Lab#1 For a Brave New Brussels

Stephanie Pécourt
Christophe de Jaeger

The exhibition For A Brave New Brussels. Artistic vs Technocentric approaches on Smart Cities at MAAT’s featured 9 installations and 2 in situ creations by artists who live and work in Brussels. The works on show each invite the spectator to think critically about the future role of artists in contemporary cities and the potential for a dialogue between the arts and industry.

The main theme of the projects on display was the concept of smart cities. Contemporary cities are magnets that attract growing numbers of people, resources, ideas, opportunities and knowledge. Today, 50% of the world’s population lives in global areas. By 2050, this percentage will have increased to 70%. While the application of new digital technologies in urban spaces has been celebrated for its ability to increase citizens’ well-being, various experiments around the world have revealed how we forget to examine the impact, on various levels, of this digital development in the cities of the future, including on the psychological, ethical, philosophical, social and political level.

For a Brave New Brussels engaged in a social-political discourse that involved citizens and various interest groups on the following question, "What constitutes a desirable smart city in an era of technological revolution?”


Younes Baba-Ali, Christoph De Boeck, Jan De Cock, Pierre-Jean Giloux – LAb[au], Julien Maire, Annemarie Maes, Joanie Lemercier, Beat Streuli, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Frederik De Wilde

Co-production: BOZAR (Brussels), Gluon (Brussels), Stéphanie Pécourt

With the support of: The Government of the Brussels Capital Region, MAAT, The Joint Research Centre