Introduction to the Open Design course

Course date: from September 17 till November 25 2018. Deadline for applying is September 1, 2018.

Dear candidate

KASK / School of Arts Ghent offers a course in Open Design for asylum seekers and refugees currently staying in Belgium. The course programme focuses on Open Design approaches in media-, product- and systems design. The course method is based on co-creation and peer learning, and puts an emphasis on technological literacy and new media literacy.

This 8-week course is open for refugees, but also for asylum seekers. The course will accept a maximum of 12 participants. Candidates should apply by sending some background information about themselves (see further). Classes are taught in English. There is no tuition fee, participation is free of charge. If necessary, we can support your travel expenses to the course.

We look for candidates from very diverse backgrounds. Please read along, this might be something for you too.

We strongly encourage all candidates with an interest in the programme to apply. Co-creation processes benefit from a shared understanding of Open Design principles, but also from diversity and multi-disciplinarity. Your cultural, artistic, educational or professional background can be a very good input for this course. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

Image: Open Design Course 2016

About Open Design

The late 20th century saw the introduction of a vast array of information and communication technologies into society. In this, the beginning of the 21st century we are only starting to learn and deal with the real impact and possibilities of these technologies.
One of the major developments can be found in the field of design, with the appearance of Open Design. Open Design is based on the free sharing of information, networked collaboration, digital fabrication; and fundamentally alters methods of creation.

Open Design is the development of objects, communication media or systems through use of publicly shared design information, alternative design methods and/or open tools for design. It is a heterogeneous field closely tied to the sociotechnical implications of the internet (e.g. peer-to-peer processes), and tools of digital creation and fabrication. It can be situated as much in the realm of applied design as in experimental media art or the broader context of online- or network-culture.
As a cultural phenomenon it can also be seen as a field of discourse, critically expanding our notion of design and conceptions of society. Therefore you will study the subject of Open Design both as a technological and as a cultural, artistic or critical practice.


The course accepts participants with educational or professional backgrounds (or other experience) and skills from very diverse backgrounds. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about this.


You can definitely apply if you have one of the following skills and have an interest in Open Design:

  • web design or web development (html, css, javascript, python, php, mysql)
  • graphic design (adobe, open source tools)
  • digital design and digital manufacturing (3D modelling, 3D printing, laser-cutting,..), computer programming
  • open hardware (arduino, raspberry pi, processing, pure data)
  • illustration
  • drawing
  • creative writing (copywriting, storytelling, language and translation, journalism)
  • audiovisual (sound-design, video editing, motion graphics, animation)
  • radio, electronic music
  • design theory
  • specific design or handicraft skills such as furniture, fashion, textile design, tapestry...
  • marketing and advertising
  • printmaking (silkscreen, lithography, letterpress…)
  • project management, photography,...


If you have one or more of the above skills and you are willing to share this with others in the context of cooperative learning and co-creation, we strongly encourage you to apply. However, if you do not have one of the above skills but you have an interest in Open Design, then read the list below. We are also welcoming additional expertise and skills from applicants with a background in:

Architecture and Urbanism, Education sciences, Communication sciences, Anthropology or Cultural studies, Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Biology, or other academic backgrounds.

Image: 3D Print Lab at the KASK Media Arts studio

Application requirements

Candidates should:

  • demonstrate a keen interest in Open Design.
  • ideally have educational or professional expertise related to the skills listed above.
  • be at least 18 years of age.
  • be able to attend class meetings 3 days/week at the School of Arts, Bijloke campus in Ghent.
  • have basic computer skills.
  • have at least basic English language skills.
  • register via the application form (on our website, via mail or postal service).


Some practical information about the course:

  • The course will be held in English.
  • We accept maximum 12 participants.
  • The course starts on September 17, 2018 ends on November 25, 2018
  • Course location: KASK / School of Arts Ghent - Kunsttoren, Offerlaan 5, Ghent.
  • Course calendar: 3 days per week. (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays) 10h00-15h30
  • The school offers student support.
  • This is not an officially accredited course. Participants' status doesn't change.
  • Deadline for applications: September 1, 2018
  • Download all the information of this site in a single .pdf