Updates about Digital Studies Lab: The PLANT

Over the last months, the idea of a Digital Studies Lab at FASoS has become very concrete. It has developed from a formal business plan into dusty renovations in a few months.

Things are only getting more exciting now that furniture and hardware have been ordered! Read on for a short newsletter, in which the team wants to update you on the current developments of what is now known as “The PLANT”.

From Digital Studies Lab to The PLANT

Yes, that’s right: The lab now officially also has a name! After much discussion and with the help of your feedback, the lab is now called “The PLANT”. This is an acronym that stands for “Playground and Laboratory for New Technologies”.

The team believes that this name conveys quite well what they hope the space to be: a place for both playful and scientific experimentation, equipped with tools and technologies to do research, teach, brainstorm, and maybe play. That being said, they also see more metaphorical meanings of The PLANT. Are you curious now? Don’t hesitate to ask them!

From an old computer room to dusty renovations to a dynamic playground

Over the last few weeks renovations have started. The team fiercely believes that a playground for new technologies requires an unconventional working space – one that stimulates creativity and inspiration. Therefore, the suspended ceiling panels have been removed and made room for a concrete ceiling, the fluorescent lights will be replaced by warm spots, and the white walls will soon be covered with lively colours, wood, and vegetation. The renovations will take another few weeks, so perhaps you should expect some noise in the corridors of GG76, especially close to Room 0.10.

Besides renovating the space itself, furniture that will enable flexible collaborations, academic discussions, and inspiring teaching activities has also been ordered. The room was designed in consultation with Eromes Marko (UM preferred supplier), again taking on board your feedback from the design thinking workshops, individual discussions, and the survey. Curious for how it is going to be? The picture below – an early design – gives a flavour of close to what the room will look like.

From ‘now’ to the festive launch

Before the end of the calendar year all the furniture and of some of the hardware that will be available to users of the PLANT should be delivered. The team is also in the process of hiring a person dedicated to the PLANT; a colleague that will have both technical and domain expertise to facilitate research and education with technology. The PLANT will be operational in January and there will be a formal opening for Spring 2023. A ‘Save the Date’ will be posted soon via FASoS Weekly.

From ideas to actions

The PLANT aims to facilitate workshops, brainstorming sessions, seminars, and research collaborations. While there are some plans and requests for the next academic year, the team would like to ask you to reach out to them if you have any ideas. Don’t be shy, ideas in any shape and size are welcome. You can reach out to them via email: plant-fasos@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

To follow the progress of The PLANT you can follow the Twitter page @PlantFasos and connect with the PLANT on LinkedIn. There will soon be a dedicated website. Stay tuned for further updates.

Executive Cooperative Group:
Thomas Frissen, Aodhán Kelly, Costas Papadopoulos, Claartje Rasterhoff

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