Our  Vision

We believe that there is an urgent need to combine creative, entrepreneurial and design thinking approaches to tackle the complex social and geographic crises our territories are witnessing. That’s why we provide free and accessible para-academic opportunity to all young people, creating a space for discussion and confrontation on socioenvironmental topics.


At the LSS, young people from different backgrounds experiment and learn together. The focus on social & environmental themes is essential: we want to actively engage young practitioners to work with this kind of challenge as designers, as entrepreneurs, as social activists, … and to give them the opportunity to see things from different perspectives and practices. Our unique educational approach combines specific use cases with a mix of hands-on competences  and lectures tied within a programme that closely follows the structure of a design sprint. It stimulates interaction and cooperation, allowing for very unique insights to emerge.

Mentorship, Partnerships & Collaboration

The LSS offers its participants a highly collaborative experience. Students work in teams and in close collaboration with partners: local experts who co-create with students responses to complex and systematic challenges they are being confronted with. Partners are selected every year to help us create territorial briefs thanks to their first-hand experiences and knowledge.

Students also get daily lectures from local and international experts on various topics, as well as hands-on workshops to facilitate their creative process.

During the LSS students are are accompanied and mentored by our resident team which comprises of experts in art, design, social impact and enterpreneurship as well as participants from the previous LSS edition.

LSS, through collaboration, focuses on two main takeaways:
  • Providing participants with soft and hard skills outside academic institutions,
  • Providing our partners with outside-the-box visions of the future. 

Our Team

The idea of the Living Summer School arose from a collaboration between various parties in the Kortrijk ecosystem. The organising team of the 2022 edition is comprised of:

Learn more about the LSS by listening to Co-founder Elena Falomo present the project during our acceptance speach to the LINA European Architecture Network (Dec 2022):

︎︎︎ BOLWERK    

A cultural free port that focuses on creation, encounter, wonder and ecology


An organisation that supports entrepreneurial students in Kortrijk.

︎︎︎ START@K

A cross-istitutional partnership to connect young creators in Kortrijk.


A design duo of a design researcher and architect / cartographer.



We design each Living Summer School to be unique immersions in the territory of Southwest Flanders. Living Summer Schools are short but intense. They aim at providing participants with practical tools to handle fast pased design sprints with a sense of climate and social urgency.
Biking / Site visits
Making / Prototyping
Go through our 2022 booklet:


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Living Makeshifts

SHIFTING the way we MAKE space

10 days - September 2023
30 participants

Every year we create an informal learning experience for a diverse group of youth exploring different aspects of territorial innovation. The third edition to be held in September 2023 will explore emerging building processes.

Since the industrial revolution, our cities have been expanding exponentially. In 2018 alone, 4.2 % of European land cover was lost to construction: that’s an average of one basketball court per resident.

In light of the imminent dangers that this poses to the planet, the European Commission has declared a "zero net artificialization" policy for 2050. This means that new development projects will be limited to available built-up areas. This will be a radical shift from the expansionist urbanisation of the last century. Failing to meet this objective will accelerate the current climate crisis and also make us less resilient to the change it will bring about.

We need to shift the way we make space by using what is readily available.

This is not an easy task. The production of space involves many actors from different sectors with varying expertise, imperatives and visions of the future. During 10 days, we will try to deconstruct hardwired common-practices to investigate more sustainable, emergent life cycles for our buildings, from design to build, maintenance and deconstruction.

Participants will receive lectures and site visits by inspiring designers and leaders from across Europe. They will explore ideas and get hands-on experience in making scale 1 interventions with local partners. Together, we will discover new approaches to the production and construction of space. We will occupy different building sites across the territory and test methods in constructing, maintaining and deconstructing the spaces that surround us. 

Join us!

We are currently calling for expressions of interest for the 2023 edition. We try to make each edition participatory and cater to interesting, relevant and challenging case studies from across Southwest Flanders. While offering a special learning experience for 30 young participants, it is also our ambition to sustainably and meaningfully impact the territory.

Do you want to participate? Do you have ideas of projects / sites? Do you want to partner-up or co-fund us? Do you want to give a lecture or a site visit?

2022 - 2023 Calendar

- 1 October 2022: Call for interest open
- January 2023: Call for interest closed 
- February 2023: Announcement of final program
- 1 March 2023: Registration open for 30 participants 
- 1 July 2023: Registration closed
- 15 July 2023: Notification of acceptance of participants
- First week of September 2023: LSS 2023 ( final dates to be confirmed)

Living Blocks

The social units of future habitats

Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate. The network of social spaces that define our territories need to evolve to face increasingly challenging and complex circumstances.

Participants will reflect on and design modular and sustainable future blueprints of Kortrijk’s social spaces. They will also be required to bring them to life through different situated experiments.

Participants will work in team on one of the following briefs.


