For some years I have together with my colleagues used the design lab as a shorthand description of open collaborations between many stakeholders sharing a mutual interest in design research in a particular field. We see the design:lab as a suitable and coherent format for design research organized as a participatory inquiry. Initially we did not put too much thought into calling this format a laboratory, and many colleagues have reacted to the label as foreign and awkward to design. In this article I will develop what I see as useful in this label, namely the emphasis on a transparent, delimited process that is potentially scaleable.

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