In a reverse-engineering perspective, we are interested in finding time dependent protocols that allow to transform a system at equilibrium, into another state, say also at equilibrium. The new protocols, valid for arbitrary short time spans, consequently bypass usual procedures that are time consuming (e.g. adiabatic transformations). The idea applies to a wealth of experimental systems, from confined ultracold gases to trapped Brownian objects. We will present the rationale for obtaining such protocols, together with their experimental test in the colloidal realm.