Kwok Wing Lam – Winnie (HK/BE) is a versatile designer based in Brussels, whose practices focus on social and community based design experiences.  Winnie earned her first degree in Interior Architecture at l’école supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc Brussels, before obtaining her Masters in Humanitarian Design and Sustainable living at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. 

This combined knowledge leads her into different area of design, from a scenography for UNRIC (United Nations Regional Information Centre) to an urban redevelopment project for the city of Brussels, not counting her passages to architecture firms and design studios.

In parallel to her practice as a designer, she managed numerous creative projects from local up to an European level: projects includes: ‘‘House Proud’, ‘The race to clean air’, ‘Human Cities Brussels’, ‘Human Cities Istanbul’. At the moment she is managing projet such as ‘Glass is Tomorrow II’, urbain art platform ‘No New Enemies network’ and she is co-partner of Brussels based contemporary art gallery, Harlan Levey Projects.

She earns a valuable experience in managing projects that deal with multidisciplinary networks, strategies for civil well being and development. While Winnie’s projects and history are diverse, but her approach on design and in general has always been attracted by people and in particular their well being. 

Verena Kolm is a journalist and studied German philology in Graz, Austria. She worked for several Austrian newspapers and also as press relation officer at ÖH Uni Graz during the studies. Since 2014 she works for the Institute Design and Communication at FH JOANNEUM in the field of advertising, public relations and social media. She also studies the Master Programme Exhibition Design which she will finish in 2016.

He’s the founder of People Olympics for Social Innovation but also a community man for Living Labs. Roberto Santoro always highlights the importance of both activities in Europe.

Human Cities has the privilege of hosting Mr. Santaro during the Crossroads 2015 Workshop in Saint-Etienne from 16 to 17 March 2015.

THINKtent is the brainchild of Dr Natasha Cica, the founding director of, a consultancy which works globally to help leaders, teams and organisations deliver effective and sustainable change. In 2014 she was recognized by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac banking group as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence, and in 2011 she was an inaugural recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship rewarding outstanding talent and exceptional courage. Natasha is an award-winning author and public commentator, and is an adjunct professor at the Australian National University.

Marie Seng joined the Cité du Design and the project Human Cities from September 2015 to October 2016.
She has an undergraduate degree in International Development and Spanish from the University of Leeds (UK) and a joint masters degree “Altervilles” (urban strategies and policymaking within public, private and non profit sectors) from both the University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne and SciencePo Lyon.

Maria Arana, is an architect who cofounded Urbanbat, an urban innovation office located in Bilbao which offers support in regional planning groups, communities and local governments. Through its work (participatory processes, workshops, interventions in public space …) it develops social innovation and urban creativity in order to promote a culture of citizen participation that contributes to the care and improvement of the environment.

URBANBAT gathers architects, urbanists,  and people dedicated to social sciences, communication and education. Thanks to a multidisciplinary approach based on networking, it mediates between the parties involved in planning projects and urban regeneration.

 These urban innovation office provides assistance and advice to municipalities and administrations in management of participatory processes related to urban regeneration, cultural development and social innovation.

They also mediate between civil society, private initiatives, organizations and institutions to carry out ideas that can improve the city, making it easier to bring together stakeholders in various formats: workshops, consultation sessions, conferences, films and other cultural activities.

The organization helps municipalities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, planning offices, community groups and citizens’ initiatives to share their activities, present their achievements and projects and disseminate their results.

 URBANBAT develops programs of urban pedagogy in order to explore the multiple dimensions of the educating cities. One of them is  Arkitente, a platform to bring the knowledge of the city and the architecture closer to children. On the other hand for the last five years, it has organized Urbanbat, the annual festival of urban and social innovation.

She has a MSc in Economics, international specialty by Sarriko University UPV-EHU. Master in Finacial Management and Advanced Course in Human Resource Management from ESIC. Eight years of working experience in BEAZ as responsible for administration and finance developing budgeting functions, accounting, purchasing and other financial and administrative managements, as well as providing advice to projects at feasibility and economic projections level. In addition, she supports and controls the actions taken by the company within the EEN. Two years as a Controller and Head of Administration at head office with subsidiaries companies throughout South America developing business plans, consolidation and economic and market analysis. Eight years as a controller in Vodafone Spain S.A. participating in international projects.

Lucile is a French student living in Rennes, in Bretagne. She is studying at Sciences Po Rennes, a French political studies institute where she is learning history, sociology, law, and other subjects. Specialized in public services, she wants to work for cities in the future. For her third year at the institute, Lucile chose to leave France and to live abroad. After a first semester studying in Istanbul, she is now an intern at the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, actively involved in the Human Cities project. She arrived in Ljubljana in January and will stay until the end of June 2015. In the Human Cities project, Lucile is helping in the first stages of the project. This project gives her an opportunity to discover urban design as a discipline. Thanks to Human Cities she is discovering bottom up initiatives from different countries in Europe. When she will come back to Rennes, she would like to help implement some of those ideas in her city. Next year, Lucile wants to continue studying urban design and city policies. In the future, she hopes she will be able to integrate to the Paris Urbanism School.

