CitizenLab, Photo: Ars Electronica / Magdalena Sick-Leitner


At the CitizenLab, we examine the question of what it means to participate as a citizen in our societal context and become active in designing a smart and sustainable way of life.

Every day we read in the news about the numerous challenges and problems facing our world — be they ecological, social, regional or global. Of course there are many professionals in different fields trying to raise awareness of these problems and solve them. However, you don’t have to be a scientist, journalist or politician to achieve something in your environment.

What does it mean to be a thoughtful citizen? What can I personally do to help shape the world around me? And how do other communities get involved in society? These are the very questions CitizenLab is here to address. It also presents several examples of people and initiatives that show how many possibilities there are for becoming active in a wide variety of areas: from the young climate activists in the Fridays for Future movement, to critical investigation and research platforms such as Bellingcat, to reflections on new forms of environmental awareness and environmental practice, the lab is a place to delve into the world of societal engagement.

With respect to current issues that affect us all in some way, it is important to explore new practices at the intersection of the many actors and institutions — such as citizens, politicians, and scientists.


  • Akustischer Wassersensor

    Akustischer Wassersensor

    The conductivity of liquids depends on how many ions they have. The resistance can be measured acoustically with this water sensor.

  • Citizen Participation Wall

    Citizen Participation Wall

    The Citizen Participation Wall serves as an ongoing, continually expanding collection of statements, wishes, and suggestions from all visitors to the Ars Electronica Center.

  • Fridays for Future

    Fridays for Future

    Fridays for Future is a global movement of students who support climate protection.

  • Google Maps Hacks

    Google Maps Hacks

    Simon Weckert (DE)

    99 secondhand smartphones are transported in a handcart to generate a virtual traffic jam in Google Maps. Through this activity, it is possible to turn a green street red which has an impact in the physical world by navigating cars on another route to avoid being stuck in traffic.

  • OpenAir


    The OpenAir project aims to link the topic of air quality in Linz with open hardware, open source, and open data.

  • Project Alias

    Project Alias

    Bjørn Karmann, Tore Knudsen

    Alias is a teachable “parasite” designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both in terms of customisation and privacy.

  • Smart Citizen

    Smart Citizen

    Fab Lab Barcelona

    The project empowers citizens to gather information on their environment and make it available to the public.

  • WLAN-Sniffer


    With some software and a reasonably priced module, this simple people counter took only a short time to build.

  • Zukunft.Menschen.Rechte


    Amnesty International

    With its focus on Zukunft.Menschen.Rechte (Future.Human.Rights), Amnesty International Austria is addressing the future issues of human rights in the digitalized world.