Designregio Kortrijk exports the 5X5® methodology to Bilbao

Kortrijk and Bilbao, both thriving centres of creativity, connect through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as design cities. This collaboration exploits the 5X5® method to empower SMEs in Bilbao with innovative products and services, resulting in a joint exhibition in Bilbao in 2025.


Kortrijk and Bilbao both have a story of creativity. This creativity is reflected in the Kortrijk region through problem-solving and entrepreneurial thinking (design thinking). We know resilience by connecting creativity, culture, education and entrepreneurship. Bilbao is also bursting with creativity. Proof of this is the special attention to high-quality architecture and design of innovative public space. The link with entrepreneurship and the creation of a quadruple helix design ecosystem is still in full development. We want to contribute to this challenging story with the Kortrijk region.

Both cities know each other thanks to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network of which they are members as a design city. Between the two cities, we only see opportunities for new collaborations. We want to transfer our knowledge and experience to our partners in Bilbao.

Thanks to this collaboration, Designregio Kortrijk can roll out the 5X5®-method internationally for the second time, so that SMEs from Bilbao can stay ahead of the competition thanks to well-designed and meaningful products and services. Since the beginning of this year, Designregio Kortrijk has been training a team from Bilbao so that they too can guide companies and designers through the 5X5® process. We will match 5 companies of Bilbao with 3 designers of Bilbao and 2 Flemish designers. The results of the project in Bilbao and those of the Flemish designers will be on display in an exhibition in Bilbao in 2025.

Contact DRK: Stan Dewaele

Contact Bilbao: Carolina Gutierrez Gabriel

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