Giving form to space in more sustainable ways requires a huge collective effort. In giving form to this collective effort, design plays a political role. In the 60s and 70s design’s political role was supported by strong collectives in society, like unions or women’s organisations, who could unite and represent many voices in society. Today these big collectives are losing strength. Society is shaped by many small collectives and even more non-united individuals. This complicates the role of designers, since they do not only play a role in teaming up with the larger collectives, but they need to involve many individuals and smaller collectives or they need to take part in shaping new ones.

This series of lectures explores how designers can give form to this political role of design in gathering and creating (stronger) collectives who can contribute to a transition towards a more sustainable future.

In three afternoon sessions we will explore this question, trying to understand what the collective and this process of collectivisation means in an urban design and planning process.

The discussions will we introduced by an inspirational lecture by the moderator of each day, after which designers and policy makers will present case studies of projects. After this, a panel conversation will be held with the audience.

The conversations are mainly aimed at professionals, policy makers, students that are involved in participatory or public urban design and art projects, or that want to deepen their knowledge or network on this. But of course everyone is welcome to join.

The project takes place within the context of the installation DISplay in the Begijnhoftuin of Z33, a participatory project that was initiated by artist and maker collective ConstructLab. The Politics of Design is a long term research project led by the University of Hasselt together with Z33. The project started last year with the exhibition The Politics of Design Act I that presented an overview of recent participatory art and design projects. After the lecture series in September, the project will develop further into a publication that will be launched in 2020.

Speakers and panel members are:
Luigi Coppola, Paolo Patelli, Els Vervloesem, Judith Seng, RE-ST, ConstructLab, Ben Hagenaars, Julie Marin, Bart Van Gassen, Virginia Tassinari, Liesbeth Huybrechts…


◯ Location: Z33, Begijnhoftuin, Zuivelmarkt 33, 3500 Hasselt
◯ Dates
    and hours:     
17-18 en 19 September from 16h untill 18h.

Would you like to participate, please send an email to or register via facebook

The conversations will take place in English.
⬤ ACT 1:
⬤ 22/08 - 2/12/2018

The Politics of Design: Act 1 is about participation and political engagement in current design practices. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the 15th edition of the international Participatory Design Conference, which is being organised this August in Hasselt and Genk. UHasselt – Faculty of Architecture, LUCA School of Arts, Z33 – House for Contemporary Art, the City of Hasselt and the City of Genk will present these 20 works in order to enter into the debate on public space and on the politics of design. This 'first act’ is the first exhibition in a longer trajectory that aims to start new collaborations in a local, regional and international context, and will result in a 'final act' in 2020: The Politics of Design Festival.

The exhibition presents three thematic events that make tangible the politics of ways in which participation is given form. These 'ways to participate' are: BODY (participating as an individual and as a physical body through the practices of care and work), COMMUNITY (participating through and towards creating a collective through the practices of commonality and representation) and CITY (participating as a stranger in larger scale networks, through practices of data production and collection, and contributions to complex challenges, such as sustainability).

The Politics of Design: Act 1 encompasses Participatory Design-inspired interventions, participatory walks, public debates, performances and other interactive formats. How does participation in the political sphere take shape today at different levels such as body, community and the city? How does design give form to these different ways of participating? What values are sustained and what kinds of futures are imagined in the current political agendas of designers? The Politics of Design: Act 1 starts the conversation on the complexities of our engagement by activating different design and research practices in the space of Z33’s beguinage houses.


Jan Boelen
Mela Žuljević

Aslı Çiçek

Benjamin Sporken

Rachel Clarke, Sara Heitlinger, Marcus Foth, Carl DiSalvo, Ann Light and Laura Forlano
Emily Crompton
De Andere Markt
Teis De Greve
Ann De Keersmaecker
Daniela Dossi and Irma Foldenyi
Victoria Gerrard and Ricardo Sosa
Nils Norman
Laura Gottlieb and Jennie Schaffer
Ben Hagenaars
Niek Kosten
Virginia Lui and Virginia Tassinari
Teresa Palmieri, Liesbeth Huybrechts, Oswald Devisch and Roel de Ridder
Søren Rosenbak
Judith Seng
Apolonija Šušteršič
Rosanne Van Klaveren
Ottonie Von Roeder
Kristof Vrancken

⬤ ACT 2:
⬤ 17/09, Z33, HASSELT

How do we define (the role of) collectives in spatial design? Too often we have seen the collective as only a social group. In this way nature, for instance, quickly becomes a neglected factor in design. However, in spatial design a collective, such as a group of people taking care of the future of their street as a healthy environment, does not only involve people, but also actors with a less clear voice: nature, animals, materials, but also invisible factors, like air or sound pollution or radiation. We will explore methodologies for spatial design to engage with the collective in its hybrid form, avoiding a human-centered design process only.


       16u — 16u20

⬤   Paolo Patelli
A common world is not something we come to recognize as if it had always been here and we had not noticed it. We have learned to invoke it through thoughtfulness and worry, but it also needs a strong sense of attachment and commitment to be inhabited: “matters of concern” as proposed by Bruno Latour, and at the same time “matters of care” as advanced by feminist philosopher Marìa Puig de la Bellacasa. Natural forces, species, technologies and materialities are entangled in the social, cultural and political life of contemporary cities and landscapes. How can we immerse ourselves, our bodies, in signals, in radically different, subjective worlds to let them interact and interfere with our worldview? Can art and design help us to radically rethink our politics, our dealings with the ‘extended democracy’ of other species and things?

Past Projects:
The Forest Underneath (2019)
2-channel video installation (HD, 20’)

       16u20 — 17u

⬤   Julie Marin
Calls for circular economy appear to be everywhere, however what this economy exactly entails is rather vague and leads to very different material outcomes. This contribution reflects on a number of design explorations for circular economy transition on Houthalen-Helchteren’s Centrum-Zuid, a typical low-density Flemish industry park dating from the 1970s. The explorations act as starting points to reflect on meanings of collectivity resulting from different sustainability framings for circularity. Depending on the circularity interpretation, scenarios diverge from nature and a rare frog species taking over the site to wood manufacturers sharing machines and collectively repurposing wood scraps. The reflection questions notions of circular economy transition ranging from merely technical approaches to the recovery of existing and latent natural and contextual assets as primary circular economy components.

Centrum-Zuid, picture by OVAM 2018

⬤   Ben Hagenaars
Circle Sector is an Archive, Lab and Studio that researches, designs and develops circular design projects within a local setting. Each project has a local radius that challenges designers and researchers to map locally available materials and knowledge (Archive). Experiments are carried out on the locally available resources to explore their potential (Lab). In collaboration with residents, policymaker and companies this potential is made tangible in form of products, services and systems (Studio). The collective of materials, knowledge and actions makes up Circle Sector. It aims to reinforce the reinforce the local ecosystem.​

⬤   Andy Weir
Pazugoo names a constellation of objects, which are proposed as future markers for deep geological repository sites of long-term nuclear waste storage. The work takes its name from Pazuzu, the Babylonian-Assyrian demon of dust and contagion, combined with the ‘gooey’ reformulationof museum objects that form its composite body. The building of Pazugoos takes place through a range of artist-led processes and collaborative workshops, where freely available online digital 3D object files of scanned museum figures are edited according to the specific Pazuzu morphology - a figure with an excess of wings, with one hand raised upward.

The resulting hybrid objects, inhabiting museum and gallery exhibitions, act as an index for the burial project, where models are proposed to mark underground perimeters of low-level radioactive waste disposal sites, connecting them to other sites of toxicity and the currents of deep time.

The project is based on the search for cultural forms that can communicate ideas across hundreds of generations. Religious and secular belief systems are a significant part of the debate about nuclear semiotics and how to communicate important knowledge into the deep future. Weir’s projectcreates a thread of digitalmutation through replicating the figure of Pazuzu, who warns against dangers as intangible as dust and viruses, highlighting the invisibility and mutating force of radiation. Against the idea of communicating to future people like us now, and against narratives of apocalypse and salvation, the buried objects become mythic relics for unknown futures. From this speculative perspective, viewers today become relics for them, reflecting on our own entanglements within nuclear materiality.

⬤   Bart Van Gassen
In the light of the work of Bruno Latour we try to define and clarify human and non-human agencies in the transformation of the Stiemerbeek in Genk. The masterplan we developed is called the Stiemer Valley. Implying not one element – the creek – but a territory. In which a whole ecology of human and non-human agents interact to develop a “world”. Two actors play a key-role: the parallel creek and the linear gardens. The parallel creek that frees the Stiemerbeek from its concrete container and is constructed as an open system to reinstall the water system of the valley. And in doing so also reproduces new forms of animal and plant life. The linear gardens are clearly defined spaces situated along the creek that function as platforms on which a constant negotiation, collaboration and confrontation between the human and the non-human can be performed.

         17u — 18u

⬤ ACT 3:
⬤ 18/09, Z33, HASSELT

What are the politics of translation in spatial design? How do we exchange/translate information and (in-between) results between existing and new collectives that take part in shaping sustainable futures, such as designers, policy, companies, communities coming from different cultural backgrounds? How do we play with design language, processes and platforms to facilitate these translation processes?


       16u — 16u20

⬤   Luigi Coppola
Today we need faith in the future based on respect for who we are or who we long to be. This demands a radical change in the narrations that question and query the current state of affairs and generate new insights into what would otherwise remain hidden. The language we use has an extraordinary potential to push towards a widening of both cultural norms and formal regulations in society.

Neoliberalism has been the dominant political and economic paradigm for the last 50 years. It has distributed wealth and power upward, influencing everything from government policies to business blueprints and global trade deals to collective agreements. Neoliberalism has also reshaped the way we think about ourselves and the world around us. Whatever else one might say about it, neoliberalism’s narrative power is undeniable. Yet today, neoliberalism is fading. As the model fails on its own terms, the intellectual dominance of the neoliberal paradigm is falling out of favor among academics, policy makers, and even the business community.

However, those advocating for a more just and equitable system of political economy do not yet have a unifying philosophical paradigm or narrative framework. Therefore we question what deep narratives are needed to create a just and equitable economic system after neoliberalism. What strategies advance those narratives? What alignment among organizations and practitioners is needed to produce narrative change on a global scale?

The commons re-appropriation movement has a particular role in the creation of those new narratives. It is increasingly present within our society as a (micro) social revolution practice that germinates on a small scale and embraces the complexity of relationships with other generative practices. Social design can play a fundamental role thanks to its innate ability to intervene at all levels in the construction of commons, on the level of the first revelation from the latent state, the activation of a shared social imaginary, the symbolic translation of processes into visual imagery and narrative, the activation of the fundamental rituals and celebrations and the transmission to the outside. In order to activate this complex role it is important to incorporate the strategy of participatory research that connects intervention with practical knowledge, social sciences, and technical disciplines, offering multiple answers which adapt to the context.

In this reflection I would like to underline a practice-led strategy I am exploring in different contexts, that consists in a series of actions that are aimed at promoting climate change adaptation and the resilience of marginal systems. As a practical example I'd like to investigate the implications of language and terminologies embedded in dominant monocultural approaches whilst seeking to counter-verbalise them. How can one challenge the existing vocabulary underlying the politics of traditional botanical taxonomies and classifications? What new signifiers can agro-political practices articulate in order to question the power exercised through dispossession and exploitation of land, communities and biodiversity?

       16u20 — 17u

⬤    , , Hannelore Goyens and (ArcK)
This presentation offers a glimpse of the first insights of an inquiry into the aspects of ‘migration’ that affect the national road N74 (North-South Limburg) in the North of the Belgian province of Limburg. This inquiry was set up because this migration perspective is lacking in the current ‘ambition note’ of the official North-South research project. The insights that will be presented are based on interviews, using a snowballing method, and on literature on both super-diversity and the specificities of the Limburg mining conglomerations (and their social aspects). The first findings were put into a map which, the researchers hope, will become a tool to interact with locals during further research phases.

