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THE TASTE OF CHANGE :: WALLONIE-BRUXELLES PRIZE :: AND THE WINNER IS… 

Violaine Dupuis and her project Tiffin!
It’s a new service that promises few tons less of waste, based on a sharing system of food boxes, that won the Wallonie-Bruxelles Prize awarded this May 4 by the Jury of the Call for Projects THE TASTE OF CHANGE – Design for food.

And how does it work? You subscribe to the Tiffin service in one of the partner restaurants: you pay 10,00 € plus a 10,00 € deposit and you receive your Tiffin box (a compartmentalized plate). Then you call a partner restaurant and order your dish! The restaurant prepares your order in a Tiffin box, that you withdraw by bringing your own Tiffin box. You receive an immediate 5% discount on the takeaway, and that every time. The boxes, reusable order after order, made of 18/10 quality stainless steel are airtight, solid, practical, durable and design. And approved by the restaurants.

The selection committee and jury of the Wallonie-Bruxelles 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!

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Welcome to Seraing :: ME TOO, I TRANSESTER!

During RECIPROCITY 2012, “Welcome to Saint-Gilles” had demonstrated how design can help catalyze neighborhood changes starting from the local community.
While continuing to work on this project, in 2015 RECIPROCITY also leaned on Seraing, a city in the province of Liege with an important industrial past.
ERIGES (Eriger Seraing) and RECIPROCITY have therefore initiated a collaboration: ERIGES is the autonomous municipal authority (RCA) of Seraing who runs the successful implementation of the Master Plan based on urban renewal and redevelopment of 800 hectares of the city. Design with and for the people.

In January 2015, a design laboratory for social innovation has been set up: during two workshops, a group of experts – Virginia Tassinari and Nik Baerten, curators, Pablo Salazar Calderon, Henriëtte Waal, Yara Al-Adib and Elisa Bertolotti – the FabLabs of the Euroregion and a school, the MAD Faculty of Genk, worked in close collaboration with the people and organizations active in the area. The designers have walked the streets of the Trasenster district and met the inhabitants and merchants, inviting all to join them at the old town hall to present their ideas and receive theirs. During the months that followed, a series of micro interventions, ranging from the use of windows of empty shops as communication surfaces to self-directed services to food distribution, changed perspectives and relationships.

The results, along with the successful ones in Saint-Gilles, will be presented at the Cité Miroir during the exhibition Welcome to__ coordinated by Baerten and Tassinari, in the framework of RECIPROCITY 2015. Through objects, images, stories and diagrams, the exhibition will provide a broad overview of the process and the interventions made. The exhibition will also host a “public innovation space” and a “debate room” for workshops and meetings (agenda will follow).
“Welcome to Seraing” is an initiative of RECIPROCITY design liege, made possible through the collaboration with the Province of Liege, ERIGES, the city of Seraing, Interreg and Euregio.


Video by Gilles-Ivan Frankignoul

Welcome to__
Design & local communities

La Cité Miroir
Place Xavier Neujean, 22
4000 Liege
www.citemiroir.be

In situ interventions: Saint Gilles de Liège neighbourhood / Trasenster de Seraing-Ougrée neighbourhood
Curators and scenography: Nik Baerten / Pantopicon (BE) & Virginia Tassinari / MAD Faculty Genk and members of DESIS (IT / BE).

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THE TASTE OF CHANGE :: WALLONIA PRICE ::: AND THE WINNER IS…

Local Eat, represented by its co-creator Julie Royaux!

It is a free application shortening the distance between producers and consumers of the agri-food sector, designed to revitalize the local economy, which won the Wallonia Price attributed this May 4 by the Jury of the call for projects THE TASTE OF CHANGE – Design for food.

Consuming quality products while supporting local producers is an approach that many of us want to undertake, but without knowing what to do, where to go. Who are the small producers of Wallonia and Brussels? And where are they located? The Eat Local App provides a concrete and immediate response through new technologies. This innovative tool for smartphones and tablets will allow to find fresh local products in two clicks, wherever you are: once you download the app, select the type of desired product and the distance criteria.

Congratulations to Julie and the Local Eat team!

The selection committee and jury of the WALLONIA PRICE

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!