Climate Displacement
In recent years we have witnessed the devastating consequences of climate change at an unprecedented rate globally. According to the Sixth Assessment published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, most of the glocal land regions are experiencing more extreme and prolonged heat waves, which are often paired with devastating rain events and storms. In October 2021 Flanders was hit by a terrible storm, the so-called “water bomb”, which affect up to 100,000 according to some sources. With an ever-increasing number of extreme weather events these incidents are due to increase in numbers and affect more and more people, leaving some without shelters for limited or extended periods of time.

Can we still find ways of inhabiting the territory with such extreme weather conditions? Or is it too late and we need to find drastically different alternatives and fabricate more habitats for the displaced population?

How might we design adaptable housing  to respond to extreme climate events?


Local and Sustainable Tourism

In 1936,paid vacation leave allowed French and Belgian citizens from all social classes to enjoy tourism. What started out as local explorations of beaches and mountain routes, expanded into international and intercontinental trips across the planet, relying mostly on aeroplanes as a means of transportation. Tourism has since grown into a trillions dollar world economy that many cities and countries rely on. However, as the recent pandemic has brought to light, in response to the ongoing climate crisis a new breed of responsible tourism needs to reemerge in our social traditions that maintains our right to vacation while dealing with the emerging risks that are associated with it.

The city of Kortrijk is currently looking into encouraging local tourism within its territory by creating value in man made and natural attractions aiming at captivating local and alien residents. For the last 10 years it has been rebranding itself while seeking out of the box experiences for curious travellers.

How might we encourage tourism that cares for the environment and people?


Building Care     

The average age in Belgium, currently 42 years, is expected to rise to 44.8 years in 2050 and 45.5 years in 2070. The age group of 80 and over is expected to double by 2070, this life-expectancy increase will also imply that more people will live in collective households (such as residential care homes).

In Kortrijk, Buda Eiland has the highest density of elderly care homes of the entire city and the oldest average population. These demographics are in contrast with the city planning which would like to turn Buda into a creative and artistic spot. In recent years historical art establishments like the Budascoop (cinema), were joined by new projects residing on the island such as BK6, hosting DURF2030, the Buda Arts Centre, Designregio Kortrijk, and the Buda Tower amongst others. This dichotomy between an ever-ageing population paired with top-down efforts to attract more young people can be found across the entire city. In fact, Kortrijk has been trying to establish itself as a cultural and youth pole through education, by opening new university campuses,  and by improving the lifestyle for young families. We are left to wonder who is left behind in these projects and if it would be possible to have more inclusive approaches across all ages.

How might we better accommodate the needs of elderlies in our cities?


Affordable Housing

There is a popular expression in Belgium which goes: “all Belgians are born with a brick in their stomach”, meaning that owning or building a house is a lifetime goal for most of the Belgian population. This is reflected in the current legislative structure that facilitates house ownership. This approach has been driving inequalities across the country, both in the capital Brussels which has  about 6.5 million square metres of unused real-estate space, and in smaller urban centres. A short walk in the city centre of Kortrijk, can reveal to an attentive eye the copious amounts of unused space, which stands in stark contrast to the new residential luxury developments along the Leie river. This is a clear signifier of gentrification and of raising housing prices. In fact, the lack of affordable housing is very present in Kortrijk, where about 1300 people have been censored as ‘homeless’ across the province. However, rough sleeping is only the tip of the iceberg, with many more people in precarious housing situations, getting by daily with temporary accommodations. A third of this group is constituted by children, young adults and women. CAW and W13 have been trying to address this situation with multiple projects to promote better social inclusion. How could art and design support them in this mission?

How might we tackle unequal access to housing through design?


Connected Lifestyles

In light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, we have all been growing accustomed to a lifestyle that accommodates both in-person interactions and digital ones. Both our leisure time and work hours are increasingly spent online. This has had huge impacts on the mental health of the global workforce, with millions of people reporting benefits given by more flexible work arrangements, but also an increase of burn outs due to the isolating work modalities has been found. As the Global Mobile Workforce Forecast suggested 1.88 Billion  will be working remotely by 2023, comprising 43.3% of the total global workforce. What are the implications of these global trends for a mid-sized city like Kortrijk?

In recent years the municipality has been trying to attract and retain younger crowds, by opening new university campuses, which offer digitally-focused study programs (like the Digital Arts and Entertainment at HOWEST), and by initiating projects to welcome young families. With a more digitally-savvy and mobile population, Kortrijk’s social fabric will inevitably change. How could digital nomads contribute to strengthening the social fabric of the city? Will they be drivers of gentrification? How could a mid-sized town offer new models of sustainable connectivity to its inhabitants?

How might we envision new models of connectivity for Kortrijk’s professionals?


Brief Partners

Welzijn13: a regional association which coordinates many initiatives around displacement and social emargination, they pioneer different approaches to address rough sleeping and to give more opportunities to marginalised individuals and families.

