MEDS Gent ’17

8th edition
200 design students
30 different countries
15 projects 
Gent, Belgium
30_07 > 14_ 08_2017


the city as breeding ground of initiative and creativity

 We see how more and more citizens around the world engage themselves to shape their surroundings in different but collaborative ways. Also in Gent, local initiatives question the existing structures and experiment with new social models.

They fight for the commons, transparency and a circular economy in reaction to climate change and scarcity of materials, energy and space. The internet is used to share their ideas open source with everyone. Inspired by their enthusiasm and vision on a sustainable environment, MEDS dives into the bottom up culture. 

Old harbour dockyards of Gent 

A large abandoned site at the eastern border of the citycenter and next to the harbour will transform within the next decades into a new neighbourhood. Awaiting this development, it currently offers enormous opportunities for creative experiments among local initiatives. They can temporally use old hangars to reactivate this industrial area, transforming the site in a breeding ground of creativity and initiative, an urban haven. 


Projects are written in close collaboration with local pioneers and international tutors. They will be used and sustained after the workshop by the involved initiatives and the project designs will be shared as open source material online.

The workshop closes with an expo, where the realised projects are presented to the public. In the unique scenery of the site and impressive water surface, an open air walk connecting the projects, tells the story of urban haven in Gent.

WAVING FLAG_ Devise and create a large scale flag inspired by urban haven, develop and let flourish your creativity and practical skills through image making and print production.

~ Katie with 019 

PIG PACKAGE_ Constructing a pig shelter in the form of a lightweight folding structure by investigating the characteristics of connections and the opportunities of open source.

~ Jelena & Sofia with Het Spilvarken

CRITICAL MASS_ Upcycle bikes originally to boost the activism in the streets on a critical mass event. Learn about the mechanics of bikes and how to weld.

~ With Critical Mass Gent

ROOF UPON ROOF_ In the midst of Ghent’s roofscape, Roof Food’s beautiful kitchen garden is in need of an upgrade in infrastructure. Learn to devise and craft a light wooden structure comprising a permanent shelter and a community table. During the workshop a set of interesting challenges will be tackled ranging from wooden joinery and structural stability to drapery, material finishes and detailing. 

~ Andreas & Andriy with Rooffood

NO FENCE_ To reform the existing isolated fence with a new structure and reflective elements into a vibrant and dynamic gate to give a positive identity in the harbour area. On quiet days to welcome the local community and the visitors, while re-connecting to the surroundings. And once the wind sets the surface in motion, it creates a dynamic and intangible experience to change our perception of the boundary.

Artur & Yuen with DOK

PEPPER’S GHOST_ Work within an old welding factory to design and construct a light transferral artefact/device using mirrors, translucent and transparent surfaces and an existing moving crane. Learn about the cinematic holography technique called ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ and specialised software to manipulate projected light and video.

Andreas & Antonis with 019

THE BUTTERFLY_ Refurbish and reactivate the Butterfly boat in a dual approach for an inspiring stay on water. Firstly by fighting obsolescence through reuse and recycling. Secondly through minimalistic design techniques to get the most out of the small space.  

~ Carlotta & Jennifer with In de Ruimte

MASH UP_ An experience of creativity combined with handworking: everyone can explore the potential of the scrap. From one imput – the basic element – there will be one up to infinite outputs, depending on the personal sensibility and creativity of each participant.

~ Giovanna, Claudia & Cristina with ONBETAALBAAR

TOTOUT 9_ ’People like to sit where there are places for them to sit’- Whilliam H. Whyte used to say. A flexible structure to gather, have a drink, watch sport-fields, talk and play is designed to transform to the way it suits the situation best.

~ Olga & Amal with TOTUM

COMMON DREAMS_ Creating a floating sculpture, which will be a common ground to reflect about climate change and to unveil questions about ‘Home’. A survival experience, while pedalling and dreaming about a future living scenario. 

~ Maria Lucia

THEORY/CURATION EXPO_ The reflection on the theme ‘urban haven’ by discussing the literature, lectures, documentaries and debate to be able to curate the final expo of the different projects as one comprehensible story.

REC/DOC_ Originally capturing the event with various media as a camera, journals, film, pin up boards and more.  


During the event we will be camping in tents very close to the worksite in the setting of the old harbour. Breakfast and dinner are included and will be served at the accommodation. Breakfast will be simple, but delicious to provide you with enough energy to start a productive day. In the evening we will be serving a nice warm meal,  made with local products from Ghent.

A bar and common space will be provided at the accommodation where you can buy drinks and snacks during lunch or before going into town.



Every evening, activities are organised for everyone who is interested, ranging from lectures and movies to jam sessions and yoga. According to tradition there will be a National evening where all nationalities bring their national food delicacies, drinks and music. The organising team is also preparing a Belgian evening to fully immerse you in the Belgian culture. After these two events, you will have the day free to relax or go on an excursion to see a bit more of Belgium.


Under construction. Stay tuned.


Are you motivated to work in teams and realise the projects in collaboration with local pioneers of Gent. Do you want to develop your skills, gain hands-on experience and interact with other cultures and disciplines?

€ 250

fee for
> accommodation
> breakfast & dinner
> project participation
> activities

30_07 > 14_ 08_2017


20_03 > 1_05_2017
Take your chance and fill in the application form online with an original text about your motivation before the 1st of May ’17. 

1_05 > 10_05_2017
We will review your application.

Declaration participants.

11_05 > 27_05_2017
Once you are allowed, you are asked to pay the participant fee (250 EUR). After we received the payment you are officially subscribed. If you require a visa to enter Belgium, we will then send you a Visa letter.


urban smart farm
In de ruimte
Design museum
Critical mass