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You don’t need to be a visionary to see that humanity faces huge challenges. They are seen and recognized by governments, NGOs, industry and citizens. They all agree on these challenges, still it is remarkable and frustrating that change is going slowly due to the wickedness of the problems. Many of these so-called grand challenges have similar characteristics: they are multi-stakeholder by nature, they cross the private and public domains. There is often a lack of an enchanting vision, there is a big restraint towards experimenting and they lack clear ownership. The only way to tackle these problems is to look at all levels and especially at a system and organization level. In the lab we have the ambition to create visions and prototyping solutions. 

The Delft University of Technology believes in a knowledge driven approach, collaborating with all stakeholders, trusting creativity and acting courageous. The lab has kicked-off with a collaboration with the Netherlands Red Cross: How to innovate humanitarian aid. At this moment the lab also collaborates with the Dutch Police and the SWK Group, an organisation that deals with childcare, care, community work and education. 

The Big Picture lab contributes to research in the field of smart concepts that bring together the interests of all stakeholders involved. It involves research in the field of meaningful interactions, ownership and system thinking.

Societal and/or economic relevance

The raison d’être of the Big Picture Lab lies in social and societal challenges. It is the main objective to do research and to develop ideas in the field of different topics. We strive for long lasting relationships with organisation in the public-private domain.  

Student opportunities

The Big Picture Lab project wants ambitious students that want to contribute to the greater good. We are looking for great team players with strong analytical and conceptual skills, strong characters who can argue and debate their insights within an unruly context. To meet the challenges of the future, we need students who dare to explore different ways and at the same time capable of lighting the way. They must be idealistic enough to bring real change and be pragmatic enough to realise it. We believe it is important every idea gets tested in real life.

At this moment we’re focussing on graduation projects that are part of a bigger, ongoing project. We strive for pivoting the lab by using insights of every project and process to improve the next ones. Projects in the Design Labs may run for a longer period. Several students will work simultaneously and subsequently on the topic whereas the project lead – a researcher or professor from the faculty – will take care of the coherence. The students will work on a project within a team of other graduates and researchers until their part reaches an end. Then every graduate should pass their learnings onwards to their successors. The lab will feed itself.

Lab Director
Jeroen  van Erp

Prof. ir. Jeroen van Erp