LZSB: a cargo-bike based collective which creates green interventions to bind communities together, they address socio-ecological integration with a spontaneous approach.

Schouwburg Theatre: the local theatre company which in the recent years has proposed many creative and artistic interventions that challenge the status-quo of social cohesion on the territory.

Cnockaert: an architecture studio which build De Knock, a social housing project revolving around an historical moat.

De Stuyverij: a social incubator promoting inclusive enterprises and projects focussed on community building.

Hangar K: Kortrijk’s incubator, supporting creativity and innovation in the city and region, with the Start@K project, a partnership with local universities and NGOs they support young innovators.

Landmarck: the old factory site of Van Marcke, now being turned into a creative hotspot hosting fairs, exhibitions and events.

Durf2030:the municipal initiative promoting the election of Kortrijk as the European capital of culture in 2030, their goal is to support and promote 2030 creative and artistic projects in the city.

Designregio Kortrijk: the organisation managing all projects related to the UNESCO creative city label of recognition, they support many projects, from commercial to artistic to support designers and creatives.

IDEWE: a national company that provides prevention of work injuries and rehabilitation, they are working on GO GREEN ROUTES, a project that wants to provide nature-based solutions to workers to address a multiplicity of issues.

Eurometropolis: a cross-border organisation that encourages cooperation in the triangle of Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai. This area has always been historically linked through its waterways, so Eurometropolis is also the initiator of the projects Carré Bleu and Blue park, for the natural preservation of the habitat.

Transfo: an old power station and industrial site which was turned into a leisure and tourism location, hosting different events throughout the year and offering cultural entertainment. They were also part of the festival Contrei live, hosting one of the permanent installations that followed the project.

Texture Museum: Kortrijk’s largest museum entirely dedicated to the processing of flax and linen, a very important part of the local heritage and history.

Green Leaf Projects: a cargo bike shop, promoting local sustainable mobility through different interventions and crazy bikes.

Wildernis: an island accessible only to children to make with natural materials and learn in the wild with minimal adult intervention, it is part of the adventure playground network.

International Speakers: 

Exhibited at:



Seen on:


Eleven Belgian and international young creatives with different backgrounds and expertise came together to reimagine the future of urban waterscapes in Kortrijk.

The educational program was created following closel the structure of a design sprint and with an explicit hands-on vocation, whilst focusing on a contemporary pressing issue.
The whole cohort was supported across the duration of the projec by coaches helping them to develop their ideas and to present them. Moreover, throughout the week, the participants attended a series of
inspirational presentations from local innovators and thinkers to broaden their horizons. All the participants had access to state of the art workshops and fablabs to complete their creations the Industrial Design Center [Howest], the Maaklab [VIVES Hogeschool] and the BUDA::Lab.

Each participant was assigned to a group following a theme.

Each group worked closely with a network of partners who have expertise in the themes tackled and are looking for outside the box interventions. The participants worked together in teams to create three projects that analysed the complex and systematic challenges they were being confronted with. Their elaborations speculatively intervened on the territory, but you might see them soon realized in
your surroundings... The ultimate goal of this experience, which was achieved successfully, waas to strengthen the links between different creative and entrepreneurial communities in the territory of Kortrijk and to initiate an international network of young practitioners that work on geography-specific issues through design thinking and different creative approaches.


How can we restore the connection between citizens an the waterscapes
they live in, in playful and meaningful ways?

Arts, culture and creativity are becoming an important tool to
support sustainability, diversity, participation and equality. With
water access in Belgium becoming progressively less accessible in
spontaneous ways, we’re losing its catalyst function in bringing
communities together, which is impacting our cultural development.
Moreover, by making the relationship with urban water exponentially
removed, we incur the risk of depriving the citizens of valuable
educational experience regarding water and water safety.
How can play and culture bring us back to our waterscapes and closer to one another?

Brief Partners:


Bolwerk is one of the cultural hotspots in the Eurometropolis, connecting people from all backgrounds and ages. They are strongly committed to rethinking culture as a catalyst for social and environmental change. They have been a key partner in the creation of the Living Waterscapes Summer School, hosting the cohort in their paradisiac settings.
︎︎︎ Bolwerk


POOL IS COOL is a NGO whose mission is to increase accessibility to water in urban context in playful ways. They started from Brussels, where they opened the first public and free swimming pool of the Belgian capital. Where next?


#LZSB is a collective who connects people with their surroundings through unpredictable and unexpected public interventions. As part of their practice, they want to encourage wild swimming.
︎︎︎ #LZSB


How might we infiltrate and reuse water in a more sustainable way 
within an urban context?

