What is the theme of this year’s Summer School?

This summer, !DROPS collaborates with the University of Antwerp and Service Design Network Belgium to organise the Antwerp Summer University. This year, the goal of the Summer School is to offer a five-day practical, inspiring and engaging summer school about innovation in social design. Product, service and system designers (from local and international agencies), social innovators, academic researchers, and multiple other experts from (non-)profit organizations and governmental institutions will guide you through this summer school. We will work on the following building blocks:

  • Intercultural design
  • International design
  • Circular design
  • Bio design
  • Digital design
  • Fashion design

Social designers are currently looking for solutions to societal challenges, such as the environment, cultural issues and working with vulnerable target groups. During the summer school we will engage in following themes:

  1. What is social design and how can we create impact through social design?
  2. Challenges in social design: co-designing innovative solutions
  3. Thematic sessions on international and intercultural design
  4. Business modelling in social design
  5. Prototyping sessions in bio-design, circular design, digital and fashion design
  6. Storytelling through design

Five days filled to the brim


Five days worth of exploring, learning and expanding your knowledge and mind:

DAY 1 –  Storytelling through design

DAY 2 & 3 –  Co-design challenges

DAY 4 – International/Intercultural design + Business modelling

DAY 5 – Prototyping in bio / circular / digital / fashion design

Inspiring Talks

Alongside these themes, your days will be filled with inspiring talks from empowering people, such as

  • Ivo Dewit (Doctoral researcher at the University of Antwerp, Belgium with a background in business studies)
  • Stina Vanhoof (Service Designer at Knight Moves / co-founder of Service Design Network (SDN) Belgium)
  •  Wim Putzeys (Service designer at Peel / co-founder of Service Design Network (SDN) Belgium)
  • Nathalie Goethals (The founder & director of !DROPS, Ghent, Belgium)
  • Anna Kint (Project designer and facilitator at !DROPS)
  • GLIMPS (Engages a strategic transition towards an open bio-based economy)
  • Annelys de Vet (Founder & Director – Disarming Design from Palestine; Course Leader Design Department – Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam; Founder – Subjective Atlas Foundation)

To keep the minds fresh and to maximise interaction, you will have the opportunity to take part in several fun and interesting social activities that will be organised during evenings. Take these opportunities to get to know your fellow class-mates and staff in a more informal way, get in touch with peers who are attending other Summer Schools and make the most of your stay in Antwerp.

So, Summer School in a nutshell?


Intensive 5-day programme focused on innovation in social design, using practical / digital methods for thinking (research + inspiration) and doing (prototyping + testing)


This summer, 1 – 5 July 2019.


Campus Mutsaard, University of Antwerp, Belgium

How do I sign up?

All the details about the Summer School and how to apply are available on the website of the University of Antwerp.

You can also go directly to the online application form, and apply before 19 April 2019.


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