Complementary to design studio's that use design as a final product, we as academic valorization team start from research and use design as a tool. With the concept of 'space' - in the broad sense of the word - as the common denominator in all these challenges, we shape the urban infrastructure, public space, architecture and products of a resilient city of the future.
In a 'explorative research partnership' the Design Sciences Hub offers its client scientific support for metropolitan challenges and systemic issues. Based on concrete questions from industry, civil society or government, DSH makes the spatial translation from in-depth academic research to the challenges of tomorrow. This unique form of collaboration offers the opportunity to tackle a wide range of 'wicked problems', from urban mobility to healthy air quality to the digitalization of the construction industry. An interdisciplinary consortium of substantive experts at the University of Antwerp is gathered to guide this concise process.
Proof of Concept
With a 'proof of concept' , the Design Sciences Hub takes flight forward. It synthesizes complex urban challenges and gives concrete form to a concept based on early idea or challenge from the client. In many cases, a combination of domain knowledge specific to the challenge, technology as enabler and design as method is combined. With a built-in feedback loop, this design process is on the one hand fed from a continuous dialogue, and on the other hand forms its backbone. A design, idea or assumption is developed into a concept ready for testing in an actual environment. Via methods such as PSS or design research, innovative ideas are developed into concepts.
Fore Sight Sessions
Foresight sessions bring together experts with diverse backgrounds around 'wicked urban problems' and, beyond reactive 'problem solving', searches for innovative solutions in a co-creative process. A client brings a challange to table and within a series of fore sight sessions knowledge based in academic research provide tools to meet urban challanges. A multidiciplinary team of academics is tailor made combining next to design science also expertise from for example business developers, legal experts, governance and participation experts or engineering. In this process, 'design research and design thinking' are powerful methods for conceiving and synthesizing systemic change models. Knowledge from practice (industry, policy and society) and scientific insights reinforce each other and bring forward those future-oriented solutions that are not conceived in either of these worlds seperately.
University of Antwerp has 3 central valorization themes were extra capacity is available for partnerships and valorization. Besides 'infectious diseases & environmental health' and 'sustainable chemistry & materials', 'metropolitanism' is the third pillar. Within the metropolitanism theme, Design Sciences Hub is the contact point for setting up structural collaborations on urban challenges that bring together academics, industry and/or policy to push for solutions. Under the flag of urban innovation partnerships, UAntwerpen wants to actively participate in the development of a customized innovation partnership. Topic, methodology and pricing depends on the partnership, the type and duration of the collaboration.