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Current Projects

Julie Harboe works on a range of transdisciplinary projects. Feel inspired to contribute or engage? Then let's get in touch!

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Innovation Shifts

Pathways for professionals in R&D&I to evolve and situate their imagination and creativity (Also an Expertise format).

Motivated individuals with a research mindset are the corner stone of success for any organisation. However,  present-day atmosphere of stress and budgets, rarely yields space or formats to cultivate individual visions connected to creative professional capabilities.

Based on thorough research the work develops tools to shift the focus from abstract future goals of project management to individual and collaborative interaction. With integrated methodologies it taps into the importance of employee satisfaction. As well as benefiting the individual professional trajectory the process can engage teams and energise the organisational lives of companies.

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Open Collaborative Innovation – 

A Study Book

A 360° model of OCI introduces the diverse tactics of fairness and sharing in research and other forms of open innovation and collaboration.

Co-edited and -authored with Markus Graf the book includes rich guest-contributions and is developed with an interdisciplinary course at HSLU originally initiated by Urs Gaudenz.

The fluid knowledge production of our times is reflected in new forms of creative action and diverse understandings of ownership. 2001 was the year of the Creative Commons, the FabLab Charter, and Wikipedia. All initiatives are based on knowledge sharing.  The OCI study book expands the understanding of the ecology of innovation impacted by the change towards open collaboration. It points to the permeability of diverse institutions, which has become the reality around innovation over the past 20 years. Informal and formal networks in research, and social and industrial innovation processes, as well as enormous global collaborations embracing community and citizen science, are the backbone of this peaceful, open collaborative innovation revolution.

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The New Affluence

With a common goal two projects explore practices for  a meaningful future in building and food. 

SHELL – Small House of Easy Light Living

The small house help us rethink daily practices and use less resources. SHELL is a transdisciplinary project which focusses on getting more from less, on moving from quantity to quality using recycled materials and high tech solutions.

Time to Cook

How do we use the time we cook as a social value, and a way to develop nutritious relationships with friends and family. This is what this collaborative cookbook project will show. It takes time to cook and this time offers much enjoyment.


Drawing Europe

Drawing opens our eyes to a world of insights. 

The benefits of drawing for our mental health, creativity, problem solving, improving memory, connecting to the surroundings, have been scientifically proven. The project promotes and cultivates the human skill of drawing in all its different forms as well as opportunities to develop and communicate knowledge and strengthen Europe’s diverse collective imagination.

Drawing Europe is led by an international group of artists and researchers connected to Europe and seeks to activate this precious psycho-technology, which is right there for all to practice, enjoy and learn from. We initiate drawing sessions, link with other initiatives, curate and enable sharing on a digital platform. The project is in the development phase and we welcome partners.


On Site

A space and landscape for workshops.

The hamlet of Niederrickenbach and its landscape embody future sustainable tourism with a large range of local resources. Here visitors experience a dose of ‘Quiet and Nature’.

The workshop space and library of House Engel offer ideal surroundings to work and then take a break exploring the sound of silence and enjoying the fresh air. On site we also have the exquisite coffee roasters who make a tasty brew, and across from us the hospitable Pilgerhaus serves excellent food. 

Temporary Thought Collective

An afternoon informally enjoying factuality.

Since 2012 Temporary Thought Collectives have gathered smaller and larger groups of professionals interested in informal yet focused exchanges in House Engel in Niederrickenbach.  We meet at 11. on a Sunday and discuss selected themes freely and realistic. We also have a soup, and then we go for a walk. It all inspires to consider how to collaborate on improving our daily professional lives and it is a content based form of socializing. Join via Events

Past Projects

Short introductions to past collaborative projects with some links to relevant articles and sites. Feel free to get in touch for more details.

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Future Living Lab CreaLab 2010-2023

Should all universities build independent interdisciplinary hubs?


In Luzern the Future Living Lab CreaLab examined, showcased, and lived frameworks and methodologies to challenge the status-quo in both education and practice based research. Headed by Prof. Patricia Wolf and Prof. Jens Meissner CreaLab established long-term projects around the focus themes of new work, circular economy, human centered technology, and new learning.

In workshops inside and outside the university and in the CreaLab Summer Schools and Winter Schools, teachers and students developed innovation methods in connection with challenges from industry or research projects. The CreaLab tool offers many of the methods as well as guidelines for workshops. Today is an association of CreaLab members.


