::: Flanders Addicts ::: Platform for, on & by the Flemish creative region
::: the need for accelerators
by Jan Van Mol
publisher & creative director
I have the privilege of being able to be in contact with people I consider to have great minds.
They come in all different forms - educated minds,
creative minds, not-so educated minds, all being
true specialists in their fields.
Creativity is a state of mind, not just a mere
coincidence of working in a sector like design,
photography or -god forbid- art.
Creativity, thus, by definition, cannot be seen as
elitist or inaccessible.
Isn't a creative approach to life proof of human
intellectual power? Homo erectus had a fin-desiecle
hangover, homo conceptus has entered
The most interesting things happen when those
minds step outside of their known territory, and
mingle. That makes us, at Ad!dict, able to benchmark
our way from the fashion scene through to
marketing, over to artists and cooks, to designers
It becomes even more interesting when those
creative minds get together and form a hub.
Thatís where things start happening.
When formatted well, it creates zest within the
community at hand.
Virtual communities (with many thanks to the
internet) will turn into flesh. Communities, hubs,
networks: weíre at the eve of a new renaissance.
In life and in work, itís all about paradigm shifting,
or true out-of-the-box thinking.
This paradigm shifting needs a sort of structure,
a methodology. To enable growth, any creative
scene - be it virtual, local or global- needs
accelarators. Not only as sources of inspiration,
since true creatives worthy of that name will
discover those on their own. No, all creative
resources should benefit from accelerators: to
give them a kick-start, so that their talent is
supported, facilitated, and -in the best casebrought
to the next level.
When implementing this within a local scene like
Flanders, you start realising the importance of
creative resources: from an educational point of
view, this is spiritually enriching.
But also of great significance is a clear economical
perspective. Accelerators and the creative scene
can create an almost instantaneous positive
effect at an economical level.
The more neutral the accelerator is, the more
the people and companies are able to utilise its
formats and software. But thatís where the
efficiency of a government and a creative scene
collide. Structure creativity and it loses its freedom.
And that is exactly what the ambition of FL::AD
needs to address: become an accelerator.
We have been testing-out the methodology for
this for about six years now and that hasnít been
so obvious to achieve. Our goal should be our
mutual goal. Discovering Flemish creative talent,
giving it the different platforms it deserves,
creating a positive vibe within the region, and
promoting the region on an (inter)national level.
Altogether a rather multifaceted task.
But thatís what this is:
Branding the region of Flanders.
On the magazine you're holding:
1. You do not want to know the timeframe in
which we made this FL::AD #01.
Or maybe you do, which would shed some light
on the enormous drive and commitment from
everyone involved in this project.
2. Do (not) criticize. Of course you have your
personal opinion about what we're trying to do.
But the floor is yours too (refer to point number 6).
3. Concerning the selection of people and projects,
the departure point is our lab member structure.
People who register(ed) on our website and use
(abuse, in some cases, but even that serves its
purpose) the different platforms we offer.
These creative resources have understood our
accelerator-vision. If you would like to join in,
I can only invite you to step into that process.
4. The structure of FL::AD is far from that of our
own in-house publications Ė those that we call
our Ad!dict inspirational books.
For FL::AD we wanted to emphasize the laboratory
function, the most important aspect - the framework,
so we divided this magazine into different
sections. These are based on our creative table
(refer to the inside cover), and clearly identifiable
as creative disciplines.
Additional to this are the Brand Lab pages, showing
and explaining projects in terms of what happens
if you tap into the chemistry between disciplines.
And finally, there is a selection of lab members
presented along with all their contact data, so
that the creative talent becomes tangible and this
magazine becomes a business tool too.
5. Distrust is the Achilles heel for accelerators.
6. We are frustrated at having only been able to
print so few pages, as there is so much more to
show and tell.
7. There will be a second edition of FL::AD in July.
Jan Van Mol
Brand Lab researcher
publisher of FL::AD