Environmental design

Pro Materia Workshop
'Designing public spaces and mobility'

Liège, Wallonia (BE), 25-26 October 2004

PDF Program of the workshop

Objectives of the workshop

Humanizing public spaces and mobility

The aim is to make the public authorities to the added value of a collaboration of a designer, a design agency or an architect, in order to draw new and more adapted facilities for the citizens and the users of public transports. The impact on the collectivity is one way of making a relevant analysis of all the factors (design for all, accessibility, safety, wellbeing...) related to the improvement of the urban environment and quality of life.

Emphasizing the creativity of designers and architects

The objective here is to define the various fields in which a designer or an architect can intervene with furniture and lighting design within a public space . The keyword "environmental design" will be used to underline the intervention within public indoor or outdoor spaces. The specific competencies which are implemented while conceiving and implementing new furniture and lighting designs will also be taken into account.

Supporting interdisciplinarity

Encouraging teamwork between designers and architects, knowing that their creative, technical and esthetical competencies are complementary and can be shared is one of the main aspects of this workshop.

Looking at the European dimension

By welcoming speakers from all over Europe, the workshop will open up the debate on environmental design in its international dimension, from the north to the south of Europe: Benelux, Germany, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Italy,…

Target publics

Furniture and lighting producers, publishers, distributors, product developers, in-house designers, free-lance designers, architects, urban planners, publics and local authorities and design/architecture students. Mainly a professional public.

Participants: max. 150 persons

The workshop will take place in the Cœur-Saint-Lambert in Liège during the same period as the Design Biennial in Liège (22/10-15/11/2004).

The weekend before the workshop, the participants can visit the 19 th international design biennial Interieur in Kortrijk which takes place from 15 until 24 October 2004 at Kortrijk Xpo, www.interieur.be.


Monday 25 October 2004

  9:30 - 10:00             Registration of participants and coffee

10:00 - 10:30             Welcoming speech

10:30 - 11:00             Defining, exploring and teaching environmental design


Élie Levy, professor in Environmental Design, La Cambre Visual Arts, Brussels (B)

Design education is again in crisis. The issues are not connected to the question of what form architecture or design should pretend to take but more to its programme. Today, architects and designers are looking at the new urbanity. The designer as an actor within a community of citizens, has to respond to essential questions in a fair manner: “What type of creation? Why? For whom? Through whom? How?” The sustainability necessarly has the consequence to change our style of living, producing and consuming. By proposing new strategies, environmental design, as we now commonly call it, takes position and acts towards politics, culture, environment, economics, in the domestic but also in the public design spheres.

11:00 - 11:30             Coffee break

11:30 - 12:00             The Saint-Lambert Square in Liège


Claude Strebelle, Daniel Boden, Linh Quang Tuan, Thierry Drèze architects, Atelier du Sart Tilman, Liège (B)

Since 1984, the Atelier du Sart-Tilman is in charge of the redevelopment of the Saint-Lambert square and district in Liège, disfigured by ill-considered destructions. Its aim is to reorganize the existant urban structure, creating pedestrian precincts and saving the historical heritage to restore a human dimension in the heart of the city.

12:00 - 12:30             Design and architecture of public spaces


Italo Rota, Rota & Partners, Milan (I)

By running his studio in architecture and urban planning in Milan, Italo Rota is dealing with various projects at the same time in the field of designing public spaces and mobility as well as conceiving a scenography or an interior for a public exhibition at the Triennale di Milano or a Louis Vuitton store. Current and recent works handled by his studio are the lighting planning of the Seine Banks in Paris, as well as the conception of two rapid and light metro lines in Brescia.

12:30 - 13:00             Debate

13:00 - 14:30             Lunchbreak and visit of the Liège Design Biennial 2004

14:30 - 15:00             Design, architecture and public spaces in Wallonia: : a zoom on Liège


Pierre Henrion, curator of the open air museum Sart-Tilman - Liège, and freelance exhibitions curator, Liège (B)

For twenty years, Liège called “La Cité ardente” in Wallonia, has seen a large number of significant projects implemented in terms of designing public spaces. Since the Saint-Antoine courtyard finished in the early 80s by Charles Vandenhove, until the urban planning reflections coming out from the construction of the new Guillemins train station by the architect Santiago Calatrava (which should be achieved by 2006), the context of Liège is following the evolution of the look on the city developments since the refusal of modernism dogmas.

15:00 - 16:00             Designing light as an object or an environment


Bruno Demeester - Koert Vermeulen, lighting designers, ACT

The aim of their work is the integration of a creative and sensitive lighting design approach into the built environment. “We fill the gap between professionals using light as an expressive tool (such as lighting, photography…) and professionals implementing lighting techniques in the built environment (such as building services engineers). In most projects, we attempt to bring together stage lighting techniques (dynamic lighting, colours) with high quality architectural lighting to create installations enhancing the environment and lifting the spirit of the people going through these places.”