Water is the most important resource for humanity.
We consume it on a daily basis but we also use it to cook, clean, wash
and many more vital functions. In Flanders alone we use 745 m3
of water every year, one third of which is used by households.
Moreover the use of water per household has been progressively
increasing over the last generations.
Our cities should be able to capture more
rainwater to offer it back to our
communities. How could we make this
possible in an educational way ?

Brief Partner: 


De Watergroep, is one of the major water providers in Flanders.
It has been actively working on sustainable solutions to decrease the impact on the environment within the drinking water production cycle. Furthermore, they are raising awareness on the importance of using water more consciously.
︎︎︎ De Watergroep


How might we mitigate the consequences of climate change for local
farmers in a sustainable and community focused way?

In the years prior to 2021 rainwater levels fluctuation has been one of
the biggest issues in Kortrijk’s farming community. In fact, in the past
few years Flanders has been facing more extreme weather conditions
alternating between very hot and dry periods and very humid and
rainy ones.
Farms, big or small, are especially facing the challenge of storing,
keeping healthy and transporting water. The Heerlijkheid Van Heule,
amongst them, would like to achieve this goal in an ecological way
involving its community. How can design support them?

Brief Partners:


The Heerlijkheid Van Heule is anecological farm surrounded by water with a social and ecological vocation, which welcomes its neighbourhood to join in their
activities, through events, programs and volunteer work. 
︎︎︎ Heerlijkheid Van Heule & Het OranjeHuis


Stadsboerderij is a network that connects farmers and citizens, city and countryside by creating a fair market for regional organic agricultural production. They work with a wide network of local producers on the territory of Kortrijk to achieve their vision.
︎︎︎Stadsboerderij Kortrijk

Project 1: Water & Social Engagement

How can we restore the connection between citizens and the waterscapes they live in,  in playful and meaningful ways?

A modular floating structure that parades along the canals surveying swimmable spots whilst teaching about water safety to curious citizens in a playful way.

The week of the summer school might have been the warmest week of this Belgian summer. During our breaks, we were in need of a place to cool down from the heat.
In Switzerland, during summer, people in cities such as Basel, Geneva, Zurich and Bern, meet each other at the river to swim, to play, to relax. Strikingly, Kortrijk has a lot of beautiful water landscapes that could serve as swimming places.
However, it is forbidden to swim in the open water. Inspired by the Swiss bathing culture we want to change a risk avoiding mindset that is specific to Belgian culture.

After a week of research, we developed a proposal for an artistic interventionin the form of a floating parade that travels around the waters of Kortrijk.

With this intervention we aim to make the waters of Kortrijk accessible in a playful and conscious way. We wish to reconnect the people of Kortrijk by creating an enjoyable experience at the water, while at thesame time creating awareness on the challenges of these waters, and the risks and responsibility that come along with swimming in the wild.

Project 2: Water & Resources

How might we mitigate the consequences of climate change for local farmers in a sustainable and community focussed way?

A model for using a nature-based filtration systems to collect and reuse rainwater, accompanied by a sculptural fountain to engage and activate citizens.

Our project proposes a potential future where we take the people along an experiential journey of functional green spaces that act a spaces of leisure but also teaches the people of the issues surrounding this area and how simple sustainable solutions can help sustain green spaces in an urban context. From green islands that promote natural infiltration techniques to depressed pools of water that catch rainwater before it runs off a nd evaporates.
Each landscape is connected to the sculptural tap that further filters the rain water caught in this connected system to be distributed to the public for free, but controlled to educate the public
on how high quality drinking water is not an infinite or readily available resource.

When water falls in Kortrijk it is met with mixed emotions of anxiety and relief.

From a region with a history of both drought and urban floods when current systems are overwhelmed. These dual realities open up conversations on how the city’s infrastructure manages excess rainwater and criticises the culture of relentless and unsustainable urban development and its effects. Our journey this week took us all over the city and culminated at the Broeltower steps where concrete landscapes of leisure have left the public unsatisfied with the lack of nature and greenery.

Project 3: Water & Farming

How might we mitigate the consequences of climate change for local farmers in a sustainable and community focussed way?

A modular system for cleaning and filtering water around the farm, paired with a suspended playground which doubles down as a net to catch leaves (main source of water contamination).

When we visited the Heerlijkheid Van Heule, we felt like the quality of water is the main concern for the people working there. One of the workers told us that his dream was to be able to swim in it.

They already tried making a filter made from scrap materials like the barrel of a washing machine, but it broke recently. Because filtering is an important aspect of keeping water healthy, we wanted to make sure our concept had a natural filtering system. We came up with a sustainable floating filter system. The main function would be to filter the water with local water plants, stones and other natural materials.

We also designed extra modules like walking decks, cleaning decks for the crops, decks to catch and clean up the leaves and to play on sunny days. We wanted to bring together the local community and other stakeholders to help work on the project as a social project for the neighborhood to create a fun place to learn, create and play.


Exhibited at:

Seen on: