Samen ontwerpen zorgt voor betere resultaten

Designing together produces better results

TRIPOD-II puts strong new products in the public space.

In recent years, local authorities, designers and companies have brought out the best in each other through co-creation. This has led to innovative products that will soon also be seen on the streets of South-West Flanders: a smart waste bin, a mobility point and a 'green cassette' that makes flexible green management possible. Meanwhile, along the river banks of the Eurometropolis, blue elements are appearing that mark the 'Blue Diamond'. For designers from Belgium and France, the playing field has been widened by 180 degrees. "A change is gradually taking place in the way governments think and work," say Kris Dekeyzer (Leiedal) and Stijn Debaillie (Designregion Kortrijk), "This is only the beginning.

Designer Clubs: inspiring with impact

TRIPOD-II worked on two tracks: elaborating practical cases and inspiring with workshops and lectures. While five pilot projects were taking shape in South-West Flanders, designers were inspired by the ambitious international Designer Clubs series. Design region Kortrijk created a forum at meaningful locations such as EuraTechnologies and CCI Grand Lille (Lille), the Industrial Design Center, Depart with the Kortrijk Creativity Week or the Budafabriek (Kortrijk).

"With our themes, we try to be ahead of our time," says Stijn Debaillie (Designregio Kortrijk). For example, early on in the TRIPOD-II project, Gerry Smits talked about blockchain for designers, or Brieuc Saffré got his audience thinking about circular economy.

Design is no longer just about a nice form: thinking like a designer can cause a fundamental switch in the way we work and live. That was also the message at Design Fusion. "Corporate sustainability is becoming increasingly important. A company can gain innovative power if it commits to a sustainable corporate culture and involves employees and other stakeholders with different profiles. To have a greater impact, a business strategy must also be designed for the long term and service design can play a decisive role in this," says Stijn Debaillie.

Through the Designer Clubs and Design Fusion, designers from Wallonia, France and Flanders are offered one playing field without borders. A unique asset for a border region with a potential market of two million inhabitants.

Turning around the dialogue between local authorities and businesses

"A sore point in the relationship between local governments and businesses is that dialogue is often lacking. In a classic situation, a local government with a certain need questions the market, to which a company responds by delivering a product. That product then largely meets the demand, but often not completely. In our pilot projects, we have been able to break this pattern," says Kris Dekeyzer (Intercommunale Leiedal). He put local authorities and companies around the table together, accompanied by a designer. "This way, you create a dialogue and together you can think of products that perfectly meet the need. We also see a change in thinking among the administrations involved. They realise that they do not only have to ask questions of the market, but that they can also be part of the process. And that ultimately provides better solutions.

Five products for public space

TRIPOD-II has produced five products for the public domain. For each of these, Leiedal set to work with the same dynamics. Local authorities in South-West Flanders were invited to sit down together around a shared challenge. A designer guided a design process in which a solution was sought together with several companies from the region. This created a circle of cocreation in which each party could contribute its strengths. "The innovative aspect is not so much the design thinking," says Kris Dekeyzer, "but it is new to apply this in the context of public space and in cooperation with local authorities. And the results are impressive, as the following overview of the five projects shows.

1. The smart waste bin: ergonomic, efficient and sustainable

Slimme vuilnisbak

The smart rubbish bin that TEN (Kortrijk) designed together with (among others) Zwevegem, Avelgem, Kuurne, Wervik, Deerlijk, Kortrijk, Harelbeke and Waregem combines visibility with efficiency and is made of reusable material. The bin makes users sort and can be monitored remotely. This way, the local government only has to empty the bin when it is full and there is no need for unnecessary driving around. The bin can be equipped with a LED ring and a speaker to give feedback to users. The bin stands out and at the same time can be nicely integrated into public spaces. The first show models will be placed in public spaces in 2021.

2. The green soil cassette: temporary greenery in public space

Groene bodemcassette

Studiodott. (Antwerp), together with municipalities, looked for a solution to maintain and manage greenery in public spaces in a more efficient and sustainable way.

The result is a modular system that can be used to green spaces and cover them temporarily, for example during events.

The concept still requires detailed technical development to create a robust design that is strong enough to drive over but also to lift.

Partners: Imog, Mirom, Kortrijk, Zwevegem, Menen.

Companies: Lesage NV, Disaghor, Arbowar, Growebo and Krinkels.

3. De Blauwe Ruit: striking interventions that welcome along a cycle route

Blauwe Ruit

The Blue Diamond (Carré Bleu) is a 90 km loop formed by the Eurometropolis' main waterways. The Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai Eurometropolis and its partners were looking for an intervention in the landscape along the Blue Diamond cycle route that would make the loop recognisable and inviting. Yoann Druet & Emmanuelle Valot (Lille) came up with a set of blue elements: frames, benches, viewing points and visuals.

The first frames can already be seen along the water, such as at Transfo in Zwevegem.

Partners: BAW Billiet art works, Carpentier wood, Wever & Ducré, TEN, Waak

4. View of the future: 3D elements in concrete and QR codes

Zicht op de toekomst

Pilipili (Kortrijk) set to work on the question "How can you place a physical place in relation to the past or the future?"

Modular concrete elements made with a 3D printer are set up in places where they create a new perspective through vistas. Users can look through the holes and then consult more information via QR codes. This project is still under development.

5. Mobipunt: a structure that connects mobility with comfort and services


A Mobipoint is a place where different functions meet. The point is designed to facilitate and promote multimodal transport on a small scale.

with Menen, Zwevegem, Lendelede and Harelbeke, Yellow Window (Antwerp) made a solution that answers questions about safety, recognisability, information, comfort and multimodality. At the same time, the volume facilitates additional functions.

In 2021, show models will be installed at three locations in the region, in various configurations.



  • TRIPOD stands for Transregional Project for Innovation and Promotion of Design. The project partners are Lille Design (FR, Lead partner), Aditec Pas-de-Calais (FR), CCI Grand Lille (FR), Designregion Kortrijk (VL), Antwerp Management School (VL), Design Innovation (WA), Progress/Maison du Design (WA), IDETA (WA), Héracles (WA), Wallonie Design (WA), Leiedal (VL), Métropole Européenne de Lille (FR). Read more about the project in the final report: Design werkt verbindend
  • Leiedal is the interlocal association for regional development in South-West Flanders, which wants to help this region to develop dynamically and sustainably into an attractive area to do business, work, live and experience.
  • Designregio Kortrijk is the platform for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship of the Kortrijk region. Designregio Kortrijk wants to bring together talents in this UNESCO-recognised creative design region to imagine, design and create a better future together.
With the support of the European Regional Development Fund

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