creative technology
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requirements -- creative factory plein

A. Eliëns, 22/8/08
toelichting: deze notitie is bedoeld als aanvulling op HvE/EWI 13/8/08, en beoogt het algemene uitgangspunt te verduidelijken alsmede enige specifiekere opties te bespreken.


The planned Creative Factory (building: ???) provides an ideal place for a variety of activities and tasks, ranging over student work, meeting place, as well as technology labs and teaching facilities. This brief document intents to indicate the most important use cases for the Creative Factory, the corresponding requirements the Creative Factory must meet, as well discuss the tradeoffs in realizing the variety of facilities, without jeopardizing the unique spatial quality of the building.

basic principle(s)

The basic principle is to keep an open, flexible space, with visual access to the back wall (for projection) from almost everywhere. There may be an L shaped balcony, at the opoosite of the (main) projection wall. In addition, there must be mobile space separators (panes/kamerschermen), to temporarily separate off parts of the hall.

main function(s)

The idea of a jaarzaal or plein stems from Industrial Design, where there is such a facility for each (incoming) year of students. In the case of Creative Technology, it seems more reasonable to have, in this stage, a common space, shared by all students. The main functions of the Creative Technology Plein are:
  • common place (thuishonk) -- with storage (individual) facilities
  • workspace for (creative) practica & projects -- with facilities for experiments
  • lecture(s) & presentation(s) -- with public auditorium function
Experience is needed to determine how to combine these functions in the best way. Our preference is for a flexible solution, that allows adaptation, taking into account the actual number of students and the activities that take place.

additional function(s)

In addition to the main functions, indicated above, there are a number of important activities that will take place during the year, some on a weekly basis, and other, such as exhibitions and demonstrations only a few times per year. These activities include:
  • (temporary) exhibitions -- in the open area
  • individual student consultancy -- may be done on balcony space
  • small group meetings -- on balcony, or (temporarily secluded) parts of the main hall.
  • demonstration(s) -- using multiple screen(s) and billboards
Since some of the activities may take place concurrently with the main functions of the space, it must be possible to have a provisional separation, but these do not necessarily have to be sound or light proof.

projection facilities

There must be a high quality projection facility for the back (projection) wall, as well as (preferably) four additional screens with projection facilities on the side walls, two on each wall, directly adjacent to the main back wall. For each of these projection facilities there must be a workstation, as well as a switchboard, for additional laptops. In summary:
  • high-intensity beamer for main screen -- with switchboard for input
  • multiple beamer(s) -- for side screens and (possibly) exhibition panes
  • audio system -- connected to (beamer) switchboard
It might be interesting to investigate whether a screen such as for example found in the Philips building, Oostelijke Handelskade Amsterdam, could be realized, sponsored by an interested party.

support function(s)

Not necessarily part of the main space, but vital for the actual functioning of the common space are special rooms and facilities for technicians and supervision. These rooms must be visible or at least easily accessible for students, but must for reasons of security and privacy also allow to be closed.
  • technician(s) workplace -- in addition to audio-visual lab
  • supervision -- in corner of main room (portiersloge)
Not included here are workplaces for staff members that might want to do, in addition to supervision and consultancy, also their own research in the Creative Technology Plein.

starage function(s)

As experience with the Industrial Design jaarzalen shows, adequate storage facilities are essential, not only for privacy and security, but also to avoid that the common room and facilities become a big mess. Such facilities include:
  • equipment storage room -- possibly for each track or teacher
  • individual storage -- lockers
  • common storage -- for chairs, movable walls/stands, ...
One solution to the storage of furniture and equipment might be to have movable podia, which do not take visual space from the hall, but have storage space, in accordance with their height.

optional fablab

It might be worthwhile to investigate whether it is possible to incorporate a FabLab ( A fablab a standardized set of desktop-manufacturing equipment (lasercutter, small CNC mill, 3D printer) for making prototypes, 3D models, etc. Fablab provides an open infrastructure and an information network supported by a global community. Space requirements for a fablab amount to a small room for storage and an at least 40 square meters working area.

considerations & tradeoffs

Where openness and flexibility are appealing, a problem presents itself in whether the facilities are scalable to a (growing) number of students and functions. Some caution is also needed with respect to mobile and displacable facilities. Will their actual use justify the investments needed for advanced facilities.

In any case, at this stage of development, we must strive for a scalable solution, using standard furniture and equipment, satisfying the requirements for (the envisaged number of students for) the first two years of Creative Technology. On a structural level, it must be investigated whether it is possible to have full-height separation of parts of the main space, but within the constraints of budget indicated before.

All in all, the Creative Factory building has great potential, and promises to provide an attractive facility for our students, with great visual appeal. In the actual realization of thsi facility, our approach must allow for dynamic growth of the space into its actual use, by finding the opportunities the space allows for, following a methods that in art is known as the rethorics of the material.

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