About us

Alt­Lab is a col­lec­tive ded­i­cated to inde­pen­dent research and exper­i­men­ta­tion in alter­na­tive media. Com­mu­nity-based and com­mu­nity-build­ing by nature, it seeks to pro­mote active par­tic­i­pa­tion, knowl­edge shar­ing, and col­lab­o­ra­tion among indi­vid­u­als such as artists, pro­gram­mers, engi­neers,  hob­by­ists, sci­en­tists, and all those who wish to freely explore cre­ative and eman­ci­pa­tory uses of tech­nol­ogy. Just like many other hack­er­spaces which have emerged all over the world in recent years, Alt­Lab has also been founded on the notions of software/hardware libre and the belief in col­lec­tive inde­pen­dent plat­forms for open and active knowl­edge-shar­ing and exper­i­men­ta­tion.

In Feb­ru­ary 2009, a small group, under the umbrella of Audiên­cia Zero, joined efforts to cre­ate Alt­Lab with the fol­low­ing objec­tives: Build stronger com­mu­nity ties by gath­er­ing dis­perse cells of researchers, artists, and DIY­ers around a com­mon and open plat­form; Pro­vide a shared phys­i­cal space for exper­i­men­ta­tion, test­ing, and devel­op­ment of new objects and con­cepts (rang­ing from robot­ics to soft­ware to art to con­cep­tual research); Share knowl­edge, sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tive work, and col­lec­tively push the bound­aries of DIY cre­ativ­ity; Estab­lish part­ner­ships and syn­er­gies within and across the bor­ders with other col­lec­tives that share sim­i­lar goals and ideals. To achieve these goals Alt­Lab:

Pro­vides a col­lec­tive work­space;

Orga­nizes, on a reg­u­lar basis, pub­lic work­shops, con­fer­ences, paper pre­sen­ta­tions, exhi­bi­tions, talks, debates, etc.;

Offers open lab days where all inter­ested indi­vid­u­als are wel­come to join us with the pur­poses of: just learn­ing about the project, pre­sent­ing pro­pos­als and ideas, work­ing with us;

Con­sis­tently expands the col­lec­tive by accept­ing new mem­bers and col­lab­o­ra­tors as well as estab­lish­ing part­ner­ships with other orga­ni­za­tions;

Main­tains a high level of open­ness and flex­i­bil­ity to insure that AltLab’s projects and activ­i­ties will be lim­ited only by the com­mit­ment and enthu­si­asm of those involved and may be eas­ily extended beyond these ini­tial activ­i­ties.

The founders…

Cata­rina Mota
PhD can­di­date, fel­low of FCT-MCTES, cofounder of openmaterials.org and fabriculture.org

Tiago Hen­riques
media devel­oper, film pro­ducer, tech geek and spele­ol­ogy & moun­taineer­ing addicted.

Guil­herme Mar­tins
designer, dig­i­tal artist, techno addict and fas­ci­nated by exper­i­men­tal robot­ics.

Mónica Mendes
inter­face designer, mul­ti­me­dia edu­ca­tor and enthu­si­as­tic researcher of real-time video for sus­tain­abil­ity and artis­tic exper­i­men­ta­tion.

Ricardo Webbens
artist, i’m inter­ested in cir­cuit bend­ing, audio and video plat­forms, diy instru­ments and con­trollers, music and every form of exper­i­men­tal ideas.


Coordinator — July 2011 ~ July 2013

Mauri­cio Mar­tins
Maker of Things, Tin­kerer, and Open Source advo­cate. Works mainly as Col­lab­o­ra­tive Project Devel­oper focused on DIY Exper­i­men­ta­tion with Elec­tron­ics, Phys­i­cal Com­put­ing and Dig­i­tal Fab­ri­ca­tion.


Coordinator — July 2013 ~ Dec 2014

Rui Marcelino
Inde­pen­dent Robotic Solu­tions Devel­oper


Current Coordinator — Jan 2015 ~ …

Vini­cius Silva
Comu­ni­ca­tion and Pro­duc­tion Designer