Welcome to the EPFL+ECAL Lab


The design research centre creating impact from emerging technologies

Rethinking innovation

Scientific performance and emerging technologies can radically change our outlook on the world. But how can they provide significant benefits for humans and the planet? How can we create innovation with sustainable impact for citizens, the environment and the economy? Health, education, social connections, living spaces, work, media, culture; we need to work on building a better life for everyone, creating things that matter. Many important innovative periods in history, from the Renaissance to the decentralisation of the digital world, have been pushed by a close collaboration between science, technology, creativity and culture.

Inside the lab © EPFL+ECAL Lab/Matthieu Croizier
Inside the lab (image © EPFL+ECAL Lab / Matthieu Croizier)
  • 1

    Human challenges first.

    Successful innovation is driven by adoption. It means considering what people will experience, their needs and their subjective perceptions. With our partners, we start from this perspective and then use emerging technologies to create disruptive, impactful and sustainable outcomes.

  • 2

    Creating together.

    Transdisciplinarity is more than just adding disciplines, it involves combining various forms of creativity, knowledge and practices. The EPFL+ECAL Lab has developed a unique methodology to address this, engaging partners and end‑users with its core team of designers, engineers and social scientists.

  • 3

    Understanding the context and the challenge.

    The lab’s process involves a deep investigation of context and a sensitive understanding of the people who will be affected by our designs. We also look to build on existing knowledge from the academy and industry. This allows us to enrich creativity by bringing in multiple perspectives and approaches.