In current times where extreme circumstances and polarization are hardening the social debate, designing for social emancipation, cohesion and sustainability can enable students to identify various ethical issues, frictions or social gaps. The international design workshop week aims to STORM through the minds of our students: exploring the power of the critical design approach for social inquiry and engagement through design.


Traditionally, designers apply affirmative design approaches in the design process, providing answers and solutions to questions or design challenges, and thereby reinforcing the current situation rather than rejecting it [2, 4]. This is simply how we are trained to perform as ‘problem-solvers’ (and ‘solution-focused’) [1]. However, the aim of the international workshop week is to focus on ‘problem-finding’and explore the power of a critical design attitude:

“[Critical design] rejects how things are now as being the only possibility, and provides a critique of the prevailing situation through designs that embody alternative social, cultural, technical or economic values.” [3] 

“[Critical design] opens lines of inquiry as opposed to providing answers or solutions to questions or design problems.” [5] 

“Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens (…).” [4] 

The workshop week is open to radical pedagogical experiences, which open the eyes, widen thinking and foster new encounters. It stimulates international and interdisciplinary exchange and offers an informal platform for discussing design education and its agency.



12:00 - kick-off workshop week

Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday

09:00-22:00 - workshops at Campus Mutsaard

13:00-14:00 - pecha kucha presentations by guest tutors


09:00-16:00 - last workshop day and preparation of exhibition
16:00-19:00 - exhibition: everyone is welcome to have a look at the workshop results