ALEPH is a cross-academic, multi-disciplinary initiative which aspires to connect scholars and students to their research and education in a different way. What distinguishes ALEPH’s approach is its emphasis on philosophy as creative practice in its own right. We favour thinking by doing and experimentation. Philosophy at the universities is more often than not reduced to critical analysis and reproduction of the existing discourse. Philosophy in ALEPH is active, embodied interaction with our environment. Concepts are created in and through the event.

ALEPH’s main goal is to explore the realm of the relational. Originating in the Deleuzian scholarship, the research will depart from what is currently referred to as the Affective Turn. Affect theory is a way of understanding domains of experience which fall outside of (or refuse to fall within) the prevailing paradigm of representation. These experiences are coextensive with our own, yet irreducible to them and as such independent of any signifying instrument. This means ALEPH focuses on what is more commonly known as a paradigm shift. We explore the influence of alternative philosophical and scientific discourse, such as eco-logic, relational thinking, intensive thought, dynamic system theory or quantum mechanics, on art and design.

Artist and designers work with sensation as material. They design affordances (qualities and values) and not only forms (properties and facts). The field of research therefore is demarcated by the intrinsic relation between the medium, affordance and affect. ALEPH does not stop with concepts but continues with experimentation, prototyping and developing your concept into a detailed artwork or design aiming for intellectual craftsmanship.

Working in ALEPH is an intensive experience enabling participants to develop a completely new tool kit for their work based on a research-creation process. A series of lectures, readings, discussions and experimental workshops will be offered on a weekly basis. Participation in the lab is not a passive experience. Working by the principle of give-and-take, all members are asked to contribute what they can and take what they need. The group of researchers will include post-doctoral scholars, PhD- and undergraduate students, all dedicated to sharing their insights and gaining new at the same time. Learn by teaching, teach by learning.

The lab currently resides at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and is organized by the Department of Interactive /Media /Design. All studio’s are organized and taught by artistic-researcher Renske Maria van Dam . In order to secure an interesting variety of theoretical influx to the lab, several partners have been found who are willing and able to contribute in a significant way. We closely collaborate with Marc Boumeester, director of AKI-Artez,  dr. Andrej Radman, Delft University of Technology and dr. Sjoerd van Tuinen, Erasmus University Rotterdam.  Participants are held together by affinity rather than by any structure of membership or institutional hierarchy.

Lab meetings take place at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Students of all departments from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year can join the laboratory in the context of their IST: 6 ECTS