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ANOTHER LIEGE

Essential stop on any visit to Belgium, capital of the province of Liege and economic capital of Wallonia, Liege is nicknamed the “Ardent City”. The Meuse, which crosses from south to north, the wooded hills that surround it and its marked relief, plus an intense cultural and artistic life, give it an amazing charm. Its considerable architectural heritage conceals countless treasures to discover. Sometimes unsuspected to residents themselves. The next edition of RECIPROCITY take shape in unusual and charming places to offer original perspectives of the city. We will tell you in this post out these common places hosting various projects RECIPROCITY!

MEETINPOINT
MEETING POINT
RElab

The MEETING POINT find its place in the RElab. It lies in the heart of the city, between the friendly Saint-Etienne and Place Saint-Denis. It brings together passionate about new technologies and machine tools controlled by computer, to design and implement creative objects and concerned about the future of the planet (the recycled materials are the basis of the workshop). First FabLab in Wallonia, it is surrounded by a multidisciplinary team.

Place Saint-Etienne / Saint-Denis
4000 Liège
www.relab.be

TTOC
THE TASTE OF CHANGE
Espace Saint-Antoine – Musée de la Vie wallonne

Former convent of the Friars Minor, renovated in 2008, the Museum of Walloon Life offers an original and comprehensive view of Wallonia in the 19th century to today. The Franciscan Church St. Anthony, deconsecrated in year 70 and renamed “Espace Saint-Antoine”, is home to many prestigious cultural events.

Cour des Mineurs
4000 Liège
www.viewallonne.be

WELCOMETO
WELCOME TO_
IMAGINE LIEGE
CONFÉRENCE
La Cité Miroir

Inaugurated in January 2014, the City Mirror, after major renovation of a building partially classified as a monument to the Walloon Heritage in 2004, designed by modernist architect George Dedoyard from Liège, is a citizen space and a complete cultural complex. In the ancient Baths and Spa de la Sauvenière, activities such as exhibitions, theatre, documentary films and conferences are regularly scheduled.

Place Xavier Neujean, 22
4000 Liège
www.citemiroir.be

DECONS
ROTOR DECONSTRUCTION
Athénée Léonie de Waha

Former Higher Institute of ladies in the nineteenth century, listed as exceptional Walloon heritage in 1999, built from 1936 to 1938 from the plans by the architect Jean Moutschen, is a typical Modernist building: monumental, functional, integrated living spaces unusual for its time (laboratory, pool, boarding hall, music room), and a score of works by contemporary artists from Liege.

Boulevard d’Avroy, 96
4000 Liège
www.athenee-de-waha.be

PRINTEDCOMMONS
PRINTED COMMONS
ESA Saint-Luc Liège

Located in a former barracks, like all the St. Luke Institute, that of Liege was founded by the Congregation of Christian Brothers at the Fonck barracks. Their goal was to train experienced artists and artisans who cultivate the art inspired by medieval monuments. Today Saint-Luc is a reference in the visual arts, photography, graphic design, architecture.

Espace B9
Boulevard de la Constitution, 41
4020 Liège
www.saintluc-liege.be

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RECIPROCITY DAY :: EXPO MILANO 2015 :: Belgian Pavilion

In the framework of the Wallonia-Brussels Week organized by Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI), Wallonia Export & Investment Agency (AWEX) and Wallonia-Brussels Design Fashion (WBDM) in the Belgian Pavilion at EXPO MILANO 2015, we are pleased to invite you to the RECIPROCITY DAY, an event entirely dedicated to the International Triennial of Design & Social Innovation.
In partnership with Wallonia-Brussels Architectures (WBA) and during one day, RECIPROCITY will host the Belgian Pavilion with two round tables attended by a number of prestigious names from the worlds of design and architecture, coming from both Belgium and further afield in Europe. The first round table, The Taste of Change, invites the panellists and public to discuss the key issues that are at the heart of the coming Triennial in Liege. The round table in the afternoon, Architectural Heritage as Spare Parts, organised by WBA in collaboration with Rotor, is an in-depth look at the theme of architecture and reuse in the construction sector, with experts from Belgium and Italy sharing their experiences.
On the same day, the jury for the Triennial’s competition The Taste of Change – design for food -tools, systems & services, will meet to decide the winner of the international prize.
In the late afternoon the international press conference will take place, followed by a reception conceived by Belgian food designer Laurence Soetens.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL PROGRAMME

THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF
Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI)
www.wbi.be
Wallonia Export & Investment Agency (AWEX)
www.awex.be

A special thanks to
Brussels Airlines
www.brusselsairlines.com

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THE TASTE OF CHANGE : THE JURY’S CHOICE

Participants from around the world have been many, but the jury has made its choice! On 4 May 2015 the members of the The Taste of Change Contest Selection Committee met in the Musée de la Vie wallon to select 60 projects which will be exhibited in the Espace Saint-Antoine area of the same venue, at the RECIPROCITY next edition in 2015. The three prizes awarded this May 4 have yet to reveal – the Walloon Prize, the Wallonie-Bruxelles Prize and the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion Prize. They will be announced from 23 June 2015, together with the International Award selected in the RECIPROCITY DAY / EXPO MILANO 2015 at the Belgian Pavilion.
Let us introduce you to the selected ones, but also to the selectors!

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

Members of the selection committee: 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

And here are the selected ones!

Lina ABSSI (France), Aurélien ALTIUS (France), Pauline ANDROLUS (France), Daria AYVAZOVA (France), helium3 – Cédric BALLARATI (Belgium), Ateliers RTT – Daym BEN HAMIDI (France), Sarah Bengle, Jacinthe Allias, Mathieu Huppé (Canada), Fridael BERTUS (Netherlands), Gaëtan BOULVIN + élèves de l’institut des Ursulines, site du Sacré-Coeur à Koekelberg (Brussels) avec l’accompagnement du designer Pierre Stevens (Belgium), Sandrine BRASSEUR (Belgium), Pablo CALDERON (Belgium), Studio Chudy and Grase – Nils CHUDY / Jasmina GRASE (Allemagne),
Clémentine DANSETTE (France), Cleo Maxime DE BRABANDER (Netherlands), Fabio DEL CAMPO
(France), Anne Laure DESFLACHES (France), Vincent DORÉ (France), Benjamin DUPUIS (Belgium), Violaine DUPUIS (Belgium), FALTAZI – Victor Massip et Laurent Lebot (France), Frédérique FICHEROULLE (Belgium), Etienne GIANNESINI-BIZOT (France), Alain GILLES
(Belgium), Académie des Beaux-Arts Tournai – Prof. Olivier GILSON (Belgium), Honey & Bunny -Stummerer & Hablesreiter + Alexander Diem (Austria), Ben HAGENAARS (Belgium), Adam HAJIMICHAEL (Belgium), Ingrid HALLERY et Éva Peyronnaud (France), Linde HERMANS
(Belgium), Vol-au-vent – Hilde BREPOELS, Annelore SMITS, Eef ROMBAUT (Belgium), FabLab Maastricht – Frits HOFF Netherlands, Bodin HON (Italy), Rininta ISDYANI (Indonesia), Jesper Jensen
(Germany), Studio Jihyun David – RYOU Jihyun, David ARTUFFO (Italy), Studio Lentigo – Ronan KERDREUX (France), Bert KRAMER (Netherlands), Jianxun LAI (China), Nienke Hoogvliet (Netherlands), Adriana OLAYA (Columbia), Simone PALLOTTO / Tupperware
(Belgium), Arne PAUWELS (Belgium), Marie RAMON-DARE (France), Maria Naomi Galavotti & Martina Ranedda (Italy), Justina RICÁRDEZ – Casa Verde (Mexique), Jérôme Hubert & Martin RINGLET (Belgium), Julie ROYAUX (Belgium), Chloé RUTZERVELD (Netherlands), Johanna SCHMEER (Germany), Maddalena SELVINI (Italy), Sebastiaan SENNEMA / Studio Harvest (Australia), Pierre STEVENS (Belgium), Johanna TAMMSALU – TAMMA Design (Estonia),
Marijke TIMMERMAN – Dik&Stijlloos (Netherlands), Perla VALTIERRA (Mexico), Arno VAN BAELEN (Belgium), Pierre-Emmanuel VANDEPUTTE (Belgium), Sébastien Leflond, Annabelle Chapron, Nicolas VICAIRE (France).

