The Post-Labouratory is an answer to the rapid automation of labour and the resulting cultural crisis. It liberates us from the idea of the necessity of labour and supports us in discovering our true desires. It offers participants the possibility to abolish their job by developing a robot that does their labour with the engineering help of post-labour companions.

For the documentation of human skills, knowledge, tools and experiences the working process of each participant is recorded. This documentation feeds the development of the robots but is also stored in the database of the Post-Labouratory.

Through the abolition of their labour, the participants can explore a post-labour future. The post-labour companions assist the participants to reconsider their desires during individual sessions. The creative action of making and discussions about work, leisure and life enables this passage. The Post-Labouratory claims that the quality of automating technology increases if the specialists – people working in the job to be automated – take an active part in the development of the robot. During the development process the robot becomes the apprentice of the participant.

The Post-Labouratory combines the skills of the participants and the post- labour companions that include design, engineering and social sciences. The Post-Labouratory supports the transition of workers into non-workers and the building of a post-labour future.

Nominated for the Gijs Bakker Award 2017


First projects of the Post-Labouratory

00000001 TAW by Veronique


00000002 TCD by Wil


00000003 TWF by Sjors



Labour means everything to us. It is so deeply embedded in our culture that it seems dangerous to question it. At the same time, we are facing a rapid automation of labour that forces us to re-think the common purpose, value and social organisation of labour. It allows us to create a transition from labour to work, from an activity we mainly sell in order to satisfy our basic needs in terms of food and shelter towards an activity we deliberately choose for benefits such as social interaction, participation and self-development. The main challenge of this transition is to overcome our poverty of desire. We must discover what we would like to do with our free time if we no longer had to work in order to satisfy our basic needs.

Liberate from labour, free to work! My research aims to explore the transformation of labour. I am interested in the progress of automation, its foreseen impact on society and the chance to turn it into an opportunity for cultural change. Why is the abolition of labour desirable and how could it allow us to overcome existing power structures and the alienation of labour, our day-to-day activity? Let’s explore a post-labour future, the tools to generate the said transition, and possible responses to the emerging cultural and social difficulties.


Design Academy Eindhoven

Collaboration with Mathijs de Jong, Veronique N., Wil v. Z. and Sjors v. B.

Photo: Femke Reijerman