Category Archives: Eindhoven

Co-position from scratch

Mark Twains’ design for the title page and dedication of The Surviving Innocent (or: Following the Equator). Image: All rights reserved, The Shapell Foundation

On 5 October the Co-position team will travel from Amsterdam, Brussels and Porto to meet in Eindhoven (NL) at Baltan Laboratories. Co-position is the title of the thread at the Libre Graphics Research Unit focusing on digital tools for lay-out. This particular compartment of the (Libre) graphics toolbox is very much defined through historical practices of printing and heavy with the terminology of movable type. On the one hand tied to the needs of the publishing industry and on the other to pre-press requirements, it is a type of software that is also production driven and oriented on conventional workflows. What if it would be inspired by altogether different practices?

When the Co-position team bravely took up the challenge to rethink lay-out tools from scratch, they realised that they needed to reinvent its vocabulary first. This is what they will make a start with in Eindhoven.

Below is the workshop description so far; more details about how to participate etc. will be published on the website of Baltan Laboratories soon.

Collective co-positioning (a toolbased workshop)

Digital lay-outing tools are path dependent in their way of mimicking the past processes of 600 years of moveable type (and maybe even beyond). Often practice proceeds without extensive critical reflection by practitioners themselves. Practice is spoken of in a ‘living language’ that addresses day to day actions and gestures. To re-dream lay-out practice from scratch, we start with developing a vocabulary of lay-out in order to better understand relations between workflow, material, and medium.

For this workshop we ask participants to bring “spatial arrangement of texts and other graphical elements” they have made or would have liked to have made. These posters, lay-outs, designs can be completely various, trivial, unfinished or imaginary. We’ll work together to analyse these arrangements, their spatial relationships very precisely and find the more broad criteria as possible to describe them. This operation will be the start of a methodology of classification and create the missing vocabulary needed to build the first phase of the Co-position project.

In the evening, we’ll present Co-position in the larger context of the Libre Graphics Research Unit, a collaboration between Medialab Prado (ES), WORM (NL), Piksel (NO), Constant (BE) and others. The Unit is a two year project bringing artists, designers and Free, Libre and Open Source Software developers around the same table to exchange ideas and share experiences about digital tools and future artistic practice.


John Haltiwanger works in programming languages, new media theory, and typographic design software, John strives for a balance between the practical, the aesthetic, and the boundary-breaking.

Pierre Huyghebaert explores several practices around graphic design, he currently drives the studio Speculoos. Pierre is interested in using free sofware to re-learn to work in other ways and collaboratively on cartography, type design, web interface, schematic illustration, book design and teaching these practices. Along participating in OSP, he articulate residential spaces and narratives through the artists temporary alliance Potential Estate and develop collaborative and subjective mapping with Towards and others Brussels urban projects.

Ana Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente run a libre graphics & design research studio based in Porto, actively engaged with design, typography, independent publishing and software culture. Developing innovative design software such as Shoebot and Batch Commander, and co-edit Libre Graphics Magazine. Involved in building up and maintaining Hacklaviva, a hackerspace in the center of Porto. Manufactura Independente brings their expertise in publishing with F/LOSS, generative design plus the development of typographic systems to LGRU. They will host a research meeting in Porto (PT), and participate in research meetings and the Future Tools conference.

and FS :-)