The Ideal Lab has operated as a research through design program in the period 2010-2017. Through five themes based on social issues, 52 Agents have used a common process based on trust, doubt, ethics and empathy, to produce 40 works of art and design. Ideal lab have worked with municipalities and local communities in four cities in Norway and France and exhibited the results in a dedicated exhibition touring Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, Le Cité du Design et de la Mode, Paris, Saint-Nazaire, Florø, Kraft, Bergen and at the Oslo Architecture Triennial. The issues researched: Senior wave (Longer Participation), Food waste (Precious Food), Empathic neighbourhoods (Empathic Home), Inclusive identity (Replanted Identity and Tøyen Replanted) are themes that can not be closed and deserve further investigation.
Ideal Lab was created in 2009 by Birgitta Ralston and Alexandre Bau as a desire to push further the cross competent collaboration between art and design, started in the Cycle of Mutation program, towards social problematics. They saw ethics and social engagement as crucial to a relevant design practice. The first years, Ideal Lab was dedicated to the location of the Transplant design centre and the community Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway. Since 2018, Ralston & Bau studio is located in Lystgården in Bergen. The Idealist movement is using the ideas and methods from Ideal Lab in the local contexts and action fields of the movements partner institutions.
Birgitta Ralston & Alexandre Bau, Ralston & Bau Bergen, Norway
Béatrice Josse, director, Magasin des Horizons CNAC Grenoble, France
Ambra Trotto, Studio Director, RISE The Pink Umeå, Sweden
Anthony Quinn, Head of Ceramics, Central Saint-Martins London, UK
Eva Gonzales-Sancho, Maker & Co-Curator, Oslo Pilot Oslo, Norway