• Kortrijk

    19. Apr 2018

Due to its border location, Kortrijk has a long-standing tradition of international business. As far back as the Middle Ages the textiles industry yielded one of Flanders’ most important export products, ‘Courtrai flax’. Thanks to flax processing the city gained a reputation of craftsmanship, high quality design and entrepreneurship. However, due to wars, economic crises etcetera, the textiles industry had to reinvent itself. This necessary transformation made the Kortrijk region into what it is today: highly creative and resilient; traits to be found in all aspects of contemporary Kortrijk:


The textile traders of the Middle Ages have been exchanged for leading companies in the creative manufacturing industry, expert at implementing design & design thinking: machine builders (Van de Wiele), specialized textile manufacturers (Verilin), imaging technology (Barco) or steel wire applications (Bekaert).


For every 7 citizens, Kortrijk has 1 student in higher education. The 2 Universities of Applied Sciences, Howest and VIVES, and the campuses of the top 2 Belgian Universities, Ghent and Louvain, are at the forefront of cutting edge developments, creating the very entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow.

Urban development

The City and region continuously invest in large scale and daring urban development projects. International designers and architects such as Bernardo Secchi & Paola Vigano, Bob Van Reeth and Jacques Wirtz have been part of this ‘makeover’ of Kortrijk.

Arts & design

Every 2 years Kortrijk hosts the Biennale Interieur, internationally renowned for showcasing the latest design trends and avant-garde furniture. In between the City can boast on a vibrant culture scene, flirting with the boundaries between arts, design, industry and the city.

So, creativity is in the regions DNA. The companies and organizations of Kortrijk are not afraid of experimenting and innovating and working together to achieve this. They are flexible and are known for their problem-solving, creative thinking. Design-thinking as we say, creating added value and facilitating innovation.

We continue to invest in creativity to transform the city and region. An important actor in this is the quadruple helix organization Designregio Kortrijk, which was founded in 2005. This organization links companies, public organizations and students with creatives and designers. The resulting results bring new growth and prosperity.

We want to give ourselves in this network. In the past years we have developed various co-creation programs between companies and designers, between government and designers, each time with very concrete results. We want to share that with you. So, speak to us, let us connect. Let us valorize the power of the network.

Facts and Figures


Kortrijk, Belgium


75.000 in the City of Kortrijk
300.000 in the agglomeration of Kortrijk
2 million in the dynamic Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai


80,02 km²

Educational Institutions

University Colleges Howest and VIVES
KU Leuven, campus Kortrijk
Ghent University, campus Kortrijk
in total more than 11.000 students

29 of the top 100 manufacturing companies in Belgium are located in and around the city of Kortrijk

Design & design thinking have become part of the region’s DNA.

The Kortrijk region boasts world market leaders in textiles, plastics, wood, lighting and multimedia.

Quadruple helix cooperation is deeply embedded in the region.

The 4 academic institutes and several Flemish and Belgian competence & research centers with focus on design and the creative manufacturing industry have an operational base in Kortrijk.

Discover Kortrijk

Call: Video for Kortrijk Creativity Week wanted

Kortrijk wants to showcase the CoDs of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in its new public office with an interactive video wall. Participate.

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The Blue Square of the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai

This is call upon creative people to help making the Carré Bleu (Blue Square) – a 90 kilometre circuit within the park – more recognisable. 

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Save the date – Kortrijk Creativity Week

Kortrijk Creativity Week brings the next generation in creativity, design, innovation, music, art and business to Kortrijk Weide, Belgium.

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Designers in Residence – Open Call

The Designers in Residence Program Kortrijk is a 3-month full time working residency from September to December 2019.

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Call for exhibitions Design Week Kortrijk 2019

Kortrijk UNESCO creative region invites international exhibitions and installations to submit a proposal to showcase at ‘Design Week Kortrijk’ 2019. Deadline: March 2019.

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NEXT Festival

NEXT is an annual international art festival in the Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai and in Valenciennes.

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Biennale Interieur 2018

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Biennale Interieur and its 26th edition. INTERIEUR 2018 will be the place to be in terms of…

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Design Fusion

Design Fusion is the international summit on meaningful design at the INTERIEUR 2018 Biennale in Kortrijk. On Thursday October 18th, designers and entrepreneurs will be…

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WO18 – We Are The Next Generaton

For the past 14 years the event ‘Week van het Ontwerpen’ has become the main platform for inspiration and exchange of ideas between Belgian design…

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Related Information


Focal point: Mr. Stijn Debaillie
(Coordinator Designregio Kortrijk)
Designregio Kortrijk
Broelkaai 6, BE-8500 Kortrijk

T: +32 56 51 91 83
M: stijn@designregio-kortrijk.be 
W: www.designregio-kortrijk.be

External Links

Publikation Discover Kortrijk UNESCO creative region EN  

About the City Kortrijk