As a space devoted to production, Medialab Prado focuses on projects’ initial phases: on their prototyping. To prototype is to put ideas into practice; it’s the moment when ideas materialise in an initial functional version. To prototype alongside others is to give rise to a context of exchange of knowledge and skills in order to overcome a collective problem. The participants that meet to collaborate with each other may have very different backgrounds, and this mixed bag of know-how enables complex and very diverse projects to be developed. In some projects the artistic has a more intense role, while in others technology or science predominate. Some projects are educational and others are more activist in nature, but all of them are distinguished by including and requiring a range of know-how as they are being developed. These collaborative prototyping processes create community.
Prototyping processes are channelled through open calls for participation in collaborative prototyping workshops. The methodology of these workshops consists of forming interdisciplinary work groups to focus on various proposals selected via open call, composed of the person or people initially responsible for the proposal and all of the people interested in collaborating, who receive conceptual and technical advice from a team of guest experts with varying backgrounds.
References “About.” Medialab Prado. 2019. Ayuntamiento de Madrid. https://www.medialab-prado.es/en/medialab/more-info/about.