Printed Commons

Graphic design is one of the two new fields of vision in the second edition of RECIPROCITY. Focusing on graphic design and visual communication as a channel of civic expression for social change, the different elements of the Printed Commons project address their expression from the perspective of an intervention in public space, a collaborative act that also shares tangible know-how.

There has been increasing awareness about social innovation, about active community groups. Are they adopting graphic design in a different way?

 TS: Absolutely. There is a huge democratisation of the tools, and I think it’s wonderful. But it’s also important to have educational or didactic support when dealing with visual language. It’s not because you have all the tools and computer programmes that you can make something good and which people will respond to. I think there are a lot of bridges between the active processes of social innovation and the workflows of a graphic designer. In the first place, there is the stage in which collecting information allows you to explore and understand what is the real problem or challenge to be addressed. Then there is the great gulf that creation needs to fulfil. (…) However, what is important is keeping that equilibrium between the statement and the aesthetics.

NB: Graphic design has always had a quite peculiar place in the history of design, because its ‘functionality’ is directly linked to thinking, ideas and images. It is about designing an idea more than a function, so it is closely linked to social innovations, even though many of its authors have struggled with collective practices in the past. Today, however, being an author does not just mean having an aesthetic but an ethical approach that culminates in finding its form, while the contribution of design collectives is more important than ever.

Interview extract by Emma Firmin in the publication RECIPROCITY 2015 / About Social Innovation

Photography © Germain Ozer

Reciprocity 2015-16


The ongoing nature of RECIPROCITY is one of its key foundations, and in the Welcome to__ project we see the role that design can play in engaging and bringing about positive change in local communities. It is an encounter with a series of new narratives woven for and with the inhabitants of the neighbourhoods of Saint-Gilles in the city of Liege, and Trasenster in the town of Seraing.

Cuts in government spending regarding welfare are highly topical. How do you think projects like these fit into that narrative?

On the one hand, there’s the danger that these kind of approaches get instrumentalised by local policy makers: ‘OK, this is a way that you can take care of it yourself, we don’t have to do it.’ That’s where the danger lies. On the other hand, it’s also true that for decades we invested so much in outsourcing a lot of our responsibilities as citizens or in the role we can play in our society to third parties. So there’s a rediscovery of certain relationships. I guess we need to find a new middle ground between keeping the best of both worlds. We have to realise that because of the complexity of society and of certain issues, there is a need for expertise as well. You can’t just re-outsource that back to the citizen, throwing away decades of research.

Interview extract by Emma Firmin in the publication RECIPROCITY 2015 / About Social Innovation

Photography © Germain Ozer

Reciprocity 2015-21


Rotor, the Brussels-based design and research collective, brings architecture into the RECIPROCITY fold with Deconstruction. This project aims to shed light on the practices of building deconstruction and the reuse of construction materials, in turn joining the dots between logistics and lyricism. Proposing an alternative material flow and economy, it is not an artificial life-support for the hegemony of the past, but an integrative system that extracts the healthy, the valuable elements from a building, and then cleans, cuts and stores them for sale and reuse.

And is that what really motivated the setting up of Rotor Reconstruction?

One thing that we noticed was that there’s a mismatch between the services and practices that currently exist, and the building stock that is going to be demolished now and in the following decades…there were hardly any initiatives taken on really large scale demolition sites, especially not on demolition sites of modernistic or late modern buildings. Most of the dealers and designers that work with reclaimed materials focus on sort of rustic building materials. We tried to convince dealers to pay attention to these other materials but it didn’t work, so we decided to fill this gap ourselves.

Interview extract by Emma Firmin in the publication RECIPROCITY 2015 / About Social Innovation

Photography © Germain Ozer



Want to understand the fundamentals of Finnish aesthetics? On October 1st, the Executive Director of Artek, Marianne Goebl, will hold a conference about the long journey, research and investment in sustainable design of the brand founded by Alvaro Aalto. Artek, founded as a platform for modern arts, industry, interior architecture and propaganda in the beginning of the international modernist movement, still works according to the vision of its creators 80 years after its creation, and opens the ball of RECIPROCITY with the opening of the The Taste of Change exhibition and the award ceremony at the Musée de la Vie wallonne at 18h.. During the conference, a series of the Artek bestsellers Stool 60 signed Aalto, will be revisited with laser technology by three artists from Liege: Marc Vanlindt – digital fractal; Toska – Urban graphic; Romain Troupin – Art fake. Book your tickets right away!

And to have an in-depth view into the universe of the brand, there will be a satellite exhibition at Desiron Lizen during the whole month of RECIPROCITY.

