TRADERS. Negotiating public space #1

Euregio mapping

Kick-off symposium on the 26th of February 2014 at Z33 in Hasselt, Belgium

Art and design researchers can contribute in interesting ways to engaging citizens, policy makers, private partners and other participants to participate in public space (issues). The methods of doing so are, however, underexplored. Therefore, the European Marie Curie Multi-ITN project ‘TRADERS’ (short for ‘Training Art and Design Researchers in Participation for Public Space’) researches the ways in which art and design researchers can ‘trade’ or exchange with multiple participants and disciplines in public space projects and – at the same time – trains them in doing so.

In this kick-off symposium in Belgium, Hasselt, we will start a first debate around this topic in close collaboration with art centre Z33. All participating art and design researchers will be present, from 6 participating institutes, being Media, Arts and Design Faculty/LUCA School of Arts (KHLim/KULeuven), Royal College of Art/School of Architecture, Design Academy Eindhoven/Man and Public Space, University of Gothenburg/School of Design and Crafts, Chalmers University of Technology/Department of Architecture and KULeuven/Planning and Development and the Architecture and Culture Theory research units. We would like to invite you to join the lectures and the discussion.

1.30 pm Intro by moderator Wouter Hillaert

1.40 Introduction to the Traders project and the book Participation is risky (Valiz Publishers), Liesbeth Huybrechts (project coordinator LUCA/MAD Faculty KULeuven)

2 pm. Keynote Chantal Mouffe (Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster)

2.45 pm. Break

3.30. Keynote Maria Hellström Reimer (Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society)

4.15 pm Jan Boelen, commissioner public space project Unie Hasselt-Genk (Z33)

4.30 Final Reflections

5 pm Drinks


Confirmed speakers

Chantal Mouffe
Chantal Mouffe
Chantal Mouffe is Professor of Political Theory at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster in London. She is the co-author with Ernesto Laclau of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (Verso, London, 1985) and the author of The Return of the Political (Verso, London, 1993) The Democratic Paradox (Verso, London, 2000), On the Political (Routledge. London, 2005) and Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically (Verso, London 2013)
Maria Hellström Reimer
Maria Hellström Reimer
Maria Hellström Reimer, professor in design theory at Malmö University, School of Arts and Communication and Director of Studies at the Swedish Design Faculty for Design Research and Research Education. Trained as an artist and with a PhD in landscape architecture her previous research has concerned aesthetics and politics, urbanism and activism, including questions of the mediatization of the urban landscape. Currently, she is coordinating a number of research projects concerning urban transition processes with a special focus on performativity and collaborative learning aspects. As a researcher and visiting scholar, Hellström Reimer has been affiliated with several interdisciplinary environments, in Europe and the US, and during 2014, she will be visiting professor at Université de Paris 8 at Vincennes-Saint-Denis and at Parsons The New School of Design, New York.


Further research

After this event the project will continue with working with five early stage art and design researchers and one sociological researcher who will test and develop a specific method on which art and design researchers can rely when working on public space projects in participatory ways, being intervention, play, multiple performative mapping, data-mining and modelling in dialogue. These researchers will also investigate how these methods fit in a larger methodological framework that can guide future artists and designers (or researchers and practitioners in other disciplines) to work in participatory and public space contexts. TRADERS brings together a wide range of disciplines such as visual arts, design, architecture and music. TRADERS allows to bundle the strength of the different disciplines to commonly approach other (non-A&D) disciplines and sectors.


Attending the symposium is free of charge but we kindly ask you to register by sending an email with your name, address and institution name to

Save the date

TRADERS. Negotiating public space #1
Kick-off Symposium
26.02.2014, 1 pm
Z33, Hasselt, Belgium