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ROTOR – DECONSTRUCTION

They aim to take a fresh and nuanced look across a mostly ignored economic sector: the dismantling of buildings aimed to be destroyed and reuse of building materials and architectural elements… Meet Rotor, the design and architecture collective founded in 2005 by Maarten Gielen, Tristan Boniver and Lionel Devlieger. Counting today a growing number of members, it was built around a common fascination for material flow. Commissioner of DECONSTRUCTION, one of the main exhibitions of the next edition of RECIPROCITY, we would like to introduce you to them.

ROTOR_TOP
Rotor manages the concept and construction of architectural and design projects, but its approach is unique: starting from a precise observation of deconstruction practices and reuse of materials, the group launched a series of open discussions and develops a critical position on design, material resources and the concept of waste through studies, exhibitions, publications and conferences. In short, a theoretical dismantling before it comes to the materials.

The Brussels collective, who represented the Federation Wallonia-Brussels at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2010 with the project “Usus / wears,” has since known a constantly renewed success abroad. Evidenced by the prestigious Global Award for Sustainable Architecture at the Cité de l’Architecture in Paris and the Jonge Maaskantprijs 2015 in the Netherlands, awarding their research about material flows in architecture and their concrete proposals of not only poetic solutions but also practical ones, always sensitive to society issues.

Rotor_Deconstruction
Last but not least, Rotor has launched a competition, “Challenge Opalis” (to discover here: http://opalis.be/fr/pages/challenge).

How to tell deconstruction and recycling of recovered materials?
We are very curious to see the exhibition during RECIPROCITY 2015! One thing is certain: it will be at least as original as the collective itself.

2015-coming-soon

WAITING FOR RECIPROCITY 2015

As you know, RECIPROCITY is not only an event. It shapes itself every day before, during and after the triennial appointment, with no time, visions or space limit, as its nature is dynamic and processual. But a true moment of “manifestation” will take place and is highly awaited. In Liège, especially, but also in the Meuse-Rhine region and in Mons, the international event that was conceived by its founders as a tool for meeting and working, will open itself to other creative universes: architecture, through a focus on the systems of recycling building materials, with an exhibition curated by the ROTOR collective, in a location Liege to be rediscovered; but also graphics, declined through several workshops followed by exhibitions on activism in visual communication. These two sectors are inextricably connected to the socio-cultural and economic innovation process of a city and a province for which RECIPROCITY becomes a participant-observer.

But what are all the main events taking place from October 1 to November 1, 2015? Let’s have a look!

MAIN PROGRAMME | EXHIBITIONS, WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS & EVENTS

1. The Taste of Change [exhibition]
Design for food – tools, services & systems

Curatorship: Giovanna Massoni
Venue: Musée de la Vie wallonne – Espace Saint-Antoine

This exhibition is the result of an international call for entries addressed to schools, students & designers (product design, graphic design, interior architecture, service design, design for social innovation). Sixty products, projects, services will be selected by a selection committee and 4 prizes (Wallonia, Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Euregio Meuse-Rhine, international) will be awarded by an international jury.

A parallel event will be dedicated to two collaborative school projects:

The first collaborative project, initiated by the Liege-based Zhong Ren Chinese Cultural Centre, in collaboration with RECIPROCITY, is the result of a workshop between students of MA industrial design at ESA Saint-Luc Liege and ABAUT (Academy of Arts & Design)/Tsinghua University Beijing.

The second project is the result of a workshop between ESA Saint-Luc Liege BA students and the Second University of Naples (IT) in the framework of the programme “World Design & Nutrition” about the stakes of food production, distribution, transformation.

2. Welcome to__ [exhibition] [workshop]
Design & local communities

Curatorship: Nik Baerten (Pantopicon) & Virginia Tassinari (Desis Lab)
Interventions in situ: Saint Gilles district of Liege / Trasenster district of Seraing-Ougrée
Venue: La Cité Miroir

Designers, design schools and inhabitants are confronted to social innovation creative projects in two neighbourhoods: Saint-Gilles in Liège and Trasenster in Seraing.

