Imagine a world. Now play in it. Then tell me about it. Invite me to imagine my own world. Now we can both play together, fuse our worlds and tell others about them. We continue playing and telling stories until everyone on Earth is playing and telling stories. Isn't this what all sciences, arts, crafts, sorcery, bureaucracy, wars and friendships are about? Playing games and telling stories about them. Children know it, our pets know it, but as we grow up, we are encouraged to forget that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously. We can 'play games', but not while we work. Work is serious. It is about sweat and tears and backpain and RSI. It's about counting and accounting, ministering and administering, never reaching the elusive moments when we can allow ourselves to be kids again.

At FoAM, we have made a solemn promise to ourselves that play should become a part of work. Play as enjoyment, lightness, performance, entertainment, make-believe, live action, music, movies, games, art, science, parties and magic. Often, we make our visitors laugh, sometimes at themselves. We create temporary environments that we call play-spaces. In these spaces, the rules of play evolve through play itself. The shells of these environments are - as the play within them – lightweight: inflatable, soft, stretched, wearable and sometimes deceiving. We create social situations in which people can rediscover the fun of looking and acting silly, without being judged. We invent stories and characters and make them come to life. Sometimes we even practice a little bit of magic, especially to mark the change of seasons. We organise parties for all ages, where everyone can eat, drink, dance and be merry. With that said, the best way to understand play at FoAM is to come and experience it. Let's play ball... Catch!

related activities

groworld / sym

groWorld's 'sym' trajectory is looking at plants as organisational principles for the culture of the 21st century. It is about transforming cultural experiences, informed and inspired by biological and ecological systems.

sym projects: groworld game, germination x


The word txOom is an amalgam of ‘texture’ and ‘bloom’. As a part of txOom, we produced two environments which were thick, malleable and layered as a texture, elegant and responsive as a bloom.


TGarden is a responsive environment, inspired by calligraphy and scrying. In TGarden, the players' gestures are being transformed into generative computer graphics and digital soundscapes, leaving marks and traces in much the same way as a calligrapher would with brushes and ink.


P~lot or the Play Lab on Open Grown Territories brought together a motley crew of artists, designers, students, theorists and enthusiasts in the tiny Istrian village of Groznjan. P~lot was a workshop designed to examine the 'play' and 'games' as tools for mixing physical and digital realities.


Self-sustaining, lightweight structures for temporary, mobile and wearable architectures.


Exercises in Colloquial Luminescence

'The first corporeal form which some call corporeity is in my opinion light.' -Robert Grosseteste

Mission to the Moon

We are very proud to present our new site, displaying current and future missions, technical info and nice pictures.

related events

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

2005-10-06 19:30 GMT
2005-10-06 21:00 GMT

The world of theoretical Physics was brightened-up by the charming genius of safecracker, drummer, womaniser and Nobel-prise winner Richard Feynman. In an interview with BBC Horizon Feynman explains eloquently how scientific knowledge enriches his perception of beauty and convincingly dismantles the notion of ‘Entzauberung’ as caused by science. This meeting at Foamlab concentrates on the intricacies of creative processes.

Hooggeeeeeerd Publiek!

2006-05-18 19:30 GMT
2006-05-18 23:30 GMT

Sawdust on the floor, in the food and up your clothes in this show at Foamlab Amsterdam. The circus has come to Foamlab inspired by the tiny handcrafted circus by the artist Calder. Today we concentrate on the importance of play in creative practices. Designers, architects, artists and performers come together for a session of make-up and glitter.

ik heb je gezien

2006-03-07 10:00 GMT
2006-04-08 17:00 GMT

A large sheet of paper blocks the view through the window of Foamlab for passers by. Only a funny looking hole provides a glimpse of the world inside. This world sprung forth from the hands of Eva Klee, who returns for a few weeks to Foamlab. She used to have her studio there, but now she is building a town. Her residency is accompanied by a festive meal in the middle of her city, and several occasions for discussions and reflections on the work in progress.


2003-05-22 00:00 GMT
2003-05-25 00:00 GMT

A large orange dome is a theater for flying performances guided by a team of stewardesses. This giant jellyfish is a construction made by the inflatable master Theo Botschuiver. A crowd is managed within the complex. Seated on the second floor of the building, unsuspecting visitors are introduced to the physical reality of flying around the circular room. The stewardesses dressed in uniforms designed by Cocky Eek, only take over in case of an emergency.


2006-08-13 10:00 GMT

In the historical basements of the city of Arnhem Foamlab joins the ‘Made under Arnhem’ festival. In the deep vaults a Japanese dancer and choreographer, Kenzo Kusuda emerges from a wanton heap of fabric, the remnants of the Notsnic satellite. This space capsule plummeted back to Earth after it mysteriously liquefied into a silvery molten drop. Guided only by Notsnic sounds recovered by Theun Karelse, the performer and public discover an ever growing shape as the material is inflated.

Prickles and Goo

2006-05-07 10:00 GMT
2006-05-14 17:00 GMT

A massive spheroid room slowly billows in one of the halls of the Westergas terrain in Amsterdam. Foamlab has joined the Kunstvlaai, a show for artist-initiatives and collectives organized by the Sandberg Institute. Within the bowels of this solitary pneumatic structure a headset is hidden. A recorded statement that is played through the headphones divides people into two groups: prickly people and gooey people. The Kunstvlaai extends over several of the Westergas buildings and into the park around them. A host of organisations show a rich variety of experiments and works there.

New beginnings...

2008-06-20 20:00 Europe/Brussels

At the height of the summer solstice*, we have a couple of exciting things to celebrate at FoAM in Brussels. A few months ago, we moved into a wonderful new space & we'd like to open its doors to our friends on midsummer night. We have also been busily redesigning our website and will launch it sometime during the solstice celebrations at

f0amfr0th01: Litha

2003-07-21 07:01 Europe/Brussels

"There is no night in my land.... it is forever summer's twilight" -- Lady Titania

Bitesize Lecture with Adrian Hon

2007-10-16 19:00 Europe/Brussels
2007-10-16 21:00 Europe/Brussels

FoAM and the Guild for Reality Integrators and Generators organised a talk by Adrian Hon, on Alternate Reality Games (ARG), collaborative fiction, puppetmasters, backstories and other tools for playful reality generation.

200705 Research Gathering with Tale of Tales

2006-05-23 00:00 Europe/Brussels

Drama Princess
On autonomous characters in virtual environments

Drama Princess is a research project by Tale of Tales (Auriea Harvey & Michael Samyn). The 'Drama Princess' herself should become a software module for autonomous characters, reusable in different realtime 3D environments and situations. The characters should have a strong dramatic impact and a range of emotional effects, rather than be correct recreations of human lifeforms.

40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moonlanding

2009-07-21 00:00 GMT+2

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, the Foamlab astronaut team will be re-enacting this historic event at the Space Expo centre that belongs to the ESA (European Space Agency) in Noordwijk. The event possibly will be shown by live-stream video to Museum Boerhave, Lange St. Agnietenstraat 10 in Leiden, The Netherlands.

Groworld at Silicon Hackney

2009-09-10 18:30 GMT+1
2009-09-10 21:00 GMT+1

A talk on groWorld and a demonstration of the current incarnation of the game.

SpaceCode1: Planetarium livecoding

2009-09-20 18:00 GMT+1
2009-09-20 21:00 GMT+1

slub and wrongheaded livecode in a planetarium

'In space, everyone can see your screen',
'Oh my God, it's full of syntax errors',
'It came from out a space bar'

Animation and Livecoding workshop

2009-09-22 18:00 GMT+1
2009-09-22 22:30 GMT+1

Animation and Livecoding through Fluxus with Dave Griffiths and Evan Raskob


2009-10-16 19:00 GMT+1
2009-10-16 22:00 GMT+1

More info here.


gRig Froesjels

2009-10-29 18:00 Europe/Brussels
2009-10-31 23:59 Europe/Brussels

FoAM, nadine & gRig (the Guild for Reality Integrators and Generators) a society of people exploring the realities emerging from mixing art, science and technology, organise gRig Froesjels, a celebration of mixed realities and the Guild's annual meeting.

During the last three days of October 2009, the Guild will host a public gathering, gRig Froesjels, a chance to encounter gRig members, funders & fans, as well as experience some of the Guild's works.

Marching Rocks Gloves & Code

2009-10-24 19:00 GMT+1
2009-10-25 00:00 GMT+1

Chip Tune Marching Band, Jamie Allen's circuitMusic, PixelH8, Jo Kazuhiro, Will Schrimshaw & Nick J Williams, Adam Parkinson, The Cane Toad Orchestra and Dave Griffiths.

I'll be doing 8bit acid assembler livecoding accompanied by audience participation gamepad robot livecoding.

The Future of the Lab

2009-11-30 13:15 GMT+2
2009-12-02 13:15 GMT+2

"The Future of the Lab will provide opportunities for discussion and engagement with a diverse range of professionals on three layers: expert meetings for invited international guests from art and technology labs across Europe and beyond, as well as a number of Dutch labs; an afternoon bringing in local, regional and national participants from a diversity of sectors; and a programme for the general public on Monday, November 30.

Livecoding at Kings College Anatomy Museum

2010-01-14 19:00 GMT
2010-01-14 21:00 GMT

Live coding dissections by Michele Pasin, Wrongheaded, Thor Magnusson, Slub and Evan + Jag at Kings College Anatomy Museum on the 14th of January, more info at:

groworld at Postflux

2009-11-07 00:00 Europe/Brussels

Maja Kuzmanovic presents groWorld and gRig, talks about play, storytelling and scrying at the Post Flux conference in Brussels.