Experience of seven years in BEAZ as technical consultant and liaison in the EEN for Creative Industries Sector Group. One year of working experience in a multinational consulting company as an intern working as a system analyst. Two years of working experience in Ericsson (multinational telecommunications company) working in the R&D Department in the area of RF. Four years of working experience in business communications and digital content (“Grupo Correo”) as Head of the technical department. She is an expert in innovative and international projects.

Louisa Vermoere is communication coordinator of Human Cities/ Challenging the City Scale 2014-2018. She has her own practice as a strategic & architectural designer, graduated at Sint-Lucas Gent – Luca | School of Arts in 2008 and Strelka Institute, Moscow in 2015. She has been co-developing several participative projects addressing public issues aiming for resilient solutions & strategies within multidisciplinary collaborations. Her projects can often be considered soft urbanism that tries to reconnect (im)material streams considered as redundant or hidden. She is cofounder of POOL IS COOL, Collective Disaster, No time No space.

Her collaborations and research has been exhibited, installed and presented world wide. Temple of Holy Shit received the 2nd Prize of the GCSM Blue Responsibility Award, was designed for Parckfarm Turn and Taxi, Parckdesign 2014, Brussels and exhibited in the Onassis Cultural Center in Adhocracy 2015, Athens – Issue of tissue exhibited at «Second Hand Second Life» expo 2013, Petits Riens, Brussels – Bxl Swings in the Cracks was presented in Pop-up City Life, Beurschouwburg, Brussels 2014 – Collective Disaster expressed its intentions at «The Collective Intention» 2015, Depot Basel – Research based design on Shrinking Cities was exhibited in «BIG FUTURE» expo, at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, 2015 Moscow – Holy Shit Preacher drove around at «PERIFERIA Festival» 2015  organised by CITY 3, Brussels. The Miracle Mountain has been installed at «Festival des Hortillonnages 2016» in Amiens.

What does it mean to inhabit a place today ? Which relationship can we have with the environment ? These are some questions that guide the work of Isabelle Daëron. Graduated from Ensci-Les Ateliers (Paris) and School of Art and Design (Reims), Isabelle Daëron designs objects, installations and spaces from a reflection on the living environment and natural elements that constitute it.  Among them, Topique-water, a rainwater harvester that transforms rainwater into a drinkable water, Topique-wind, a leaves collector, Topique-sky, a sky mirror. For these works, Isabelle received some prizes : Lille design Prize (2012), Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris (2013), Audi Talents Awards (2015). Her projects were displayed in CCA Kitakyushu (Japan), Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Matadero (Madrid), Complexe Suvilahti (Helsinki).

Isabelle Daëron founded her studio in 2010. She is also involved in research programs for the Research Department of the Cité du design (Saint-Étienne) and teaches at Ensad (National School of Arts Décoratifs) in Paris. She gave an important scientific contribution to the project Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale, as an author and editorial coordinator of the project’s publication Investigation. 

Hypermatière is a pluridisciplinary group set up in Cret de Roch district, Saint-Etienne. It was born from the Collective HumanCitizens Office of StEtienne Experimentations (C.H.O.S.E) launched by Cité du design  to promote bottom-up collective urban experiences  through Human Cities program.

The group is composed by

  • the designers Captain ludd (Paul Buros, Pierrick Faure, Juliana Gotilla and Martin Guillaumie)
  •  the designer Magalie Rastello
  •  the artist and ceramist Yai Acosta
  • the gardener Mathieu Benoit Gonin
  • the associations Rues du Développement Durable  and  Amicale Laïque du Cret de Roch (social, educational and economic activities for the communities)
  • the local working group of waste upcycling.

Together they initiate a serie of actions with the inhabitants of the district, to  experiment the current and  future possible transformations of Cret de de Roch district, in the area nearby the Rue Neyron and La Fontaine passage through the hill. They propose temporary installations which are low-cost, scalable, reversible, recyclable, to observe and experiment the various temporalities linked to people uses when a long-term renewal project is undergoing in a district like Cret de Roch.

The aim is showing the process and the relevance of collaborative practices . Hypermatière highlights a kind of “space in movement” at a district scale , a space offering its inhabitants the opportunity of becoming active subjects that are aware of the trnasformations they live everyday.

Hana is a native Londoner who joined the CLEAR VILLAGE team from a similar position at Ethical Economy Ltd. She has a degree in Linguistics with French & Portuguese from Birkbeck College and inspires the team with her love of the finer things, like French film and jazz.

Gareth is Head of Maker Projects at Machines Room and a maker librarian with British Council Maker Library Network. He is a graduate from Goldsmiths MFA and exhibits with the group MoreUtopia!  Gareth has been coordinating the Maker Mile since its launch in 2015.

