Business Case Study: Exclusive interview with teamLab (1)
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
teamLab is an international art collective with members from around the world.
Mung7Art highly appreciates teamLab taking the time to give us some business insights behind their successful business model.
teamLab’s unique “teaming”
Your name suggest “teamwork” as central to the success of a collaborative art collective.
How do you manage and align the different interests of a variety of creative talents?
Ever since the founding of teamLab, we’ve decided to create through the process of collaborative creation as a collective. teamLab is a laboratory by a team, a place where the team experiments, a place for experimental creations.
teamLab’s creativity is based on ‘multidimensionality,’ where members with different specialties create together by crossing their boundaries, as well as their ‘transferable knowledge,’ a type of knowledge that can be shared and reused.
As a result, teamLab generates what we call 'collective creation', the creation of something of higher quality by a group, thus strengthening an entire team.
An individual person may not be directly involved in the project but his or her shareable knowledge might be. This continuous process of creating and discovering the transferable knowledge at a high speed yields the power of the group. It is organisations like this, able to uncover vast troves of knowledge, that differentiate themselves.
Knowledge can be uncovered in all parts of the creative process. If small, detailed, yet versatile knowledge is shared by a team, this will develop into a strength, leading to new projects or the improvement of present artworks. This results in an overall improvement in the quality of our creations.
Fluid management style and systems
How do you balance project management deliveries, sticking to tight deadlines, whilst allowing freedom within the collective matrix to create? What are the effective management style and systems in place?
Once the large concept of the artwork is set, we gather specialised members related to the work and refine the thinking and concept. For example, the Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn piece, which is in teamLab Borderless in Tokyo, was created with a specialist who creates 3D computer graphics flower model and animation, a 3D software programmer, an engineer who designs equipment such as projectors, a software programmer who localizes and integrates dozens of projectors within the space, an architect, and so on.
Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn: https://borderless.teamlab.art/ew/flowerforest/
Our artworks are created by a team of hands-on experts through a continuous process of creation and thinking. Although the large concepts are always defined from the start, the project goal tends to remain unclear, so the whole team needs to create and think as they go along.
teamLab's organizational structure seems flat at first glance, but it is also extremely multidimensional, with an underlying layer that is unclear and undecided.
The big concepts are always defined from the start, and the project goal and technical feasibility also go hand in hand. This is why the goal of the artwork becomes more clearly defined as the team progresses in its work.
Photo Credits: teamLab, Exhibition view ofMORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless, 2018, Tokyo © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery &