In challenging times we need inspiration for the future.

Designregio Kortrijk is looking for 3 highly motivated and recently graduated designer-makers or creative artists to join in a regional residency program in Kortrijk, Belgium.
The Designers in Residence Kortrijk program is a 3-month full time working residency from October 2020 to January 2021.

Designregio Kortrijk provides for the selected Designers in Residence Kortrijk:

  • accommodation
  • monthly fee (400 €/month)
  • usage of Budalab Open Makerspace
  • experts in several domains and support of Designregio Kortrijk
  • one-time travel expenses

This year's theme is: The future of urban leisure

The urban experience in general and urban leisure in particular are rapidly changing. Cities worldwide are investing heavily in the attractivity​ of the city centre. Car free pedestrian zones, festivities, artistic interventions, shopping experiences,…in short urban leisure, are the recipes that are implemented worldwide. More and more we witness an uniformisation of urban life on a global scale. High street in London, New York or Sydney finds its origin in the same conceptual frameworks (and is often designed by the same offices). Also the city of Kortrijk has for years followed this path. The high street has been redone, a shopping mall was realised, pedestrians and bicycles are given more space, the yearly fairs and festivities attract more and more people.

But once the visitors and shoppers are gone, that vibrant place where people used to live, work, or meet becomes empty. Over a few decades the urban, no longer in need of density and proximity, has dissolved in the land leaving behind the city only as a place for consumption. More recently also this consumption has started to fade. In search for ever new experiences, consumers are turning away from the ‘old’ city centre to an extend that we witness an enormous increase in the vacancy of commercial real estate.
It has become clear that the idea of ever continuing growth is redundant. Cities are in need to reconsider their strategies of urban leisure to start cooping the vacancies in their centres. But what to do? How to redevelop empty shops? And towards what? Can we implement strategies that no longer solely consider the city as a place of consumption but generates a living and working environment? What are conditions to do so? How to provide attractive conditions for the urbanites? Can abandoned shops play a key-role in this? And what is the future of urban leisure?

This edition of the Designers in Residence tackles a broad topic and invites to reflect on the future urban condition. At the same time we are looking for small scale interventions, prototypes and experiment. To support this, we will provide a living lab condition in existing but empty buildings and shops in the city centre.


Designregio Kortrijk will be your host. We organize projects, inspire with good practices and connect companies, designers, education and government.
Designers in Residence Kortrijk is an initiative of Designregio Kortrijk, platform for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship for the region Kortrijk in Belgium. A region part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) that breaths design thinking, visible through its design education, creative making industry, international events and inspiring public space.

We are a joint venture of 5 regional organisations, with whom you will work closely together. This will allow you as a designer to connect with the local community (city of Kortrijk), local producers and maker industry (Voka West-Flanders & Interieur Foundation), urban planners and developers (Leiedal) and innovative education (Howest).

At the same time, the Buda Island is the focal point for a fascinating community of creative individuals, companies, cultural organizations, creative teaching as well as end-users. The aim is to connect with the local maker industry, largely embedded in the region and local producers in a contemporary way.

  • The Budafabriek, Budalab Open Makerspace & BK6 are the inspirational locations in Kortrijk (Belgium) where you will create, work and live.
  • The Kortrijk region (Belgium) is a strong player in the economically blooming largest European inter-regional Eurometropolis.
  • University College HOWEST & their Industrial Design Center is an open knowledge center and a communication platform between the industry and the education, research and development programs of the Howest and Ghent University in Kortrijk. Digital Arts & Entertainment is, amongst others, one of their state of the art education programs. There is also Digital Design & Development, part of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) and the Royal Conservatory, focusing on the intersection of design, development and research.
  • The compactness of this region is both a benefit and a challenge.
Designers in Residence Kortrijk is organized since 2014. Every year a book is made with their realisations. View all realized books HERE. In addition to a book, the creative creations are always put in the spotlight with a video report. Watch the videos of previous years HERE.

Video of the Designers in Residence Kortrijk project 2019:


The profile of the designers must correspond to the following criteria:

  1. recently graduated (minimum level: master or equal by experience)
  2. team player
  3. manual skills (conceptual, handy, production, fabrication)
  4. an international outlook

Check our general terms and conditions

Apply now!

Are you one of the designers we are looking for? Do you see the unique added value in participating in this residency?

Apply HERE before Friday 4 September 2020

!!! Completed applications must be submitted to Designregio Kortrijk before Friday 4 September 2020, 9:00 CET. Applications received after this deadline will not be accepted.