RECIPROCITY design Liège is an international triennial of design and social innovation. The 2018 edition is scheduled for 5 October until 25 November and will take place in prestigious cultural locations across Liège and its province, with participation of other cross-border cities (Euregio Meuse-Rhine). 

Ever since its first edition in 2012, RECIPROCITY questions the design and its impact on cultural, economic and social level. Its main mission is to provoke, value and welcome international expressions generated by an open and diversified approach. The design here is intended as a critical space of research/action, a place for reflection and the production of ethical and sustainable projects

Since the first edition of RECIPROCITY, the projects that result from the call for entries have been at the heart of the programme. In particular, it encourages an opening for emerging expressions of international design. The exhibition, which emerges from a meticulous selection process by an international jury, traditionally takes place at the Espace Saint-Antoine, situated in a deconsecrated church at of the Musée de la Vie Wallonne in Liège. After Memorabilia (2012) and The Taste of Change (2015), exhibitions that questioned the evocative power of design and food issues from a sustainable perspective respectively, the 2018 call is entirely dedicated to European design schools and to recent educational approaches.

The new (learning) objects

The cultural role of European schools in orientating the direction of design and its social and economic impact are crucial. Design education exceeds disciplinary boundaries, opening itself to multiple visions and a critical approach of the real world. As a result, it is assigned an active and unique pedagogical role. The creation of artefacts and prototypes generated and/or destined to be put into place bestows the schools with the role of laboratories of the possible, experimenting and researching, inclusive and open.

Against this context we have decided to dedicate an exhibition to a selection of Belgian and European schools that document the approaches of the past years through objects realised by masters students.

The object here becomes the expression of an educational journey shared between teacher and student, in a dialogue that is often in conflict between the norm and liberty. The object, the artefact, enables accessibility and understanding. It is an embodiment of a theoretical and experimental process, providing a connection between school and society, and a public conversation between the design and its users.

Functional objects, visionary objects, hand-made objects, virtual objects, communication objects and social objects. The object offers the public a multisensory involvement that breaks down the purely formal sphere, while creating an empathic, cultural and social experience.

The object can and must be understandable, communicating not only the process but the intentions in an intuitive manner.
To take part in this strand of RECIPROCITY academic staff are invited to select a maximum of three student projects developed during the academic year 2016-17.

Participation in the call is free and open to all European design schools (Master programmes).
15 November 2017 is the final deadline for participation in the call.

An international selection committee (members to be announced in the coming months) will convene in November 2017 and select a maximum of three works from each school. The selected projects will be exhibited during RECIPROCITY design liège 2018, from 4 October (opening) until 25 November 2018 at the Espace Saint-Antoine, Musée de la Vie wallonne in Liège


The call for entries is open to European schools (and to students of any nationality) of product design, industrial design, interior architecture, textile design, interaction design, graphic design, urban/spatial design and social innovation design.

The submitted project(s) must concern a functional object that provides a viable and innovating solution to a challenge linked to our contemporary society: sustainable development; the current contexts of phenomena such as poverty, migrations, diversity; environmental issues; ethical and responsible production…

The objectives are to present the work of master students (year 1 and 2), to show the pedagogical appraoch pursued, and to underline the aforementioned laboratorial role of the schools.

The appropriate academic staff should choose a maximum of three student projects developed within the academic year 2016-17 that correspond to following criteria :

  • The object should be a piece of furniture, furnishing accessory, light fixture, textile work, household tool, urban design solution, application ...;
  • The project should represent the pedagogical approaches of the institution it originated from: which school, which course, what research thematic, which methodology and process. This information should be accompanied by a form that identifies the school, professor/lecturer and student along with a detailed description of the proposed object and the reason of choice. Appropriate academic staff will motivate his/her selection (cf. application form).
  • The school (or the student) needs to bear all shipping costs of the selected projects.

The submitted project can be a product, prototype or model. In case of an installation, the artistic direction reserves the right to accept or refuse an application with a substantial volume.

The submitted projects will be selected by an international jury and presented in an exhibition that intends to create a varied landscape that regroups the current trends, methods and issues addressed within design schools across Europe.

Submission deadline: 15 November 2017

More information and application form:

Birgit Stulens – assistant to the director

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