Design & The City is an innovative conference, held from April 19 until 22 in Amsterdam. As part of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Hogeschool van Amsterdam) during the Dutch EU chairmanship, Design & The City challenges the international community to shape the city of the future, by participating in Lab of Labs, workshops and an intriguing conference day with renown speakers.

The aim of the conference is to explore citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city. Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and sociable urban futures. How can citizens meaningfully be engaged in the process of city making? What new social processes and business models do we need for the future of city making? And in what way changes the role of the professional in the process of city making, and which new design methodologies, approaches and roles they have taken on towards the creation of a sociable smart city.

Lab of Labs – Tuesday April 19th and Wednesday April 20th

Explore methodologies for design research in the two-days Lab of Labs programme. Five leading labs will share their design approaches and methodologies with the participants and work with them towards the design of a conceptual prototype. Taking place on April 19 and 20, around 50 professionals, designers and students will be able to join in for this event. Participating Labs are Kitchen Budapest, Fields of View, Ideal lab, Waag Society and the Design Informatics group of Edinburgh College of Art. The Lab of Labs will close off with a public presentation of the outcomes and a discussion on methodologies for design research on Wednesday night April 20th. This presentation is open to the public. Tickets are free and will become available on March 20th via

Conference Design & The City – Thursday April 21st

With the addition of Dan Hill as the closing speaker, the programme for the main conference on April 21st is complete. International experts will discuss the implications of the rise of social media, big data and other new media technologies for the practice of urban design during the Design & The City conference. How can citizens meaningfully be engaged in the process of city-making? What new modes of social organization and business models do we need for the future of city-making? And what is the role of professional designers in the era of smart citizens? Find the programme here.

Workshops – Friday April 22nd

On Friday April 22nd, a broad variety of design offices, research groups and cultural organizations will host fourteen workshops related to the themes of Design & The City. Themes range from finding a solution for the bicycle parking in Amsterdam and the design of more walkable cities to participatory sensing and critical investigations of the concept of the smart city. Programme and registration (before April 1st) here.

Parallel events

Besides the Lab of Labs, workshops and conference, there is a full calendar of interesting events. One of them is a shadow EU-summit organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences which invites students and young professionals to discuss the future of European cities, and their main challenges and solutions for them. Also highly recommended ‘Sense in the City’ about active and healthy living in the city (April 18th) and ‘Smart city projects’ about the lessons which can be learned from the experiences so far (April 20th).

More information about the event can be found here.

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