Kortrijk, Belgium | 31st Aug to 8 Sept 2024 | Free
Apply to Living Repairs before May 1st!


The Living Summer School (LSS) is a yearly week-long educational program promoting social and territorial innovation in and around the city of Kortrijk, Flanders. Young creatives, designers, and entrepreneurs collaborate with a network of local partners and experts. Together, they envision social impact concepts and design prototypes addressing relevant local territorial challenges.

The LSS offers its participants a short but intense immersive experience in the heart of Flanders, establishing a network of young practitioners that work on geography-specific issues. Within a week’s time the participants create innovative prototypes, service blueprints and concrete social interventions.

For more information about the summer school, see here.


This year's theme revolves around the concept of repairs as a transformative force for sustaining and rejuvenating environments. In a global landscape marked by finite resources and escalating environmental degradation, the notion of repair assumes paramount importance.

In 2023, 30 participants from across Europe came together in Kortrijk to design and build makeshift interventions in 3 different sites. One year later, new participants will be back in the same locations to expand on our previous experience, intervene on the pre-built constructions after a year of use by our local partners, and reflect on the practices and philosophies of repair.

Building upon last year's exploration of makeshift interventions, which sought to inspire immediate action through participatory, minimally designed interventions, our focus now shifts towards repairing and sustaining these structures and interventions. By doing so, we endeavor to delve into innovative solutions to socioenvironmental challenges while nurturing a culture characterized by resourcefulness, adaptability, and resilience, emphasizing ongoing care and engagement with the communities and environments impacted.


For the upcoming edition, participants will return to the 2023 sites, repairing, hacking, improving, moving, cleaning, deconstructing, upgrading and maintaining constructions. Participants will have freedom in designing and engineering these interventions, think of the social and environmental performance of the projects, design community blueprints or even lead communication strategies. The idea is to assist our local partners in enhancing their practices and providing them with out of the box ideas.

For more information about these sites see 2023: Makeshifts.

1. Wildebras

#LZSB is a Kortrijk collective which creates playful interventions and experiments in the public space. They turn their cargo bikes into means of creating “situations” that connect people and nature.  They organise outdoor parties and film screenings, run microadventures,  rewild the city, coordinate a wild swimming collective and much more!

Wildebras is their series of experiments on wild and outdoor play for children. As Wildebras, #LZSB, took over the island within the “Brothers Van Raemdonck” park in Kortrijk. They run it as an adventure and construction playground where only children are allowed to roam freely. Children can play and build what their imagination suggests under minimal supervision of a few “playworkers”. Through peer learning and play, children and playworkers teach each  other how to use hand tools such as saws, hammers, drills... 

2. Bolwerk 

Bolwerk defines itself as a cultural freeport fostering creation, encounter, wonder and ecology. Bolwerk is located along the Bossuit–Kortrijk canal, in an industrial area that was once dedicated to the production of cotton. From the industrial site, once you cross the big wooden gate you enter into the haven of makeshifts. The two brothers who founded Bolwerk, Ruben ad Servaas, built the place together with Kortrijk’s community from the bottom-up with an ecological vocation.

Bolwek welcomes a multitude of people, spirits and attitudes, which slowly shape and build its reality. Below the big industrial hangar and outdoors and indoors bars are situated to welcome visitors and all sorts of events such as exhibitions, concerts and parties. Within the hangar a huge workshop produces literal car-pools, giant marionettes and tiny houses. Kortrijk’s communities, especially the youth can always find their space in Bolwerk by organising events, learning how to build their crazy project and taking part in the production through the “Jongbloed” group.

3. Heerlijkheid Van Heul

The Heerlijkheid Van Heule is an historical farmstead surrounded by water. Its historical buildings and natural environment create an ecological oasis within Heule. The Heerlijkheid is not just a farm, in fact, its organisation pursues a social vocation by using ecological farming as a connection to vulnerable groups, especially vulnerable youth, and more broadly to its surrounding neighbourhood. Every morning and noon employees, visitors and volunteers gather around in a circle in the heart of the farm and distribute the daily task in an equitable way according to everyone’s vocation and capacity.

The Heerlijkheid Van Heule in its community represents a space for radical inclusion and collective experimentation amongst people and nature.

Selection Process:

Selection for participants in the summer school will occur throughout the month of May. The process will be a collaborative effort involving the Living Summer School team, along with our local site partners Bolwerk, Heerlikheid Van Heule, and Wilderbras, as well as our esteemed education partners Constructlab, Fablab Torino, and Forecast.

In evaluating submissions, we will consider the motivation of applicants, the skills that they would like to acquire during the summer school and how they would fit in with the rest of the team. Participants will be able to rank their preferred projects they would like to work on during the week and the LSS will organise them into the different working groups based on complementary skills and expertise.


Age: Applicants must be younger than 30 years old at the time of the application.

Academic and professional experience: We welcome applications from all levels of professional and academic experience, and from any field of study ( architecture, art, urban planning, biology, sociology, engineering, environmental studies etc.)

Residency: Applicants must be residents of European Union countries during the duration of the summer school. 

The Summer School will be in English, but extra support will be provided for Dutch and French.

Costs & Expenses:

It’s all free!

Housing: All participants will be housed in DOK 27, a scouts housing next to the lake of Harelbeke. Participants can organise alternative housing for themselves, but this will not be covered by the LSS. 

Travel: The LSS will provide financial assistance for travel to and from the summer school. Only European destinations will be covered, extra-european destinations cannot be covered by the summer school. Participants will purchase their tickets themselves, and the LSS will reimburse part or all of their travel shortly after the end of the summer school. The total travel assistance will be communicated when participants are notified of their acceptance.

Food: We will cover all food and beverages for the entire duration of the summer school. Cooking will be managed by a local chef, and participants will volunteer to cook in turns for the entire group, learning great recipes in the meantime!

Bikes: rental bicycles will be provided for each participant for the entire duration of the summer school. Participants are expected to bike during their stay. Exceptionally special transportation for people with limited mobility can be organised upon request BEFORE the start of the summer school.

Participants will have access to Harelbeke’s lake, swimming suits are highly recommended!

Application Requirements:

- Motivation (250 words, this will help us understand the motivation behind applications)

- Bio (250 words, this will help present selected participants in online and printed comunications)

- Profile Picture (only used internally for administrative reasons)  

- Portfolio of relevant work, link to social media

Deadlines and submission process:

- Application registration open: 1 March

- Deadline to submit application: 1 May

- Acceptance notification: 15 June

- Arrival in Kortrijk: 31 August, meet at Kortrijk train station at 17:00

- Summer School: 31 August - 8 September 

- Departure from Kortrijk: 8 september 

For more information, contact: elena@livingsummerschool.com

Building Partners

Construct Lab: Constructlab is a transdisciplinary design-build network that brings together architectural concepts and construction. While breaking with traditional divisions of labor, the organization engages a team of multi-talented designer-builders – as well as sociologists, urban planners, graphic designers, curators, educators and web developers – who carry the creative process from the drawing board to the field. Their shared vision of a collaborative way of working combines the creative with the practical, the thinking with the doing.

Fablab Torino: Fablab Torino is a cultural association, a digital manufacturing laboratory and a makerspace - the first opened in Italy. It doesn't matter whether you are a professional or an enthusiast: at FablabTO you find the spaces, machinery and tools suitable for realizing your projects, develop new skills and share what you know how to do with a community of people with the same interests as you.

Bolwerk:  Like-minded people who want to realize an idea together can find, inspire or support each other at Bolwerk. The emphasis is on creative makership with the large, equipped studio as the most important tool. However, creating something does not always have to take a tangible form, it can also be an experience or experience.