K8 explores the role of co-creation methodologies in processes of change, from organizational development to systemic design. Building on the experimental cultures of art and design, K8 remains close to the peer-to-peer dynamics of existing and emerging digital and data cultures. Our work brings civil society organizations and social movement actors together with other public and private actors interested in collaborative and regenerative ways of creating, living, and working.
Founded in 2015, K8 builds on the methodological work conduced at the xm:lab – Experimental Media Lab of the Academy of Fine Arts Saar, founded in 2012 as institute for experimental education and arts-and-technology research. K8 was developed by people interested in organizing training, transfer, and think tank activities to share and expand these methods with a wider community. Since then, K8 has attracted interest, funding, and support from a wide variety of sources to conduct an average of 25 individual projects per year with private and public organizations and continue to evolve our innovation and transformation frameworks through such exchange.
Through its close cooperation with local stakeholders, K8 has access to a wide array of studio and workspace environments for creative production, testing, and other living lab activities (green box / markerless motion capture systems for digital production, media facade, game lounge designed to facilitate iterative software and design development, fablab for digital fabrication, audio, photo, and video studios).
With roots in the holisms of arts and culture, K8 approaches questions of innovation through of collaborative engagements with environmental, social and economic transformation. Above and beyond the cooperation with state actors and SMEs, K8’s engagement with collaborative and regenerative economy issues reflects an interest the key role of civil society and social movement actors, he dynamics of peer production, and the cultural, economic and social concerns of cooperativism. Such visions aim to create new collective action institutions and re-imagine the co-creation of value.
Innovation needs more than technology. Technologies contribute to changes in the human condition. But cultural, economic, and social innovations frame the choices we have, both as individuals and as societies. By exploring how we want to live and work, we find more creative ways to think about the future through new forms of collective agency and intelligence.
Anticipation imagines what’s next. Stories can give us an idea of our place in the world. To think about future worlds, we need to create fantastic fictions. Allowing us to explore imagined futures, they give us a better sense of where we want to go next.
Make the viable tangible. Technological transformations make the dynamics that organize our daily lives disappear. Visibility can create awareness, but it does not tell us much about the meaning of what we see. To grasp the ways in which we can co-create our futures, we need to make the viable tangible. If we do this together, we can build trust and co-design systems.
Create worlds, not objects. Connected lives are distributed across vast spaces. And what an object can do depends on how we design these spaces. By creating worlds rather than objects, we can redesign the limits of what we can do.
There is more than one future. Many futures are possible, some are more probable than others. Whenever we decide where we want to go next, change is given a direction. Let us talk about which of these futures we want to live in.
The ethos of collaborative and cooperation shapes not only the organization of research and development, but inspires the design of socio-technical systems that address the growing interest in transparent and trusted regenerative economy models. This is a key area for K8 in the further development of its stakeholder network and methodological approaches.