We've been quietly updating our website.
You probably won’t notice the small differences in structure and tonality.

But to us it makes a difference in the way our website gives context and meaning to our work.

What's new?

We changed the way we describe what we do

The full mission statement goes like this:

co—matter is a research and strategy studio.

We research the cultural and societal impact of new technologies; how the tools we use change the way we express ourselves, connect with others and create meaning in our lives.

Our mission is to expand our collective imagination of what technology can do for us and how we can participate in shaping it.

We call our projects “Releases”

Releases are the result of a collaborative effort: a group of people coming together to manifest their point of view and share it with a larger audience.

It's an old idea adapted for a new time, developed by our friends at Metalabel.

We created an Index to catalog our work

Rather than a fancy portfolio page we prefer a simple catalog to document our work. Just like a music label lists its releases.

We have a new About page

Like a profile on a dating app (but in the serious world of business), this is where we try to describe who we are, what we do and who we work with. The header image is a tribute to Olia Lialina's self-portrait.

There's a Figma board that gives you a direct window into what we're working on

We use Figma to collect our notes, creating an ever-growing archive of ideas and notes from the world wide web. It's updated in real time so you can literally watch us arrange screenshots.
Check out the website
Now let's dive into the story behind this update.

Why did we update our website?

Usually a new website feels like this:
While updating your website is a big step for you because you've spent sleepless nights overthinking about existential questions like “who am I?” “what am I doing here?” and “why should anyone care?” the rest of the world usually doesn’t care.

Regarding small details, like how you describe yourself or present your work, your audience usually won’t notice much of a change. The difference mostly matters to you: how you see yourself and what the process was like to get there.

An identity that gives you energy

The process of re-doing our website was inspired by an article by Tom Critchlow. Tom writes about the traps of specialisation, i.e. the popular piece of advice that in order to be successful you must find your niche.

When I (Severin) started co—matter this made a lot of sense. I thought that by focusing on the middle ground between what I'm good at and what the market wants I'll find customers and run a successful business.

So in the first years of running co—matter we specialised in communities.

I felt motivated to explore how technology changes the way people find connection and belonging online. And it was exciting to build a company on that premise, consulting companies how to build successful communities.
But after a few years I realised that this specialisation didn’t inspire me anymore. I had somehow established myself as an expert on the future of community, got invited to talks and had more leads for consulting work.

If my main goal had been to run a successful business I'd have done everything right. I found my niche. I should have gone on to hire a sales person, grow the team and run an agency.

The problem is that this is not what I want to do. I'm more interested in following my interests and curiosity rather than building a well-oiled business machine.

co—matter needed to evolve to serve that purpose.
In the essay My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be? the designer Laurel Schwulst tries to answer the question what purpose a website serves in today’s world.

It’s obviously no longer difficult to create a website with the endless amount of templates being available.

But in a world where our online lives are defined by pre-designed profiles and interactions, the act of making a website can be a deep meditation of defining who you are and how you want to show up.

You’re both creating its content and architecture; thus designing the space that gives meaning and context to whatever you’re putting on there. As Laurel puts it:

“Whatever [your website] is, there’s potential for a self-reflexive feedback loop: when you put energy into a website, in turn the website helps form your own identity.”

She continues:

“If a website has endless possibilities, and our identities, ideas, and dreams are created and expanded by them, then it’s instrumental that websites progress along with us.”

So here we are.

Our new website is the current container of our identity, ideas and dreams.

It gives context and meaning to the work we do.

We feel the energy.

Which brings us to...

Our theme for this year

It was fun hanging out in Discords, collecting digital objects and working from the couch. But for this year, let's make things happen in real life again.

What we want to work on in 2023

A radio show
We'd love to re-invent the format of the radio show as a container for creating knowledge, culture and community.

A book
The act of publishing as a way to provide context, clarity and curation in a time of information overload.

A conference
No one needs another TED talk. But after years of semi-isolation we desperately need to come together to exchange ideas and make new friends.
We're looking to partner with great institutions, innovation labs, design agencies and companies to create these and other exciting things.

Severin & the team

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Zossener Str. 41
10961 Berlin
Management Board: Severin Matusek
Court of Registration: Amtsgericht Charlottenburg HRB 195395 B

VAT ID: DE317741247

Last updated: May 14, 2024 ■ 17:35pm