Change the design

Are you a designer, maker, or passionate handicrafter with ideas for solving social issues? Come and contribute to improving life in refugee camps.

Temporary housing

The creative industry and the maker movement can contribute to solving humanitarian issues in (for example) refugee camps. But how? The graduation project by architect Patrick Roegiers shows in what way makers or designers can possibly do so: "As an architect, I feel responsible for contributing to society. Everything you actually make affects an environment or people."

He built a tiny house of glued cardboard, that is sandwiched in between two houses at a height of three meters, where homeless people can spend the night. The 'Bedsteeg' calls attention to the homeless in Amsterdam, and shows that there is space as well as means to offer help and give this group a place in the city center.

Social innovation

His method bears resemblances with the methodology of LATRA, a humanitarian creative agency based in Lesvos, Greece. LATRA has set up an innovation lab in a refugee camp in Lesvos, allowing world-class innovators, designers, makers, producers and social entrepreneurs to collaborate with the refugee community. They focus primarily on technologically driven creative projects, in response to current and urgent needs from the environment.

After an introduction to socially-driven innovative practices as described above, there will be a presentation of two cases that you can work on in groups. The solutions and/or designs that will originate can be further worked on after tonight’s session, for example in one of the Maakplaatsen in the city.

This evening is in English. The entrance fee is € 5 (including a drink).


19:30 Doors open
20:00 Introduction
20:05 Presentation by Patrick Roegiers
20:25 Work on one of the two LATRA challenges:

  • Off Grid Wash, an open-source washing machine
  • Better Shelter Hack, digital fabrication to build everything from Home To Furniture

21:45 Pitches of the designs, prototypes and ideas
22:00 End of the program

Patrick Roegiers

Patrick Roegiers recently graduated from the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. With the 'Bedsteeg' he investigates, among other things, how he can solve social issues and problems with architecture.

About Latra

LATRA is one of the project partners of SySTEM 2020, a project that investigates the learning of science outside the classroom throughout Europe. If you are interested in working with LATRA after this event, please contact them via this page.

SySTEM 2020 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 788317.