IDW is the annual International Design Workshop week for master students of the Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp (architecture, interior architecture, product development, heritage studies, urbanism and spatial planning).


In his online talk “Get Back To Your True Self” Dr. Gabor Mate talks about alienation. Alienation is a separation. Being a stranger to something. Being an alien to something. In current times, we are alienated from nature, other people, our work, and most importantly from our true self. We are alienated from our gut feelings.

What can we do to regain that connection with nature, other people, our work and with ourselves? What can we do to be who we truly are?


The IDW week aims to explore ALIENATION using the power of the critical design attitude. Instead of the traditional affirmative design approach (problem-solving and solution-focused), the aim of the IDW week is to focus on ‘problem-finding’. This critical design attitude leads to a deeper understanding of all factors that influence a design and encourages to reflect on the impact of a solution or intervention. It triggers the exploration of alternative and out-of-the-box scenarios thus increase the likelihood of more (socially) sustainable and desirable futures becoming reality [1].

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