6 August 2006

C-Mine, creativity as a tool to transform a former Belgian mining area

Be the first to share

Mine at Winterslag, Genk
This updates an original post of 20 March 2006 in order to incorporate developments that took place since:

Like the North-East in England and Zollverein, Essen in Germany, the Belgian former mining area of Winterslag/Genk is using creativity as a tool to transform the area in an innovative, sustainable and qualitative way and to generate new approaches to education, economic development, culture and tourism.

The initiative, which is called "C-Mine" (the “C” refers to creativity), includes:

Educational activities
The educational activities are centred around the media and design academy (site in Dutch only) which is now planning an experience design lab to integrate its various educational functions and increase their value for innovation and regional economic development [disclosure: I was born in the area and have an advisory role in the planning phase of the lab]. The educational mission of the academy and the site in general is aimed at innovative concept and product development. The academy will provide bachelor and master programmes as well as company training.

Creative economy
The design lab (see above) is also at the heart of C-Mine’s strategy for the development of a creative knowledge economy: to provide new input to creative and innovative project and product thinking, to be an incubator of new ideas for the local business community, to attract new design companies and stimulate a design approach within existing ones, to help spin off new companies, and to be a creative project space for entrepreneurial organisations.

Culture
A brand new culture centre will connect artistic creation and production to the development of a creative economy, with each providing added value to the other.

Tourism and recreation
C-mine will be developed as a meaningful experience site for all kinds of visitors, combining its historical mining heritage – including its impressive machine halls – with new creative and design activities.

The city has recently completed a comprehensive master plan. Many of the facilities will already be operational by 2007 and 2008. A more complete overhaul of the site will take place thereafter. The architectural studio 51N4E has been charged with the redesign of the existing buildings and the development of new infrastructure. The project is financed in part by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.

This post was based on information provided to me by the City of Genk, currently only available in Dutch:
press release (pdf, 68 kb, 2 pages)
project brochure (pdf, 272 kb, 10 pages)

Be the first to share
2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments
A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the …
2 July 2015
Interview with HTC’s head designer on experience design
Drew Bamford is the person responsible for making the ITC's experience design – how the company's devices feel and work like 'HTC phones' rather than just another Android handset. HTC's head designer's purvue is focused on …
19 June 2015
Nesta report and case studies on people-centred smart cities
For smart cities to reach their full potential, they need to focus on the citizens living in them, not just technology, write researchers Tom Saunders and Peter Baeck of Nesta, the UK innovation charity Traditionally, smart …
9 June 2015
Alice Rawsthorn on the pros and cons of new digital interface design
Alice Rawsthorn asks why the aesthetics of something so pervasive [as digital user interfaces], the design of which is deeply sophisticated in other respects, are often underwhelming. Developing a definitive design aesthetic as Braun once did …
6 June 2015
Europe’s White Working Class Communities: A Report on Six EU Cities
Europe’s White Working Class Communities, a research series published by the Open Society Foundations, documents the experiences of “white” communities in six cities across Europe. Each report focuses on a specific district or neighborhood within a …
1 June 2015
Exploring the ‘next nature’ that people and technology are creating
The Next Nature website sets out to radically shift our notion of nature: Our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as …
28 May 2015
The driverless car push ignores challenges of people and context
Autonomous or driverless cars are based on a technology push strategy. Beyond statements like “freeing up time”, “reducing accidents” and some simple scenarios on “remote parking” or “vehicle sharing”, there is far too little thought …
17 May 2015
We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril
In 2009, W Brian Arthur published a remarkable book, The Nature of Technology, in which he formulated a coherent theory of what technology is, how it evolves and how it spurs innovation and industry. Technology, …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles