Neutral Lab

A fully flexible and reconfigurable environment that empowers interdisciplinary, cross-sector project teams to spark new ideas, co-create and experiment with new, disruptive and unexpected ways of thinking and collaborating.

What is it?

The Neutral Lab doesn’t look or feel like anywhere you have ever worked before. A unique creative environment where diverse teams join an evolving community to develop projects, work with new interdisciplinary methodologies, technologies and equipment; and discover original and provocative connections. Expect to be inspired and challenged, hold unplanned conversations with unfamiliar voices, and be prompted by the unpredictable.

Why is it special? 

This space is home to a community of collaborators. Historians co-producing with chemists, computer scientists and creative SMEs, working next to network engineers co-producing with visual artists, community groups and tech giants. The Neutral Lab is a place where different disciplines and sector perspectives are actively sought and valued equally. A place that regenerates as different teams come and go, learnings from experiments in collaboration and new methodologies are shared,  and where new ideas and approaches are constantly emerging. 

The Neutral Lab allows project teams to co-create their own shared working environment. You will be empowered to collaboratively design and populate a bespoke space with the sensible, the surprising and the state-of-the-art. Teams will choose and use contents from the  ‘The Cupboard’ packed with furniture options, tools, technologies and artefacts. You will discover a changing landscape of different ‘habitats’, happenings and hideaways.

How will it work?

Whether you are bringing together a new team or seeking new adventures for a long-established collaboration, you are invited to design and assemble your project space to meet your specific requirements. Join us for a few months of intense effort or set up camp for a year or so - you tell us what you want to use your residency for and how long you need it or, if you’re not sure, we can explore the opportunity together. 

Your time in the Neutral Lab will be supported by an experienced facilitator, whose role is also to curate and capture the learning and journey of this unique experimental collaborative community. You will have access to BDFI’s wider team of futures, technical and project support staff.       

Inspired? If you like the sound of our Neutral Lab, find out more using the details below. Be aware that the facility’s popularity may require you to apply and/or join our waiting list.

What difference will it make?

The Neutral Lab gathers people from different perspectives to challenge conventional processes of digital technology innovation. It empowers teams and gives them the freedom to develop new disruptive and sociotechnical co-production methodologies. The possibilities are endless. 

Get involved

The Neutral Lab will be up and running from early 2022 and we are interested in hearing from projects that will help us to test, learn and develop the space. Perhaps you’ve got an idea you’d like to try out with your team? Long or short term or even for just a few weeks of bid writing. We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at bdfi-enquiries.ac.uk

Drawing of neutral lab space
Impression of the neutral lab Image credit: University of Bristol
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