Digital culture has emerged as digital networked technologies infiltrate almost all aspects of society. These technologies — from computing devices, databases, protocols and algorithms to the online environment of the Web itself — have transformed design processes, their underlying production systems and geopolitical and economic contexts. They produce images, objects, and spaces; they are media and infrastructure, working material, instrument, site-condition and agent all at once.

In spite of its relentless speed of development, digital culture is always bound up with speculation on the roles of digital tools and networks. It is best understood through experiment and demonstration, combined with a close reading of emerging information systems.

The distributed nature and ubiquitous accessibility of contemporary media have made interaction and participation key processes in digital culture. Hybrid and cross-disciplinary practices are an inevitable consequence. At the same time, online platforms, big data and algorithms are producing new echo chambers and modes of distribution that call for critical evaluation. Dialogue, artistic reflection and practice-oriented research are essential if we are to understand and engage with socio-political, cultural and economic aspects of a society that has become networked by default.

Het Nieuwe Instituut continues to explore the challenges and potential of algorithmic culture and governance, the politics of big data, automation and artificial intelligence, the ‘platformisation’ of infrastructures, digital archiving and digital publishing. In collaboration with cultural producers, designers and theorists it seeks a more nuanced understanding of the conditions and effects of emerging technologies and radical innovations, beyond the cult of progress.

Partnerships include: V2_, Piet Zwart Institute, MA Experimental Publishing, New Media and Digital Culture Dept., University of Utrecht, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Random Studio, City of Eindhoven, TU Eindhoven,TU Delft Robotics Institute.

Digital culture, architecture and design are three embedded traditions of design practice and cultural discourse. In the Netherlands, each discipline emerged from a well-defined heritage including a specific territory of intervention and a set of practical and conceptual tools. Yet as living practices, the three disciplines have interwoven and produced new hybrids in response to technological change, economic forces and societal questions. Het Nieuwe Instituut is dedicated to exploring digital culture as both a discipline in its own right and as part of a post-disciplinary cultural context.