Winter school | 13-17 February 2023

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The goal of the yearly International Design Workshop week is to trigger the creative and critical design attitude among master students in (Interior) Architecture, Product Development, Urbanism & Spatial Planning, Heritage Studies and Visual Arts.  An interdisciplinary group of 15 to 20 master students engage in an intense one week critical design adventure, guided by an international tutor (duo).

IDW 2023 - STORM 

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. IDW 2023 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 applied 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]. Designers were trained to perform as ‘problem-solvers’ (and ‘solution-focused’) [1]. Instead of this affirmative design approach, 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]

Find out more information about the programme, application deadlinefees and scholarships, what you need to know before you come and during your stay at UAntwerp.​