A picture essay

The Plant

The PLANT: Playground and Laboratory for New Technologies serves as a resource for both staff and students seeking support and tools for their digital research and education endeavors. It provides an environment where faculty members are encouraged to explore their ideas freely, unburdened by the apprehension of failure. It is within this intellectual, physical, and technical space that creative thinking is nurtured, and innovative solutions are born.

In essence, The PLANT is akin to a nurturing environment where growth occurs, much like a plant that extends both vertically, in terms of 'height,' and in 'depth.' Similar to the way a plant thrives through essential elements like water, soil, light, and the presence of other plants, the activities within The PLANT depend on interactions among skilled professionals, active learners, (digital) technologies, time, and space. The PLANT fosters a supportive environment for researchers and educators, especially those new to digital technology. We guide them through the learning curve, providing space for experimentation. The goal is to enhance their technological skills, self-sufficiency, and confidence in innovating digital research and education.

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The Plant 1

The PLANT is a collaborative space that encourages playful exploration and innovative ideas to help faculty researchers, educators and students reach their full potential. It fosters a vibrant community focusing on integrating cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, digital storytelling, data engineering, extended reality, and 3D visualisation.




The Plant 7

3D scanning transforms physical objects into digital replicas, preserving and analysing cultural artefacts without physical handling constraints. This technology enhances studies in archaeology, heritage, and design by bridging tangible and virtual worlds. It enables immersive experiences and innovative educational content, enriching the digital research and teaching landscape at FASoS.


The Plant 10

The PLANT embraces the transformative power of 3D printing. This technology serves as a cornerstone for creative exploration and prototyping, offering staff and students the tools to bring their digital models into the physical world. Through 3D printing, ideas are made tangible, allowing for hands-on interaction and further innovation. At The PLANT we are dedicated to exploring the full circle of innovation: from the physical to the digital and back to the physical. 

The Plant 9

Within our collaborative workspace and project meeting zone, known as the Greenhouse, we cultivate innovative interdisciplinary research. This involves group-based, technology-focused research and teaching that yields diverse and unconventional outcomes, including audio-visual creations, such as podcasts.



The Plant 16

Embracing the ethos of critical making and design thinking, The PLANT addresses the specific needs within the humanities and social sciences and contributes to the digitalisation strategy at UM. 

All photos: Arjen Schmitz
Text: Sanne Handels