Belgium-based Designregio Kortrijk is an organization that promotes design and innovation. Their goal is to harness design—industrial design, interior, fashion, graphic—to create economic and social value within the Kortrijk region. To do that, they serve as a connector and stimulator between designers, businesses, educational institutions and governmental bodies.
They also run an annual Designers in Residence program open to recently-graduated designers of any design discipline. Applications are now open for this year's.
"During a 3-month residency, the selected designers will have the unique opportunity to develop an experimental concept through confrontation between citizens, society, entrepreneurs and education in regions such as Kortrijk.
"You will produce contextual work, investigating the nature of reality. You will take part in inspiring excursions and talks and will be mentored by curators Laure Decock and Lise Van Tendeloo."
The theme for this year's program is "Phenomena:"
"PHENOMENA is an inquiry into the nature of reality. Since ancient times, man has questioned his surrounding environment. From Plato's Allegory of the cave to the dystopian future of the Matrix, the visible universe has been compared to the metaphorical tip of the iceberg.
"As science continues formulating ever more detailed answers the essence of how the world is created remains elusive. In this quest for the substance of elementary particles, the properties of matter were investigated resulting in the molecular and atomic models governed by physics and chemistry. As the atom (named after the ancient Greek atomos: that what cannot be cut) was quickly after its discovery found to be itself made up of electrons, protons and neutrons, which in their turn are now divided into fermions such as quarks and other subatomic particles. It appears that each answer generates further questions, and ultimately the world as we know it seems to evaporate into thin air...
"According to scientific models, everything we perceive as matter and seem to touch is actually interacting electromagnetic fields constructed from countless interacting particles moving at incredible speed in what is for the largest part empty space. In quantum field theory, the notion of the particle moving in space is abandoned in favor of probability distributions and wavefunctions.
"Mysteriously, quantum mechanics approximates one of the central principles of Buddhism: the illusory nature of all things. According to these teachings all things, especially thoughts, perceptions and feelings, are the creations of our own minds obscuring the ultimate reality from our view. Experiments in physics confirm that the act of observation itself determines the result, a photon is both a particle and a wave until you decide how to measure it. Ultimately, reality is what you make it."
Designers in Residence will also participate in Living Summer School, "an informal learning experience for a diverse group of European and local youth exploring different aspects of spatial innovation," and their work will be exhibited at the WONDER - Kortrijk Creativity Festival. To give you a sense of what the latter is like, here's a glimpse at last year's Creativity Festival:
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- travel reimbursement
- reimbursement (€1,000)
- use of Budalab Open Makerspace
- experts and practical support from Designregio Kortrijk
You are eligible if:
1. You are a recent graduate (minimum level: master's degree or equivalent through experience);
2. You are a team player;
3. You have manual skills (conceptual, handy, production, fabrication).
Submit a portfolio in PDF format (max 6 MB and 10 pages).
It must include a biography, a resume and a motivation statement.
The deadline for submission is June 23, 2023. Applicants will receive a reply by July 14, 2023.