The Belgian design scene is vast and diverse. Belgian institutions are always at the forefront of supporting the people, new projects and products that make our country dynamic and unique.

published on 05.07.2022

Building a Bright Future : a conference that puts sustainability and the beauty and power of the collective at the heart of the debate

Held on 10 June as part of the New European Bauhaus, the creative equivalent of the Green Deal, this conference, organised by BEDA (the Bureau of European Design Associations) at MAD Brussels in partnership with various structures and organisations including WBDM, was an opportunity to create an outline for a more sustainable future. Beyond the obvious challenges that this theme entails, this meeting, which attracted speakers with a range of profiles, allowed participants to better understand the way in which the political institutions and the creative industries are planning the future through design.

Envisaged as a cultural project in its own right, aiming to give aesthetic meaning to the vision of a sustainable future, the New European Bauhaus must move beyond the ideas stage if it is to meet the needs and expectations of citizens. Masterminded by the very charismatic Lucas de Man, who has many different roles, including that of Design Week ambassador in the Netherlands, the conference was preceded by the screening of The Object Becomes by Alexandre Humbert. This choice was all the more judicious as the pure, classy and highly cinematographic aesthetics of this film with a strong message produced by Belgium is Design resounded like an introduction, but also like an overview before the ten or so interventions that followed throughout the afternoon. 

Revaluing the object manufacturing process. Putting the trades back at the heart of the concerns of designers and the public. Encouraging a better understanding of the object as a valuable asset to be accentuated. Developing education and training in line with the values inherent in building a sustainable world. During these two hours of meetings and exchanges, Lucas de Man and the other conference participants returned repeatedly to the idea of creating a new value system by asking one and only one question, 'What is really important?' The tone was set from the outset. What is important and intrinsically linked to the notion of change is the quest for a beauty that is certainly subjective but also sufficiently inspiring to become a driving force in transition.  

MAD Brussels, 6pm. Time for discussions between participants. But also time to rejoice. Today's design is no longer in search of meaning. It has meaning and values. And its commitment is more collective than ever. The future will therefore be bright, as well as beautiful. And this time, no one will find it anecdotal or trivial.