Artek Manifest
01/10, 1:30-2pm
Place Saint Etienne / Place Saint-Denis
4000 Liège

SUBSCRIBE HERE to see the conference!


IMAGINE LIEGE :: When Form Follows Film

DURING RECIPROCITY, IMAGINE LIÈGE is a two day event – 2 and 3 October 2015 – to be held in The Cité Mirroir and whose focus is the exploration of the film’s key role in social design. Commissioner Max Borka wanted to highlight the work of two filmmakers, pioneers in the field: Marcus Vetter (DE) and Andreas Dalsgaard (DK), as well as Liege’s Benjamin Hennot, director of La Jungle Etroite, proposed as a permanent projection. Discussions on the film, the social design and the local scene will accompany the projections.

Register quickly as seats are limited!

View the programme of October 2 and 3:



Arne Pauwels and his Wakati project!
It is a successful project that does not hide its ambitions – minimize post-harvest losses of what has already been produced in developing countries – which won the International Prize at the RECIPROCITY DAY / EXPO MILANO 2015 Belgian Pavilion,
awarded by the International Jury of the Call for Projects THE TASTE OF CHANGE – Design for food.

Wakati, which means “time” in Swahili, allows farmers to increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. According to the United Nations, 45% of fruits and vegetables is spoiled before it reaches the market. The initiator of the project, Arne Pauwels, inspired by an “old” technology to keep areas cool, has devised its first use by farmers in Africa, forced to travel long distances to reach the nearest market where sell their products. It is impossible to be productive without a decent storage to protect the crops: Wakati is therefore ideal for warmer regions of the world with little energy. This tent / container provides a sterilized micro-climate, powered by a solar panel of just 3 Watts: it can contain 180 kg of fruits and vegetables. The energy required is less than 1% of a fridge and the cost is minimal.
The multi-disciplinary nature of the project certainly attracts different communities: eco-sustainable, business, design. These multiple dimensions converge in what we call “design for humans,” with a taste for change, of course!

The jury of the International Prize

Giovanna Massoni, RECIPROCITY design liège – artistic director and exhibition curator, Liege (BE)
Audrey Bres – Yookô Magazine, Paris (FR)
Leen Creve – freelance journalist, Antwerp (BE)
Vivian Cheng – designer and ICSID member, Hong Kong (HK)
Emma Firmin – freelance journalist, DAMn Magazine, Brussels (BE/UK)
Agata Jaworska – freelance journalist, curator, writer, Amsterdam (NL)
François Jégou – Strategic Design Scenarios / ENSAV La Cambre, Brussels (BE)
Anna Meroni – associate professor at the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano – international coordinator of DESIS – Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability Network Association (IT) 
Mathieu Nguyen – journalist, Le Vif Weekend, Brussels (BE)
Cristina Morozzi – journalist and Design Director of Education – Design School-Istituto Marangoni, Milan (IT)
Laurence Soetens – food designer, Food Fiction, Brussels (BE)
Saskia Van Stein – artistic director, Bureau Europa, Maastricht (NL)

This winning project and other 59 selected projects will be shown at the THE TASTE OF CHANGE exhibition during RECIPROCITY 2015!



Chloe Rutzerveld and her Project Edible Growth!
It is an unprecedented challenge, demonstrating how high tech can rhyme with health, that won the Euregio Prize, awarded this May 4 by the Jury of the Call for Projects THE TASTE OF CHANGE – Design for food.

Edible growth is an example of a future food product that forms a bridge between new technologies and authentic practices of growing and breeding food. It combines food with new technology, nature, culture and design.
Multiple layers containing an edible breeding ground, seeds, spores and yeast are printed according to a personalized 3D file after which natural processes like photosynthesis and fermentation will start. Within five days the plants and fungi mature while the yeast ferments the solid inside into a liquid. The product’s intensifying structure, scent and taste are reflected in its changing appearance. Depending on the preferred intensity, the consumer decides when to harvest and enjoy the delicious, fresh and nutrient‐rich edible.

The selection committee and jury of the Euregio Prize
Chairman of the selection committee: Alok Nandi
Creative director: Architempo – coCreationcamp, interaction designer, lecturer at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, jury member for Core77 Food Design Awards 2012

Giovanna Massoni – Artistic Director of RECIPROCITY design liège and curator of the exhibition
Clio Brzakala – Wallonie Design / general manager of RECIPROCITY design liège
Claudine Moreau – Marjorie Charlier – Province de Liège / Culture, Liège
Dorothée Goffin – Smart Gastronomy Lab, Gembloux
Isabelle Grommet – WAGRALIM, Pôle de compétitivité – Agro-Industrie Wallonie, Gembloux
François Jégou – Strategic Design Scenarios / ENSAV La Cambre, Bruxelles
Jérémy Joncheray – Taste & Visual, Strasbourg/Liège
Isabelle Masson-Loodts – independent journalist, Liège
Giorgia Morero – Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles et Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode, Bruxelles
Kunty Moureau – Journalist and curator, Liège
Caroline Naphegyi – Lille Design, Lille
Jean-Luc Pigneur – Generation W – Vieusart Academy of Culinary Arts
Heleen Van Loon – Cultuurplatform Design Limburg, Hasselt
Saskia Van Stein – Bureau Europa, Maastricht

This winning project and other 59 selected projects will be shown at the THE TASTE OF CHANGE exhibition during RECIPROCITY 2015!



Though being a creative pool in the heart of Wallonia, RECIPROCITY design liege continues to build relationships, stimulate discussion and support innovation. This 2015 edition expands its boundaries in terms of discipline and geography: RECIPROCITY will host a series of exhibitions and events organized in other cities in Belgium and the Meuse-Rhine . Here are the extra-muros.

Toegepast is an annual contest for graduate designers. In 2015, the 20th edition will be held again at the Z33 in Hasselt, but in order to highlight this jubilee, it will be under the sign of experimentation: all selected participants of previous editions will be invited to collaborate on Beyond Food & Design, to be held at the C-mine designcentrum Genk, curated by Jan Boelen. In Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture, Innovation & Ready-made reflects on the conservation and enhancement of our heritage, tangible and intangible, questioning the role that we all can play. Following a workshop organized during six months by Single Studio, the exhibition will deploy the issues related to the evolution of design manufacturing technologies and their impact in our daily lives. In Maastricht, Bureau Europa aims to highlight certain European networks that connect various actors and events. The Design by choice exhibition, organized by Professor Sowa and Jules Schoonman, concentrates on a representative sample of European cast iron trade catalogues as depicted in the 19th century. Meanwhile, in Made in Europe, the photographer Kim Bouvy analyzes the specific reciprocity between the history and the industrial identity of Liege and Maastricht. Shifiting Identities tells the story of the Meuse-Rhine Euregio. From the daily experience of its people and the use of new technologies, this exhibition presents research on identifiable characteristics of this fascinating border area. Dear Euroregio Dates, in Liege and Maastricht, presents a multilevel investigation of the character of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion. The aim of Dear Euregio is to trace habits, spatial routines and experiences of the inhabitants of this cross-border region. These experiences will be translated into mappings, but also into spatial action and interventions. The project is executed from two converted shipping containers, one for the team of Dear Hunter and one furnished as a small hotel room, fully equipped to receive guests and collaborators. A series of designers from different backgrounds join in ‘dates’. Through working sessions and discussions they share (knowledge about) their projects and strengthen cross-border encounters. The meetings are captured in a ‘road movie’ to be broadcasted during in both Liege and Maastricht. A guided tour to discover the Maastricht cultural scene and key players in the city and surrounding Euregion: Common Knowledge # 21 is organized to strengthen knowledge of creative artists, cultural professionals and the curious, during a walk through Maastricht. In Kerkrade, the Netherlands, the Cube Design Museum opens its activities devoted to the best international and Euregional design. The museum aims to be a dynamic space of co-creation through its Living Labs. And in Germany, Designmetropole Aachen is a loose network of artists and designers who operate out of the greater Aachen region, and the bordering parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. From October 2015, Designmetropole Aachen will invite designers to plan & publish any number of dates where they open the doors of their studios/workspaces and throw parties or host events.

Click here for further information!



The next edition of RECIPROCITY will transform Liege into a place of creation, reflection and sharing as you’ve never seen before. Thanks to the support and collaboration of the Province of Liège / Culture, a selection of local galleries, museums and organizations will create a tour of new and additional content around the main program and the “guests” initiatives.
Here are all the satellite events, enjoy!