16:00 - 16:30             Contemporary landscapes in the city


Elco Hoofman, Gross. Max

Why suffocate on an overdose of chlorophyll if we can boost our level of adrenaline instead… The optimism of Gross. Max . acts as a refreshing breeze in the conservative establishment of British landscape architecture. Eelco Hooftman will talk about recent public space projects of Gross. Max in Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Rotterdam and Bilbao. In London the practice contributes with a range of competition winning design projects to a new “Cool Britain” as part of Mayor’s Ken Livingston ambitious “100 Space For London” programme.

16:30 - 17:00             Coffee break

17:00 - 17:30             Lighting design of public spaces: between reason and emotion


Vesa Honkonen

We have the freedom to choose our starting points, don't we. This is accepted in art, however in architecture this can cause trouble and confusion. Sometimes it is best to find solutions which do not originate from a reason, or from a reason acceptable for the society. Can a small bird singing be as good a starting point as the geography of a place. Do these have to contradict?

17:30 - 18:00             Conclusions of the day and debate

Tuesday 26 October 2004

9:30 - 11:00               Panel: Travelling in the sphere of urban mobility


Axel Enthoven, design manager, EADC, Antwerp (B) – Alain Flausch, general director, STIB, Brussels (B) – Jacques Tilman, design manager, INOV, Franc-Waret (B) – Yo Kaminagai, Design & Cultural projects manager, RATP, Paris (F) – Italo Rota, Rota & Partners, Milan (I)

This panel of discussion will focus on the future of urban mobility and on all the key issues related to accessibility (design for all), safety, sustainability… Does design play its ecological and social roles? What are its influences on urban planning and city developments? What is the dialogue between design and the public? Case studies such as Brussels, Ghent in Belgium, Paris in France, Brescia in Italy and Jerusalem in Israël will surely provide us with some interesting insights of the subject.

11:00 - 11:30              Coffee break

11:30 - 12:00              The RATP: a vision of the public transports of the future


Yo Kaminagai, Design & cultural projects manager, ratp , Paris (F)

The ratp is an urban services operator whose mission goes beyond the field of mobility: transports, space management, information, well thought additional services. Design is part of the company’s history. Since the end of the 19 th century until now, design has never ceased to be developed based on a specific strategy. Questions have been raised about the notion of spaces of transports, the company methods linking design to project management and its necessary resources. The current policy of the ratp contributes to enlarge the service to the traveller and also to invent new type of models, such as the Météor line.

12:00 - 12:30             Debate on the impact of design on the urban mobility in Europe

12:30 - 14:00             Lunchbreak

14:00 - 16:00             Projects and prototypes of urban furniture by young Belgian designers


- Xavier Lust, designer, Elixir, Brussels (B): non produced project of a well integrated bus station and other public design fittings.

- Lucile Soufflet, designer, Brussels (B): produced and non produced public benches projects and public signs.

- Damien Bihr, designer, Naos Design, Brussels-Tournai (B): produced lighting design for Schréder group, Liège (B) and other non produced public design.

- Sylvain Willenz, designer, Brussels (B): urban design projects.

16:00 - 16:30             Conclusions of the workshop

Lise Coirier, President, Pro Materia asbl, Brussels (B)




Îlot Saint-Michel

Place Saint-Lambert

B- 4000 Liège

The seminar is free of charge.

If you want to attend the workshop, please call or e-mail, before 15/10/2004:

Pro Materia asbl, Elisabethlaan 4, B- 3080 Tervuren

E-mail: promateria@skynet.be

Phone: 0475/53 19 88 (Lise Coirier) or 0476/80 40 80 (Geneviève Defrance)

The Design Biennial in Liège

The Service of Cultural Affairs and the OPMA (Office provincial des Métiers d'Art) presents, from 22 October until 14 November 2004, an exhibition called Design 2004.

This second design Biennial shows works of some fourty designers and students coming from Wallonia and the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. It is combined with several other events in the city. At the Espace Wallonie, there is an exhibition on contemporary glassware design produced by Le Val-Saint-Lambert. In parallel, the Maison des Métiers d'Art of Liège shows a selection of “Botte-Cul” from Lausanne (little chair used by Swiss farmers to sit on while they milk).

On 28th of October at 5 pm, a symposium happens in the Auditorium of the Cœur-Saint-Lambert, followed by a meeting with well-known designers. On 9th of November, an economic day is held in the Vertbois Conference Centre covering the topic of the relationships between designers and companies.

During the week-end of 22 - 23 October, a design itinerary throughout the city is organized by a group of local shops.

Info: Mady Dethier

Rue des Croisiers, 15 B-4000 Liège

Tel. +32 (0) 4 232 86 76

E-mail: design@prov-liege.be , www.design2004.be

The project is supported by the European Union (Interreg IIIA-Euregio Meuse-Rhine) and by See and Touch www.see-and-touch.com.


Pro Materia Workshop
“Environmental design:
designing public spaces and mobility”

Liège, Belgium - 25/26 October 2004

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