Research Gathering with Alex, Ali and Luka

2010-02-12 16:00 Europe/Brussels
2010-02-12 20:00 Europe/Brussels

Please join FoAM's first family in residence, Alex, Ali and Luka, for a farewell afternoon tea.

They will be presenting the prototype of their robotic au pair (Robaupair) and sharing some ideas on the creative possibilities of parenthood.

Summary of the residency findings:

'The Sound of Gesture' by Stevie Wishart

2010-12-09 19:30 Europe/Brussels
2010-12-09 22:30 Europe/Brussels

Launch of CD/DVD of 'The Sound of Gesture', by Stevie Wishart.

Sound and Taste Workshop

2011-04-18 00:00 Europe/Brussels
2011-04-20 00:00 Europe/Brussels

The workshop organized by Filemon at the youth center " A place to live" in Laeken and guided by Bram (Aifoon) and Rasa (FoAM)
was introducing different tastes and sounds by association methods.
The children involved created visual expressions of different edible ingredients and sounds that surround us. They correlated tastes and sounds in order to create an imaginary edible neighborhood.

The 7 young participants kids started their first session blind folded, smelling and tasting different vegetable extracts and ingredients.

Alternate Reality Games: tutorial

2011-10-04 10:00 Europe/Brussels
2011-10-05 18:00 Europe/Brussels

FoAM in Brussels hosts a two-day tutorial on creating Alternate Reality Games, facilitated by Adrian Hon & Matt Wieteska of Six to Start.

Where: FoAM, Koolmijnenkaai 34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium
When: 4th and 5th October 2011, 10:00 - 18:00
Costs: 30 EUR per person (contribution for 2 meals and materials)

As places are limited, if you'd like to participate please send a short bio and your motivation to by the 28th September 2011.

||||||||||||| About the tutorial:

related articles

Previous Public Events 2007

Current Events | calendar

200711 research gathering with Boo Chapple on Rat's Tales and Bodies of Water. 30 November 2007, 12:00 - 18:00, FoAM Lab, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium.

Previous Pulic Events 2006

Current Events | calendar

None of the above. Open Lab, research gathering, performances, screenings, presentations, business as usual. 09-16 December 2006, Recyclart, Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2005

Current Events | calendar

Alive or dead?, bite size lectures by biologically inspired artists Angelo Vermeulen and Catherine Watling. 01 December 2005, 20:00, FoAM Lab, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium

software: realtime animation, Master class and open lab lead by Dave Griffiths and Nik Gaffney. 13-17 December 2005, FoAM Lab, Koolmijnenkaai 30-34, B-1080 Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2004

Current Events | calendar

lunch-time lectures: choice, Danica Kuzmanovic on Psychological needs, behaviours and communicative co-existence, 17 December 2004, FoAM Lab, Brussels, Belgium

TRG open lab 02, presenting the latest developments in the TRG media systems and the results of the responsive environments workshop, November-December 2004, FoAM Lab, Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2003

Current Events | calendar

evolve: Minutiae, exhibition of Catherine Walting on evolution of micro organisms on microscopic and holographic media, 18-21 December 2003, /foam/tmp/ on Kanaal 20, Brussels, Belgium

f0amfr0th04: KREV de-auguration of the Temporary Embassy 13 December 2003, /foam/tmp/ on Kanaal 20, Brussels, Belgium

Previous Pulic Events 2002

Current Events | calendar

WEAR ME, txOom presentation, Future Physical Network Exchange, 05 - 08 December 2002, Norwich, UK

txOom, responsive environment, 30 November - 08 December 2002, Great Yarmouth, UK

txOom public education project, txOom audience research, 25-29 November 2002, Great Yarmouth, UK

Previous Pulic Events 2001

Current Events | calendar

Creative Research @ FoAM , RADICAL Conference, December 2001, Paris, France

Le corps et son autre, CIVA, November 2001, Brussels, Belgium

FoAM , Ways of Working Study Day, November 2001, London, UK

Previous Pulic Events 2000

Current Events | calendar

Transforma[c]tion, FOAM presentation at the Starlab Event, December 2000, Brussels, Belgium

Future Moves - Time Tracking workshop, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, November 2000, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

T-Garden, Medi@terra Art Gallery, November 2000, Athens, Greece

Tale of Tales: Visual programming for artists

How do artists want to create software? What environments already exist? What new directions are needed?

Tale of Tales will explore these questions in a dedicated workshop.

related pages

The Libarynth

The ever-growing Libarynth is exactly what its name implies – a hybrid between a library and a labyrinth, a maze of pages in various stages of completion. FoAM's collaborators and friends use the Libarynth as their research diary, sketch-book, or activity log. Some pages are valuable references, on a variety of topics; from visual programming, to inflatables and even vegetarian-friendly restaurants around the world. Others are fully-fledged research reports, or concept documents.


A biologically-centered toolkit for a resilient Stockholm