Schools: ESA Saint-Luc Liege (teacher: Pinky Pintus), MAD Faculty Genk (teachers: Virginia Tassinari, Nik Baerten), ABK – Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (teachers: Chequita Nahar, Maarten Baptist), ENSAV La Cambre Brussels (teacher: François Jégou)

Collaborating designers: Pablo Calderon Salazar, Henriëtte Waal, Yara Al-Adib and Elisa Bertolotti

Videos and photos: Gilles-Ivan Franckignoul

Euregional FabLabs: Liege, Maastricht, Genk and Aachen

In collaboration with: Mouvement de Saint-Gilles, Ceinture Aliment-Terre Liège, Centre d’Actions Laïques, Cultural Centre of Seraing, Maison du Combattant Seraing, and AREBS

Partners: ERIGES, Seraing

3. Printed Commons [exhibition] [workshop]
Social design in the making

Curatorship: Teresa Sdralevich (IT /BE), in collaboration with Nawal Bakouri (F)
Posters by Teresa Sdralevich: various locations in Liege
Workshops & exhibition / venue: ESA Saint-Luc, Espace B9 & a public space to be determined

A project in three parts (posters in town, workshops, exhibition) that enhance graphic design and visual communication as media of civic expression for social change.

International guests (graphic designers / workshops): Malte Martin (D/F), Tom Henni (F), Homa Delvaray (IR).

ESA Saint-Luc Liège / the teachers: Véronique Gengler, Daniel Renzoni, Marie Sion, Philippe Vincent (Graphic Design, Screen Printing and Advertising).

4. Deconstruction [exhibition]
Building deconstruction and reuse of construction materials

Curatorship: Rotor (BE)
Venue: Athénée Léonie de Waha, Liège
Partners: SPI, Liege

An ongoing project and an exhibition on practices of building deconstruction and the reuse of construction materials.

5. IMAGINE LIEGE [projection] [conference/debate]
Form Following Film

Curatorship: Max Borka – Mapping the Design World
Venue: La Cité Miroir – projection room
Date: 2-3 October, 2015

Screening event showing documentaries produced by independent organisations from all over the world, which record temporary or permanent social innovation projects. With a programme of full-length feature films and short films, screenings will be combined with on-stage interviews with the directors, producers and/or those connected to the projects involved.

6. Construction/Deconstruction/Reconstruction [conference/debate]

As in 2012, a seminar will be dedicated to the in-depth exploration of certain themes within the exhibition programme. Topics: sustainable architecture, planning & building, climate, circular economy, social innovation. More information will follow.

MANZINI_COVER

EZIO MANZINI & RECIPROCITY

In the framework of RECIPROCITY design liège 2015 preview events, Ezio Manzini, a leading thinker in design for sustainability, founder of our partner organization DESIS, an international network on design for social innovation and sustainability (www.desis-network.org) will present his new book, Design, When Everybody Designs, and interact with three invited discussants from Liege and the Euregio: Paul Lambrechts – City of Maastricht (NL), Geoffroy Lhoest – urbAgora (Liege, B) and Virginia Tassinari – MAD Faculty, Campus Genk / LUCA Arts (B). Nik Baerten (Pantopicon) will moderate the debate between the panelists and the public.

The presentation will take place next 6 May at 6pm at La Halte in Liege, a cultural venue in the city center that gathers a dynamic network of professional artists in order to share services and know-how.

Ezio Manzini
Design, When Everybody Designs – An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation
La Halte
Rue de la Casquette 4, Liege (Belgium)
6 may, 2015 at 6-10pm
Book your free seat by clicking here! (Limited places)

book
The book

Design, When Everybody Designs – An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation
By Ezio Manzini
Translated by Rachel Coad
MIT Press
mitpress.mit.edu/books/design-when-everybody-designs

 

Overview

In a changing world everyone designs: each individual person and each collective subject, from enterprises to institutions, from communities to cities and regions, must define and enhance a life project. In this framework, the book distinguishes between diffuse design (performed by everybody) and expert design (performed by those who have been trained as designers), and maps what the second can do to trigger and support meaningful social changes.

manzini
About the Author

Ezio Manzini, a leading thinker in design for sustainability, founded DESIS, an international network on design for social innovation and sustainability (www.desis-network.org). He is Honorary Professor at the Politecnico of Milan, Chair Professor at University of the Arts London, and currently guest Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai, and Jiangnan University, Wuxi.

