A multidisciplinary team of designers has teamed up to create a spatial system that infuses a new life into an abandoned industrial building in Belgium. As part of the ‘Designers in Residence‘ program organised by Designregio Kortrijk, Interaction designer – Jasna Dimitrovska, spatial designer – Jaenam Lim and an architect – Kazumasa Takada designed a temporary space for citizens of the region of Kortrijk in an empty industrial building that was once used as flax storehouse.
The common problem of the abandoned industrial buildings from this region is mainly financial and security issues. FOS (The spatial system) is designed with a low-cost material, scaffolding tarpaulin, which flexibility and durability allow those abandoned industrial spaces to be transformed and repurposed.
2700 square meters of scaffolding tarpaulin was sewn together to secure the interior space from any falling fragments from the old ceiling. The spatial tool is designed to be easily installed within one day by using multiple snap-hooks that attach to the existing steel structure, which all inactive industrial buildings in the region have in common.
The Vlaspark, where the building site is located in the municipality of Kuurne has played a crucial role in the Kortrijk region’s economy development, the production and trade in flax in the mid 19th century. However, with the shift in the economic model, architectural typology resulted in obsolete landscapes, infrastructures and buildings that were once of main importance are now residual spaces. The Vlaspark is a key example that represents abandoned nature or urban landscapes and there are many more locations that are facing this similar situation, awaiting a new future.
FOS enables those inactive industrial buildings to be repurposed as a new public space. The ultimate goal of this project is to create immersive spatial experiences in every abandoned heritage in the region thus the citizens start discovering the potential in the forgotten legacies.
This spatial system is open to any group of citizens and organizations to envision public activities and events. To demonstrate the transformation possibilities the team created a projection mapping installation by collaborating with Berlin-based artist Omar Elkammar.
Designers in Residence Kortrijk is an initiative of Designregio Kortrijk, platform for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship for the region Kortrijk in Belgium. A region part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) that breaths design thinking, visible through its design education, creative making industry, international events and inspiring public space. Every year Designregio Kortrijk invites design graduates from the various creative disciplines to develop an experimental concept about a predetermined theme over a period of three months. For this edition, the selected designers had the unique opportunity to work together on exploring the future of space.