• Kortrijk

    19. Apr 2018

Facts and Figures


Kortrijk, Belgium


79.000 in the City of Kortrijk
300.000 in the agglomeration of Kortrijk
2,1 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 15.000 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.

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 5 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

The international renowned Biennale Interieur has been replaced by the B2B event Design Nation, showcasing the latest design trends and avant-garde furniture, and the open to all WONDER Creativity Festival. WONDER takes a look at the future with innovative ideas from designers, artists, entrepreneurs, students, citizens… in collaboration with creative, cultural and entrepreneurial organizations and educational institutions. During the year 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.

Discover Kortrijk

Designers in Residence 2024

Designregio Kortrijk and Design Fest Gent join forces and invite you to apply for Designers in Residence Kortrijk 2024, with the theme “All the Small…

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Industrial Product Design at University College Howest // 20th anniversary

Industrial Product Design at University College Howest (Kortrijk, UNESCO Creative City of Design, Belgium) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in style, as the bachelor’s program…

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Everyone WONDER! WONDER 2023 will take place from Thursday 19 October to Sunday 5 November 2023, from Tuesday to Sunday each time. The festival takes…

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BUDA::lab develops demining robot for Ukraine

Three enterprising brothers knocked on the door of Kortrijk’s open maker space BUDA::lab late last year with the idea of developing demining robots for Ukraine.…

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Open Call // Designers in Residence Kortrijk 2023

DESIGNREGIO Kortrijk and ELDERS collective are joining forces and invite you to apply for Designers in Residence Kortrijk 2023, on the topic of “ P…

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Call // WONDER Creativity Festival

From 19 October to 5 November, WONDER Creativity Festival will once again take over Kortrijk’s city centre for 3 weeks of wondrous exhibitions, installations and…

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Call // Can you share our wondering stories in your network?

DesignRegio Kortrijk has a ❤️ for creative entrepreneurial talent. In everything we do, we bring talent together to imagine, design and make a better future.…

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Visit to Bilbao, UNESCO Creative City of Design

Bilbao, a city with a lot of potential, an eye for beauty, enthusiastic inhabitants with a great will to cooperate and a lot of ‘rebellious’…

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Visit to Covilhã, UNESCO Creative City of Design

Covilhã, UNESCO Creative City of Design. Do you know this city? In my network, people looked at me questioningly when I told them that that…

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