Copyright-antoan-kurti

A CONVERSATION WITH CLIO BRZAKALA

A chat with Clio Brzakala, director of Wallonie Design, in charge of the general management of RECIPROCITY design liège

What are the objectives of Wallonie Design?
Wallonie Design aims to turn design into a cultural and social economic development tool in Wallonia. We work on developing SMEs through design and support designers to develop their activities. We also provide services open to design students, institutions / communities and the general public.

What are the common values between RECIPROCITY and Wallonie Design?
We are all really committed to work of quality, which is useful and responds to the changing needs of society, whether they be economic, environmental, cultural, sociological, or a mix of those and more. I also know that both structures try to involve as broad a range of contributors as is possible, so that people can participate in different ways. The weird logic of the 1 + 1 = 3 formula might be familiar, but it makes perfect sense for RECIPROCITY and Wallonie Design: the shared desire to make things happen has undoubtedly strengthened our convictions and actions.

We are all really committed to work of quality, which is useful and responds to the changing needs of society

How does RECIPROCITY successfully integrate into the local structures of Liege, and be close to its citizens?
Well, in the first place it’s largely down to the warm and motivated welcome that people give our team and experts. What motivates us are them, the people, associations and students, which come together – sometimes spontaneously – to make our actions, and in turn theirs, have greater impact. We are there to help them move on, to strengthen their projects by integrating design as a vector of change. Our support (in various scales) of projects such as the Saint-Gilles neighbourhood of Liege and that of Trasenster in Seraing go in this direction. Finally, even though RECIPROCITY design liège is only in its second edition, we feel an ongoing enthusiasm that is very encouraging.

It looks like Liege could become the next design centre in Belgium and the Euregio. What do you think about that?
Wallonia and in particular the Province of Liege do not lack ambition in terms of design, whose role as a vehicle for change is well established. This is the result of strategic work by the public authorities, political representatives (notably Jean-Claude Marcourt, the Walloon Minister of Economy, and the Provincial Deputy for Culture in Liege, Paul-Emile Mottard) and Walloon operators active in the field of design. I think it is true to say that Liege is now acknowledged as a focal point of design, and for several reasons: it has an industrial infrastructure that works increasingly with designers; recognised and relevant designers; the presence of design schools; the existence of RECIPROCITY and its ongoing nature; institutions active in design such as Wallonie Design, Design Job’in, RElab; the leading role played by the Liege-based Wallonie Design in design projects developed right across the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.. And last but not least: the construction of the Design Station, a new design centre in the city, which will be inaugurated during RECIPROCITY. All this tends to reinforce Liege’s pole position for design in Wallonia and the Euregio. But likewise on the Belgian level, I think humility is required, and I also recognise and greatly appreciate the excellent work done by our Flemish and Brussels counterparts.

The opening of the new design centre, Design Station, is a big thing for Wallonia. Can you tell us more about it?
The Design Station is a place dedicated to design, but also more generally economic development. The construction of this centre has been implemented by the Spi (an economic development agency), along with the help of EU Structural Funds and Wallonia. So when the Design Stations opens in October during RECIPROCITY, the centre will fulfil several functions: an exhibition and conference space; a workspace for creatives; a rapid prototyping & manufacturing lab; a workshop; office spaces for rent; and Job’in Design (an organisation that supports designers in launching their activities) and Wallonie Design’s teams are also making it their new home.

The Design Station is a place dedicated to design, but also more generally economic development.

How is Wallonia and Liege internationally positioned in the context of social and cultural innovation?
In 2012, when the Province of Liege asked us to redefine the meaning of the International Design Biennale, which was launched in 2002, we gave ourselves time to think and had many conversations with the freshly appointed artistic director, Giovanna Massoni. We could have chosen a position that was more fashionable, commercial or elitist in its approach, but the choice to investigate social innovation was motivated by both its real usefulness and also by the lack of related projects about social innovation and design in Belgium and beyond our borders. Our position, by fully dedicating RECIPROCITY to this theme, is incredibly strong and unequivocal. Design, and now social innovation for change, is our motto.

photography © Antoan Kurti