Horst Labs

The formula of Horst had stayed untouched for some years. It consisted of a festival and an exhibition, located at the site of the Horst castle. But with the relocation to ASIAT, it felt right to switch things up and add a new dimension to the festival: Horst Lab. Horst staff member Eva Nowe told us what it’s all about, and why you should definitely apply for this fascinating experience.

Interview by Dennis Meersman


Over a 100 participants will work on a project that reaches its outcome during the festival or the exhibition

What’s the goal of Horst Labs?
We want to install a platform for young creatives to experiment, co-create and develop their talents in different disciplines. Together with an inspiring team of influential creatives, pioneers and even outcasts, over a 100 participants from all backgrounds will work on a specific project that reaches its outcome during the festival or the exhibition. These coaches will inspire the next generation of young creatives to unlock new frontiers and unravel their own talent. We realised that there’s a gap between academic graduation and the job market. Through these programs, which function as in-between moments, we want to close that gap for those who need it.

Architecture Lab


During a 10 day period 20 international participants will work on the construction of a very unique and experimental stage together with Fala Atelier from Porto. It’s very similar to what we did last year with Atelier Bow-Wow. It gave us the idea to kick off the Labs for other topics as well. We’re looking for students, architects, craftsmen and -woman, artists, painters, and woodworkers who have a connection with architecture, materiality, construction, and graphics.

Music Lab


The Music Lab list of coaches is already pretty extensive. We invited Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, who is the co-founder of the Brooklyn-based agency Discwoman, just to name one. Closer to home we have the editor in chief of The Word, Nicholas Lewis, and music programmer Gilke Vanuytsel from Beursschouwburg. The goal of the Music lab is to think about the state of the current electronic musical landscape and how will it progress in the upcoming 15 years. The participants will be going into dialogue with leading professionals about their visions, worries, challenges and opportunities through workshops. This lab is meant for young, enterprising music lovers who like to be challenged and be inspired to do better, to make a change in the current musical landscape. We’re really looking for DIY music activists.

Design Lab


This Lab will experiment with the idea of the ‘souvenir’ across multiple contexts, exploring the conceptual space in which ‘high culture’ meets ‘low culture’. We’re working with the Berlin design bureau HelloMe. What they do isn’t obvious because a design bureau is often or very arty, or very commercially oriented. HelloMe works at the intersection of art, culture and commerce and looks for a perfect mix without compromising the creative process. We are looking for a mix of profiles with a creative background. A design or art background is required, so candidates could be bachelor students or graduates in graphic, textile, product, fashion, type or art for example.

Art Lab

The Art Lab is divided in 3 labs, working around 3 different topics. This gives us the freedom go and select people with a matching interest, but also to keep infusing the exhibition with the different outcomes of the Labs. By doing so, the Art Labs and exhibition stay in dialogue with each other and keep affecting each other. The plan is to intensively elaborate on a certain subject during one day, something that is closely linked to the DNA of Horst and that has to do with the long-term development of ASIAT, with a broad contemporary art frame. The first Lab for instance, is about the symbiosis between art and club culture: how they influence each other, and how this relation manifests in an urban environment.  The second one is about the transformation and relocation of ASIAT, where all labs will take place and which is the new hub of Horst. It’ll be about community building in an urban environment. The third lab’s about art as an instrument for societal dialogue.

At the end of the road, you’ll have teamed up with like-minded people

Why should you apply for the Horst Labs?
We offer a short and intense course, with coaches that inspire and know what they’re doing. The participants will work very goal-oriented, to finish a final product. That’s the great thing about it all: you participate in every stage of the process. At the end of the road, you’ll have teamed up with like-minded people to work on a beautiful product that will have its outing during the festival or the exhibition. It’s an experience you’ll take along with you in your future career.

What played a role in the selection of the coaches?
We want to work with coaches who do things that might seem out of the ordinary. It has become a very international group of coaches, since we also expect this from our participants. We paid attention to what these coaches have achieved; people that are strong in a conceptual way but have realised very ambitious projects at the same time. They’re names you wouldn’t expect in a classic interpretation of the topics we work around, and who’ll pull the participants out of their comfort zones.

What are the requirements for the participants?
In general, we expect the participants to have a proven interest and affiliation with the topic they apply for. Above all, the Labs meant for people who have a strong love for one of the topics and long to be involved in the evolution of it. We’re looking for people with a global perspective, who have a passion for learning, sharing, collaborating. But the requirements differ for each lab, of course. We want to motivate people to participate and to be clear about for who the labs are meant. Of course we want to scout very precisely, but that doesn’t mean people without a lot of experience aren’t welcome. The goal is to develop talent and to be an accelerator of the growth of a creative talent. It has to be an accessible learning moment.

More info on the Labs and applications can be found on www.horstartsandmusic.comApplications run until 30 June.

13-15 Sept – ASIAT, Kerkhofstraat 1, Vilvoorde
Subbacultcha members get a 50% discount on tickets until the 15th of June, until midnight. Mail us at and we’ll get back to you with a special code to buy your discounted ticket online.