Integrated '17 - Between creativity and criminality

Conference - 14-15.11.2017 - deSingel - Antwerp 

Initiator: Hugo Puttaert

Integrated is a biennial conference which sheds light on the changing positions of designers, architects and artists, and explores how they function as connecting actors in the development of new practices.

This year’s edition, Integrated’17, focuses on the liminal zone between creativity and criminality in which art and design attempt to constitute civil domains. Many artists and designers who engage with public space, for example by making activist or political statements or by reclaiming public space, are confronted with restrictions imposed by laws and authorities. At this conference artists, architects, activists and designers describe and explain the strategies and tactics they use in the grey zones between legality and illegality.

(Photo © Mirror Mirror, 2017)

Citizen initiatives not only make abundant use of design and artistic strategies, but they are also often initiated by designers, artists and architects. In Spain, for instance, the architects of Recetas Urbanas ‘illegally’ built a school on forbidden land, where the population ‘legally’ needs it. In Croatia, DJs, theatre-makers and visual artists have taken the initiative to challenge the construction of a shopping mall and to block the privatisation of motorways. In Belgium, Hart Boven Hard is founded partly in the cultural sector, and ethical hackers can make hidden facts public on a global scale.

What aesthetic does this work between creativity and criminality generate, and what positions do designers, artists and architects occupy in this? What is their language – often with a hint of humour – and what design and artistic strategies do they use? How is this civil domain designed and shaped? We call this border area the terrain between creativity and criminality, because it often involves creative and highly innovative initiatives that do not yet have any legal status. But it is also about a new aesthetics which –whether minimal or eclectic– falls into the undecided area between art and kitsch, artistic and political engagement, social and commercial design.

Contributions by:

  • Mike Monteiro
  • Oliviero Toscani
  • Pascal Gielen
  • Metahaven
  • Lucienne Roberts
  • David O’Reilly
  • Lauren Grusenmeyer
  • Anja Groten
  • Janneke de Rooij
  • Recatas Urbanas
  • Douglas Coupland
  • Pussy Riot - Nadja Tolokonnikova

Venue: deSingel, Antwerp 


Integrated is an initiative of De Hybride Ontwerper and YellowPress – research and publication platforms, respectively, of St Lucas Antwerp.


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