The presentation looks into the mining conglomeration of Meulenberg (Houthalen). Even though Meulenberg is mostly understood to be a homogenous Turkish neighborhood with some Moroccans living there too, it is internally divided. There are several Turkish groups; there are tenants and owners, lower class and middle class inhabitants, … On top of that, the external borders of the neighborhood are extremely hard – Meulenberg is simply isolated – and amenities are scarce. A lack of social capital (both bonding and bridging) makes emancipation difficult, however desirable it is. The map that is used makes the existing challenges Meulenberg has to cope with insightful and even proposes, in turn, the outlines of a counter-narrative for the N74 in which gaps or cracks of social change might appear.

⬤   Ciel Grommen
'Seasonal Neighbours' is an ongoing artistic research project that focusses on seasonal migrant labour in Europe. Unlike the mainstream debate that focuses mainly on labour conditions and rights, this project aims to explore
 the interpersonal aspects of this temporary cohabitation. Ciel Grommen, who initiated the project, will present its first iteration during which the context of Borgloon, her former hometown, was explored. This little town in the centre of Haspengouw witnesses each year a demographic growth
 of one fifth of its total population caused by an influx of mainly Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian workers. By working and traveling side-by-side with migrant workers in the summer of 2017, personal testimonies, observations and maps were collected that show the local effects of the economy of scale and the personal stories behind European labour migration. The investigated farms were characterized by complex social dynamics and interesting architectural evolutions, while the public space and debate remained completely ignorant about this societal transformation. Therefore, in 2018, the research collective (Maximiliaan Royakkers, Dieter Leyssen and Ciel Grommen) confronted the town of Borgloon with a socio-artistic experiment in public space, realizing a temporal “House for Seasonal Neighbours” in which several events, BBQ’s, discussions and movie-screenings took place.

⬤   Judith Seng
Learning is less about knowing or memorising what something is than understanding how it continuously changes in relation to something else. At the School of Fluid Measures objects, numbers and values that have become fixed by universal standards are dissolved through scored interactions that leave traces in coloured sand. The patterns that emerge are an exploratory measure of the fluidity of meanings, and the colours represent exemplary values as resources to debate, distribute, and fuse into new colours and values. It references to the bazaar as a situation in which value emerges out of a unique yet similar negotiation process. Through an embodied process that surfaces situative intentions and relations, 18 measuring sessions invite participants to negotiate new colours and values. Viewed as a series, the 18 sessions intend to explore ways of mediating, materializing and notating the making of meanings and results, in a manner that embraces the fluidity of the constant socio-material becoming.

       17u — 18u

⬤ ACT 4:
⬤ 19/09, Z33, HASSELT

In Act 4 we discuss the politics of care. Too long we have defined the political power of a design process in numbers of people taking part or approving it. This, however, does not sufficiently value the specificity of what (collectives of) people do and can do for a particular context. We should find new ways to assess quality. Did shaping a particular collective contribute to a more sustainable space, was it for the good, for whom? How are these contributions shared and followed up through long design processes? How were the people involved convinced of the benefits of taking away functions, such as parking space or concrete roads, to benefit care for the environment?


       16u — 16u20

⬤   Els Vervloesem
In de ontwerpwereld is er de afgelopen jaren steeds meer aandacht voor de maatschappelijke dimensie van ruimtelijke ontwikkelingsprojecten. Dat brengt een veranderende ontwerppraktijk met zich mee. Zo ontstaat er een toenemende groep van praktijken, die opereren binnen een veel ruimer netwerk van actoren, variërend van professionals tot non-professionals. De ontwerper bedenkt niet langer de oplossing van een op voorhand vastgesteld probleem, maar vertrekt van een gedeelde zoektocht naar kansen en mogelijkheden om tot gewenste verandering te komen. Concreet vertaalt zich dat in collectieve acties en nieuwe allianties tussen ontwerpers en burgers, ambtenaren, middenveldorganisaties, ondernemers, activisten, studenten, academici, en iedereen die op een of andere manier betrokken is bij processen van stad of ruimte maken.

       16u20 — 17u

⬤   De Andere Markt

⬤   RE-ST, ,
Ruimtelijke ordening en mobiliteit zijn een Siamese tweeling : het lot van de ene is verbonden met dat van de andere. Meer wegcapaciteit stimuleert ons om verder van ons werk te gaan wonen en langere afstanden af te leggen. Omgekeerd vereist gespreide bewoning ver-van-alles-af meer wegcapaciteit. Mobiliteit en stedenbouw zonder grenzen leidt tot stilstand, onleefbaarheid en onbetaalbaarheid. Vlaanderen bulkt door zijn horizontaal verstedelijkt landschap van weginfrastructuur, het is meer dan de olifant in de kamer. We wonen en werken te veel op plaatsen waar we eigenlijk niet thuis horen. Met 72.000km wegen op 13.533km2 hebben we bijna het dichtste wegennet ter wereld. In plaats van verder uit te breiden dringt de vraag zich op hoe we onze mobiliteitsbehoefte kunnen oplossen binnen de bestaande weginfrastructuur. Dit kan door ze anders en beter te benutten. Sommige wegen kunnen we gerust van ontharden van bestemming, of reduceren en zelfs geheel of gedeeltelijk terug geven aan de open ruimte.
RE-ST werkt samen met Voorland en Trage Wegen vzw aan een methodiek als handleiding voor gemeenten om structureel te werken aan wegontharding.

⬤   ConstructLab

       17u — 18u



Silvia Franceschini is an associate curator at Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt. She is a curator, editor and researcher whose work deals with issues of post-colonialism, alternative modernities and globalization. Franceschini holds a PhD in design and visual cultures from the Polytechnic University of Milan and was a research fellow at the Exhibition Research Lab of the Liverpool John Moores University and at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. She has curated exhibitions and research programs for the V-A-C Foundation, Moscow, SALT, Istanbul, The School of Kyiv. Kyiv Biennial 2015, Cittadellarte Pistoletto Foundation, Biella and Futura Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, among others. She is the co-author of Global Tools. 1973-1975: When Education Coincides with Life (Nero Editions, 2019) and the editor of Curator Without a System (Sternberg Press, Upcoming).


Liesbeth Huybrechts (1979, Leuven, Belgium) is Associate Professor and works in the areas of participatory design, spatial transformation processes and human-computer interaction in the research group Arck, University of Hasselt. She is involved in the Living Lab The Other Market (), a space for reflection and action on the future of work. She is also part of the research projects Traders and Critical Heritage dealing with Participatory Design and (Heritage in) Public Space (Marie Curie ITN, ). Also, she has developed a research interest in collectivity and commons in city-making which she explores is several research and educational projects. Together with Thomas Laureyssens she designed the frequently used participatory mapping tool MAP-it (). As a freelancer she is active in exhibitions, workshops and writing. In the past, she taught in the Social Design Masters, Design Academy Eindhoven in the Interaction Design Department (LUCA, KULeuven). She co-founded the research group Social Spaces () exploring the social qualities of design and art.


Virginia Tassinari currently works at the Product Design Department of the LUCA School of Arts in Belgium and lectures at the Design Department of the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Her work situates itself on the boundary between design - mostly for social innovation - and philosophy, both in terms of design research and theory as well as through design practice.


NIK, no profile.


BRAM, no profile.


Sporken Benjamin (BE, 1988) is a multidisciplinary designer living and working in Rotterdam. His practice is defined by collaborative, commissioned, and self-initiated projects within the expanding field of graphic, type and spatial design. In addition, he runs a digital type foundry under the moniker ONMIN, alongside Wout Trippas.



Paolo Patelli is a spatial practitioner and researcher, working between the fields of architecture, art, and design. He is Associate Lector “Places and Traces” at Design Academy Eindhoven, a 2019/2020 Research Fellow at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, and a tutor at Willem de Kooning Academie. Through often collaborative enquiries, he addresses architecture as a critical spatial practice. Moving across spatial design, artistic and academic research, and education, he engages critically and by design with the materialities, scenes and atmospheres at the intersections of space and society, technologies and environments. He is a design lead and mentor for BIO26, the forthcoming 26th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana. In 2017/18 he was artist-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. He taught at The New School’s Parsons Paris; he collaborated with the Programme d’Expérimentation en Arts Politiques (SPEAP) at Sciences Po (Paris). He designed the scenography of Reset Modernity!, co-curated by Bruno Latour at ZKM (Karlsruhe). His works have been exhibited internationally, including in the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in 2018.


Julie Marin is engineer architect (UGent 2007) and urban designer (Columbia University New York (2012). She is currently postdoctoral scholar (FWO) at KU Leuven’s Research Group on Urbanism and Architecture (OSA) where she develops urban design strategies for place-based circular economies in Flanders. Julie continuously navigates between public, private and academic realms building experience as designer, researcher and project leader in Belgium and abroad. She was urban designer at Scape Landscape Architecture in New York City, design researcher in Antwerp and teaching associate at Columbia University. Today Julie employs design to build bridges between stakeholders and experts in complex and multi-actor circular economy transition processes, such as Pilot Project Terug in Omloop Houthalen-Helchteren, commissioned by the Flemish Bouwmeester and the Flemish Waste Agency (OVAM).


Ben Hagenaars (1985), PhD in the Arts, Graduated as a product designer from the LUCA School Of Arts in Genk (2009). Initiated several sustainable design projects: Animation Vegetation, Resource Lab, Zit Goed, ….. Is active as a design researcher and lecturer at the LUCA School Of Arts. He founded Cirkel Sector; an archive, lab and studio that researches, designs and develops circulair design projects.


Andy Weir is an artist based in London. His work explores concepts of agency and knowledge within radiological deep time through complicity and fiction. This takes the form of objects, video, sound, performance, text, diagrams, workshops, discussions and installation. He has recently exhibited versions of the Pazugoo project at Neuhaus, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (2019), Perpetual Uncertainty: Contemporary Art and the Nuclear Anthropocene (Malmo Art Museum, Sweden, 2018; Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium, 2017; Umea Art Museum, Sweden, 2016) and published related work in Contemporary Research Intensive (Sternberg Press, 2018) and The Nuclear Sourcebook (Arts Catalyst, 2017). Recent presentations include ‘Art in the Anthropocene’, Trinity College, Dublin (2019) and ‘Fiction Machines’, Bath Spa University (2019). He is currently working on a new commission with Z33 and the Belgian National Agency for Nuclear Waste ONDRAF/NIRAS. He is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Arts University Bournemouth, UK, PhD researcher and member of the Nuclear Cultures Research Group at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he completed an MA and MFA.


Bart Van Gassen works as a teacher in the University of Leuven (KULeuven) and contributes to landscape projects 'Kolenspoor' and 'Stiemervallei', two projects in Limburg.


Luigi Coppola is an artist, activist and promoter of participative project and politically-motivated actions. His artistic practice is connected with the process of social reappropriation of the commons starting by analyzing specific social, political, and cultural contexts. He trained both as a scientist (Environment and Land Engineer) as well as in the art field (Visual and Performing Arts). He is co-activator of the ongoing experience in Castiglione d’Otranto in south of Italy, with Casa delle Agriculture, as co-director of the festival Green Night: agricultures, utopias and community and Scuola di Agriculture that combines agro-ecological learning with artistic strategies and builds upon the participatory and commoning dynamics of the community of migrants, farmers and activists. Coppola has developed projects, performances, installations and exhibitions in international contexts, including: ; Fondazione Merz Turin, 2018; BAK Utrecht, 2018; Kunsthaus Graz, 2017; Quadriennale Roma, 2017; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, 2017; Teatro Continuo, Milan, 2016; Parckdesign, Brussels, 2016; Athens Biennale, Athens, 2015; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2012; Steirischer Herbst, Graz, 2012 and Democracy Biennale, Turin, 2009. He was joint Artistic Director with Michelangelo Pistoletto of the Urban Art Biennale in Bordeaux - Evento 2011, art for an urban re-evolution - and part of the research group Art in Society at the Fontys Academy of Tilburg NL. Coppola was a 2017/2018 Fellow at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht NL.


Liesbeth Huybrechts (1979, Leuven, Belgium) is Associate Professor and works in the areas of participatory design, spatial transformation processes and human-computer interaction in the research group Arck, University of Hasselt. She is involved in the Living Lab The Other Market (), a space for reflection and action on the future of work. She is also part of the research projects Traders and Critical Heritage dealing with Participatory Design and (Heritage in) Public Space (Marie Curie ITN, ). Also, she has developed a research interest in collectivity and commons in city-making which she explores is several research and educational projects. Together with Thomas Laureyssens she designed the frequently used participatory mapping tool MAP-it (). As a freelancer she is active in exhibitions, workshops and writing. In the past, she taught in the Social Design Masters, Design Academy Eindhoven in the Interaction Design Department (LUCA, KULeuven). She co-founded the research group Social Spaces () exploring the social qualities of design and art.


Betrokkene in onderzoek voor het 'Kerkenbeleidsplan' De kerk / mijnkathedraal Zwartberg – aan het kolenspoor – zin in regio Noord, samen met nog wat andere kerken. Ruddy Pareyns coördineert de kerken in Genk Noord. Men houdt gewoonlijk twee kerken steeds actief, maar door het gebrek aan bereikbaarheid van de Kerk van Zwartberg en André Dumont (vooral tijdens matchen van KRC), wil men Hoevezavel als parochie behouden. Dit wil zeggen dat andere kerken ingevuld kunnen worden met andere functies, zoals bijvoorbeeld een stilteplek en stopplaats voor fietsers in de kerk van Zwartberg. Momenteel is er al veel gedeeld gebruik in kerken aanwezig. De voetbalclub gebruikt de sacristie als kleedkamer, onder de pastorij is een vergaderzaal en onder de vleugels van de school is er nog een parochiezaal aanwezig. Het is zelfs mogelijk om de onderruimte van de kerk open te stellen als community kitchen en sociaal restaurant, gerund door oa. de regenboog, met sociale tewerkstelling en sociale tewerkstelling. Zo zou het de functie van de Singel kunnen overnemen en alle gemeenschappen met elkaar verbinden. Zo ontstaat er een plek voor een interculturele en interreligieuze dialoog. Het kolenspoor kan mensen dan ook naar dit soort plekken leiden. Het ontstaan van zulke interreligieuze centra is een doel van Orbit. Deze organisatie staat voor het creëren van zulke plaatsen in elke stad. De kerk in Zwartberg vormt hier dan een onderdeel van.




Ciel Grommen (1989) extended her training in architecture at the University of Leuven (2012) with a master in contemporary art at the HEAD in Geneva (2015). What follows is a trans-disciplinary research practice focussing on different "states of exception" and "spaces of hospitality". Intense fieldwork is central to her methodology. Through maps, images, instructions and installations she subsequently invites the public to imagine another perception of space. Works have been exhibited in Artsonje Art Centre, Seoul; Live In Your Head Gallery, Geneva; Luma foundation Arles; Zolder Luchtfabriek; Beursschouwburg Brussels; Z33, centre for contemporary art in Hasselt... Works even more often appear in the "real" world, such as Petit Chateau, asylum centre in Brussels; the post box of her neighbor; online; on the Aldi parking lot of Borgloon, ... In 2015, she was selected for the BNP Paribas Fortis New Heads art award with her research on freeports and warehouses in Geneva.


