Design/Work in our Future Cities

Liesbeth Huybrechts
Wednesday, 10 May, 2017 - 17:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira


This talk discusses the challenges of designing for work (the creation of workspaces, design of tools, facilitating mobility etc.) in our cities in 'smart' ways. The term ‘smart’ here is not framed in a narrow discourse that equates smart with technological experiments, but it is rather associated with designers/architects who envision futures for urban development in our cities, via cooperating with or tapping into the initiatives that citizens, policy makers or businesses already set up themselves (Goodspeed, 2015; Brynskov et al, 2014). More than ever, designers/architects need to navigate between many and often invisible local and supra-local ecological, social, technological and economical agendas that are associated with (re)integrating work in the daily life of the city. This invites them to design (digital) frameworks, tools and techniques to explore and align these agendas in participatory ways, while giving form to 'space' for work. This talk will look into some remarkable (historical) examples and own case studies, to discuss how participatory frameworks, tools and techniques support ways of designing for work in future cities.

Short Bio:

Liesbeth Huybrechts (1979, Leuven, Belgium) is Postdoctoral researcher in the areas of Participatory Design, Human-Computer Interaction and spatial transformation processes in the research group Arck, University of Hasselt. She is involved in the Living Lab The Other Market ( ), a space for reflection and action on the future of work. She is also part of the research project Traders dealing with Participatory Design and Art in Public Space (Marie Curie ITN, Together with Thomas Laureyssens she designed the frequently used participatory mapping tool MAP-it ( As a freelancer she is active in exhibitions, workshops and writing. In the past, she taught in the Social Design Masters, Design Academy Eindhoven in the Interaction Design Department (LUCA, KULeuven). She co-founded the research group Social Spaces ( exploring the social qualities of design and art.