FabLab Luzern 2011 - Ongoing

A membrane for hands-on exchange and innovation between university and public. 

FabLab Luzern was founded by CreaLab with support from the Gebert Rüf Foundation. It was Switzerland’s very first official FabLab, adhering to the FabLab Charter and has become part of an ever expanding global network of its open source maker spaces.

Next to facilitating students and the public with machines and expertise, FabLab was also a central tool for CreaLab’s experimental teaching and the basis for new forms of meetings and research forms.


Distributed Business Design Collaboration (DiBuDeCO) 2012-2023

Transformative learning for business students. 

For eleven years a group of lecturers from the transdisciplinary Future Living Lab CreaLab have facilitated a formal teaching module on Organisation Design by Prof. Jens Meissner with an integrated action learning process.

DiBuDeCo was part of the course for first year International Business Administration students at Lucerne School of Business (Hochschule Luzern) and encouraged students' independent creativity and teamwork as they experienced how to prototype, develop, and defend a product idea, and how these processes relate to the life of an organization.


Future Forum Lucerne 2015-2020

A conference with research, action & contents.


Since 2015 CreaLab developed the interdisciplinary un-conference format Future Forum Lucerne. Topics such as ‘The Glocal Revisited’, ‘Projectmanagement Revisited’, ‘Thinking Future, Making Future', ‘Shift your Methods, Shape your Future', ‘More from Less’ offered participants and the challenge givers from a variety of businesses the opportunity to use their competences actively in experimental workshops thinking and acting for the future.

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PlasticTwist 2018-2019

The transdisciplinary EU Horizon 2020 project PlasticTwist developed an ecosystem for plastic-reuse. 

The resulting ‘twist economical model’ is based on a platform which connects recycling projects, innovators and designers, citizen initiatives and industry.  FabLab manager Chris Schürmann's Re-Button was a core didactic tool used in workshops from SDU in Denmark to Tages in Istanbul. The invention turns omnipresent bottle caps into useful buttons.

PlasticTwist was a collaboration between blockchain experts, a diverse group of NGOs, and various academic and maker communities. Our ‘PlasticTalks in Neubad Luzern brought specialists together in an expanded Science Café format.  In general the project showed that the focus on breaking away from plastic is an efficient tool to discuss sustainability and take responsibility for planetary health. As linked above we developed several relevant articles to document the process and support the green transition where cross-sector interaction and becomes essential. PlasticTwist remains a viable solution.


Academic Curating 2016-2017

Interviews, workshop, mapping of a dynamic group of candidates for the artistic doctorate in Helsinki.

In 2016 a project connected and showcased the potential of a large group of doctoral students (most of them in the final years of the work) at Helsinki's Art Academy. They developed a profile for communication, got to know their colleagues’ projects, saw potential synergies, and Tero Heikkinen made the network accessible to the public.

KuVA - the Art Academy of Uniarts Helsinki - has supported artists developing research for doctorates based on their oeuvres for more than 20 years and has turned out an extraordinary mix of doctoral theses.


Size Matters - On Scale and Size of Models 2014-2015

How does the scale of things influence the quality of action? The star of this artistic research project by Prof. Florian Dombois of the Zurich University of the Arts supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation was a model of one of the loveliest scientific tools: the wind tunnel. The tunnel whirled people from art, science and theory together in a 3-year exchange which I accompanied for some time and documented for one of the publications.

The book 'Too Big to Scale' (See Publications) shows how the consequences of scale are essential to our times. Whether it is the world population expanding from 2 billion to 8 billion in 70 years - or all of us devouring an amount of plastic the size of a credit card every week, or the grip of a pandemic, or understanding how de-growth functions. In all cases we need to establish a sense of scale.

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Artistic Research -  2007-2014

A fresh discipline for interfaces between artists' oeuvres and other forms of transformative intellectual practice.

Artistic research has developed inside and outside the international art institutions since early 2000. In 2007 the then Faculty of Fine Arts in Luzern joined the Swiss art universities in establishing a research unit and 2012 we organized the lively international conference "we the public".

The systematic artistic research enabled artists teaching or connected to the Master and PhD programmes to generate new transdisciplinary knowledge. Between 2007 and 2014 the work in Luzern showed how the specificity of the individual artistic position can drive the research. The examples covered arts material research, performativity, art and economy, as well as art and architecture. Julie Harboe was a founding member of both the Swiss Artistic Research Network and SAR See Publications for several articles on the position.

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