Ketelaar is spending a semester in Berlin, Germany and interviewed Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Frans Vogelaar of Hybrid Space Lab.

Interview
New Europe
8 July 2015

@ Cities in Transition

What is Hybrid Space Lab?

‘Hybrid’ stands for combining fields, ‘Space’ is our expertise, ‘Lab’ means that we work experimentally, in an innovative way. We’re architects-urbanists with a strong connection to media and design. Hybrid Space Labhas two components: the Think Tank that is about knowledge development, and the Design Lab that focuses on experimental architecture and urban design.
‘Hybrid’ is also a strategy. We started by working on the combination and interaction of digital and analog space – and developed this into combining creative fields in general. Most of our work is connected to urban issues: from the redevelopment of the Beijing art district 798, to the DIY pavilion in Hong Kong or “Co-Creating the City : Athens”.

What is the focus of your work?

We work with a network of professionals from different fields: from urbanism and architecture, from industrial and communication design, landscape planners, hardware- and software-engineers…
Apart from working on assignments together with international clients we also initiate research-oriented projects.

How is the Hybrid Space Lab organized?

We are not traditional architects focusing only on architecture. We also look at other developments: socio-cultural, scientific, technological developments… We think the challenges of today need to be addressed in an interdisciplinary way.
We work with a ‘hybrid’ approach and use the crossover strategy as an innovation method: taking ideas from one field and trying them out in another in order to approach the issues we deal with from a new perspective, reframing the challenge.

Why innovate?

It’s really not about the ‘New’; we don’t think that innovation in itself is a quality. But we do live in times of enormous technological developments, and need to find ways to deal with them, and to shape them in the way we want them to influence our lives.