Judith Seng uses a choreographic approach to investigate and expand design as a socio-material practice. School of Fluid Measures is the seventh project in her ongoing ACTING THINGS series, that since 2011 has asked: What if we look at production processes as if they were a dance, a play, a ritual? So far, seven experiments have emerged in venues such as design/ miami Basel, HAU Berlin and Kyoto Art Center and recently the 4th istanbul design biennale. She was Artist in Residence at the Villa Kamogawa of the Goethe-Institut Japan (2016) and a Fellow at the Graduate School for the Arts and Sciences at the Berlin University of the Arts (2010-2012). In 2007/2008, together with Axel Kufus, she headed the applied research project design reactor berlin (EU/efre-funded), which, with more than 180 participants, tested exemplary development and production scenarios for a post-industrial context such as Berlin. She is currently a professor at the HDK Academy of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, Sweden.


Virginia Tassinari currently works at the Product Design Department of the LUCA School of Arts in Belgium and lectures at the Design Department of the Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Her work situates itself on the boundary between design - mostly for social innovation - and philosophy, both in terms of design research and theory as well as through design practice.


Els Vervloesem (1978) is an architect, researcher, writer and partner in Architecture Workroom Brussels. In her PhD thesis, entitled “Urbanism and Social Change. Learning from Forgotten Histories of City Making”, she investigated the complex interaction between urbanism and bottom-up urban development, focussing on processes of in- and exclusion. She has worked as a researcher and teacher at the TUEindhoven and the KULeuven. Since 2015 she became partner in Architecture Workroom Brussels – a European think-and-do tank for innovation in the field of architecture and urban and regional development. As a cultural platform for research by design and knowledge sharing, AWB contributes to the public debate, to the professional practice and to knowledge development as well as to innovation in urban development and urban policy. As part of the AWB team, she is involved in a wide range of projects and trajectories, paying particular attention to the social dimension of urban transformation processes.


De Andere Markt (DAM) is a project initiated in 2015 by researchers of the University of Hasselt and LUCA School of Arts, with support from the City of Genk and the European Union through the FP7 framework project TRADERS. Based in a shop front in the neighbourhood of Winterslag, DAM has worked on several projects to think, talk and prototype alternative (work) futures for the city of Genk. Even if the physical location has served as an important asset and a homebase to connect with different organisations and actors of the city, the most important resource of the project is the network we have built. This website presents different networks started in the city of Genk (and later expanded to cities like Hasselt, Leuven, Mechelen, Houthalen-Helchteren) that gave birth to different projects and initiatives.


Tim Vekemans is an architect-spatial researcher and since 2010 co-founder of the architecture practice RE-ST. As a designer collective, RE-ST has extended the practice of building with non-building. They look daily for how we can deal with the excess of already produced space. RE-ST received a BouwmeesterLabel for their research on Wanderspace (zwerfruimte). Tim is also working at UHasselt Faculty of Architecture & Art and mixes with time and stood in the spatial debate by writing opinions such as "Where there is a will, there is a way away".


Michaël Stas (° 1990, BE) is ir. architect (KULeuven) en stedenbouwkundige (KULeuven en IUAV Venetië). Na zijn afstuderen begon hij voor een korte periode bij Architecture Workroom Brussels, waar hij werkte aan het onderzoek en de tentoonstelling of "A Good City Has Industry". Daarna werkte hij voor Paola Viganò Studio aan verschillende projecten gaande van een landschapspark, stedelijke projecten en openbare ruimtes tot grootschalige territoriale visies, zoals de Blauwe Ruimte van de Eurometropool Lille-Kortrijk-Doornik. Hij was oa. projectleider voor "Over the Ring – segment Zuidoost". Bovendien was hij een van Paola Viganò's onderwijsassistenten bij EPFL Lausanne (2017). Sinds zomer 2018 werkt hij voor het Departement Omgeving aan verschillende ruimtelijke transformatietrajecten waarvan de eerste de ‘Proeftuinen Ontharding’ zijn. Dit doet hij gecombineerd met lesgeven in cartografie en territoriale representatie aan ENSAP Lille, in Rijsel.


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