Located in the main gallery of the Guillemins station, RECIPROCITY Showcase is a glimpse of the Triennial, displayed in four windows. Ecosystem value is the installation hosted in the Liège office of Banca Monte Paschi Belgio, main partner of RECIPROCITY 2015: an innovative modular series of containers for home gardens will create an unpredictable green landscape. Wrong is the new Right, throughout the Triennale, gives you the opportunity to meet the actors of change in the field of social innovation on the beautiful site of the Brasserie Curtius. The 7th sense, inspired by the food theme, features the works developed by the students of Industrial Design at ESA Saint-Luc Liège. Berber Art presents works from the Viola collection, some of which will be seen for the first time in Belgium. A highlight on the heritage of Morocco’s Berber craftsmanship in dialogue with our culture. At the Espace Wallonie, two exhibitions reveal the creative activity of students in the school year 2014 – ’15. Following the competition The Odyssey of the Object, students in Walloon and Brussels schools have developed objects inspired by the theme “Seasonal Objects.” The association Spray Can Arts presents Apples-Pears, a project to support local businesses through a series of events, conferences and services. Designer Frederick Richard sets up an installation inspired by his native surroundings in the countryside near Liege, Hesbaye, and by the farm owned by his grandparents. The exhibition evokes certain lost habits like meeting on the main square, or “The Nice Place”, which gives the title to his installation. The gallery Les Drapiers presents fabrics and carpets edited especially for this event and created by ObjectsProjects. Inspired by the Turkish culture, the word Sofra refers to an object, the round table, but also to a space where families gather to share a meal and each member can express in a free and equal way. Alain Berteau, architect and Belgian designer, presents Genesis, revealing all phases of the development of a new versatile seat, from the first sketch to the final product. Sketches revealing the creative process also in Design Exquis, which transposes the Surrealist movement to the world of design. An exhibition and shop at once: in the Comptoir du Design, eleven designers from Liege present various objects at the crossroads of art, technology and innovation to meet the challenges of today’s society, by rethinking the form and function in line with aesthetic and emotional criterias. In the exhibition Spoon Knife Fork, Alain Wathieu offers us an amazing ride on the tables of today and yesterday, discovering a collection of stainless steel cutlery. The exhibition 100 Tambours Ni Trompette highlights the multifaceted activity of Baldwin Fettweis, craftsman and designer, and focuses on his tambours (drums) furniture collection. The whole is more than the sum of its parts is the exhibition to be held at the Saint-Luc Liège Secondary School and its surroundings. Following a series of meetings between students and artists, the results of this co-design project will be shown to the public. In the showroom Desiron Lizen, the exhibition Design for a New Housing System will give an insight on the Finnish furniture company Artek, celebrating its 80th anniversary. The brand was founded in the beginning of the international modernist movement as a platform for modern arts, industry, interior design and propaganda.
Finally, we strongly advice you to go and see Pénélope et les 3 p’tits cochons: the young theater company Hop Ar Noz from Liege will delight you with a hilarious satire on the deviances of the food industry. The conference Reuse of building materials organized by LIEGE CREATIVE invites Maarten Gielen from the ROTOR collective to give an in-depth view on the state of the sector of material reuse and to explore the potential of future developments. And to learn how to preserve our fruits and vegetables, join the canning workshops of the Conserverie Mobile Solidaire!

More on the Satellite Events: click here!



The soul of RECIPROCITY is eminently polyphonic. The main program, developed by internationally renowned curators, will include a meeting point, four exhibitions and an event dedicated to documentary films on social innovation. But there’s much more… Five exhibitions and events will be organized around the main program and its theme by guest institutions, all active in the field of design in Belgium. Let’s discover these guest exhibitions.

Design on Track is a co-organization by Spi, Wallonie Design and Job’in Design. This exhibition brings together a selection of products / services from different sectors design in Wallonia. The exhibition will inaugurate the cycle of events of the Station Design Wallonia, the new center entirely dedicated to design and related economy in the Walloon Region of Belgium. A Touch of Steel is a traveling exhibition that draws its content from the 2014 Steel Prize competition organised by the German Kolloquium Nordrhein Westfalen together with the Jewellery Design, Gold & Silversmith department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. Showcasing 22 students’ work, who impressed with refreshing and pioneering ways of handling steel, it will also feature the contributions of 27 German and Belgian designers and artists. The presentation will be held at the Grand Curtius. Launched in September 2014 at the Design Vlaanderen gallery, the exhibition MÖBEL, for the Triennale, is based in ESA Saint-Luc Liège and shows a collection of furniture designed by recognised designers, and made in the RessourceLab studio by those working in the social economy. MAD In Situ is the lab for social innovation and social design of MAD Brussels. In the meeting point of RECIPROCITY 2015, the center will present projects developed in collaboration with designers-in-residence, engaged in a dynamic creative process based on the confrontation with the issues of local residents. Last but not least, Creative Jam, organized by Design Innovation, is a workshop / exhibition to rethink meals and the way distribution systems are organised in the framework of a social service. Participants will create new recipes based on products from short circuits, create new settings for their uses, and will prototype these new proposals. The results of this creative marathon will be offered to the visitors during a festive tasting.

For further information about the guest exhibitions, click here!