Damjana is an architect working in her architectural studio in Ljubljana. She is engaged in designing buildings and open public spaces, interior design and exhibition design.

Along with that, Damjana also actively promotes architecture as a discipline, sensitising members of the public about the importance of space. Faced with spatial issues, she responds by challenging both the contemporary lifestyle and our everyday habits, by bringing together various users of space and educating them, by launching initiatives for arranging neglected spaces and for temporary uses of urban space.

Since 2013, she has been among the supporters of the “Skupaj na ploščad!” initiative, encouraging the residents of the Ruski car residential area to consider the potentials of their public open space and to participate in the process of its restoration and revitalisation. During the last three years, the “Skupaj na ploščad!” (Together to the Platform!) initiative planned and implemented several spatial interventions in the local residential area, aiming to make the space between the blocks of flats more friendly and to encourage the local residents to use it, offering them a possibility of socialising in public spaces. She sees participation in the Human Cities projects as an excellent opportunity to make the ongoing activities in the residential district of Bratovseva ploščad even more effective by gaining experiences and practices of other cities.

The CREFAD Loire,Saint-Etienne, France, puts citizen empowerment at the heart of its action so that people that are normally far away from the usual participation devices have the opportunity to have a say and to act on it. It is a popular education association that would like to encourage, favour and accompany economic, social and cultural personal and/or professional development initiatives that are part of a solidarity approach.

The CREFAD coordinates “Ici bientôt!”, one of the CHOSE experimentions in Saint-Etienne Human Cities program together with Carton Plein association. CREFAD brings tools related to team management and project production, who ensures the links and relations with the public institutions, who sets up the conditions for an important and strong rooting on the territory. Carton Plein uses its past experience as well as its sensitive and innovative tools at the service of but also to test this new project.

Charles Landry is a world leader and a Master of the future of Cities and the creative use of resources in urban revitalization. He is best known for having written the book The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. With this book he shares with Human Citizens how to make the cities great and places to be.

Human Cities is privileged to welcome the presence of Charles Landry  at the International Design Biennale Saint-Etienne on Tuesday 17 March 2015 for the conference ‘Designing the human city creatively’.

Biba is a geographer working as a researcher at the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia. She participates in multidisciplinary projects mainly in the field of urban planning, urban renewal, accessibility for disabled and climate change. She specializes in graphic design, data visualization, database creation, analysis and management and explores how to demonstrate spatial data in clear, effective and user friendly way for different users and different media. As a creative mind she seeks solutions out of the beaten tracks. She sees Human Cities approach as an opportunity to link public space design with other creative practices and rethink the role of urban planning in the creation of contemporary public spaces. For Biba any kind of good public space is closely related to the social interactions that it encourages. She is an active Human Citizen too as an enthusiastic urban cycler.

She is a project manager but also a craft&design specialist. She is now the Coordinator of projects focused on social innovations and participation. Engaged in contacts with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.


Alice is a conscious entrepreneur, curious change-maker and a passionate innovator. She is a global business developer and negotiator, energetic educator and experienced facilitator.

“As a designer, I am not bound to any specific product, like a garment, a chair or a website. Instead, I use design to look for relevance and meaning – and then design what is needed”
says Alice with a passionate light in her eyes. She has specialised in cultural identity and driving cultural change and puts some of the hot topics of the day into practice: Circular economy, design thinking, co-creation, social innovation, creative entrepreneurship, appreciative inquiry and design strategy.

Alice has founded and runs the design bureau That Something in partnership with Michael Brinch and her decade-long international experience shows what she means by “relevance and meaning”. Alice has designed and delivered processes for rethinking education in Germany; created legacy strategies for Creativity World Forum in Denmark; instigated circular models for social housing in the UK and brought entrepreneurship to sustainable fashion design across the Mediterranean.

Born and bred in Denmark, Alice has lived the last decades in Germany, Bangladesh, Greece and the UK, where she teaches at Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London.
She is a fellow of the British Royal Society of the Arts and has been awarded membership of the German National Academic Foundation.

Alice is the co-creation expert co-creation expert for Human Cities.

Alexis Castro, of Spanish nationality, owns a university degree in archaeology and art history (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and in oriental studies (Università Orientale di Napoli). Living in Brussels, he is a founding member and executive manager of Culture Lab, a Belgian consulting agency specialized in the design and management of European and international cultural cooperation projects as well as in communication and public outreach strategies. In this framework, he provides expertise to projects and programs in the fields of creative industries and cultural heritage for the European Commission and many other national and international cultural organizations in Europe, in Africa and in the Mediterranean area. Alexis Castro has also taken part in a number of archaeological missions in Syria and other Mediterranean countries and contributed as an author and editor to many studies and publications dealing with contemporary creation and cultural heritage.