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10 things to do in Belgium this weekend
Grand re-openings in Brussels, gritty performance art in Antwerp and artistic adventures in Ghent. Go do the right thing.
51N4E: The architecture practice using Brussels as a testing ground for future change
We sat down with Brussels-based architectural practice 51N4E's co-founding partner Freek Persyn to talk about their growing influential role, the necessity of a bottom-up approach to city planning and how Brussels is the best playground an architect could currently hope for.
Five reasons not to miss deSingel’s BOUGE B
Renowned for its fresh perspective and multisensory approach to performance art, we select five reasons why this year's BOUGE B is one to be noted.
On shaping educational policy from the ground up, by Rania el Mard
VSK spokesperson Rania el Mard took the time out of her busy schedule to share her irksome experiences when transitioning education systems, and her optimism for Flemish students' futures.
On the stigmas attached to different educational paths, by Simon Boone
Transbaso's research coordinator Simon Boone makes a passionate demand for change in Flander's education system.
15 things to do in Belgium this weekend
Demonic decadence in Gaasbeek, immortalised taboos in Brussels and jungle designs in Antwerp. Go do the right thing.
10 public libraries in Belgium
Public libraries fulfil an invaluable, and very necessary, role in modern society – we pay tribute to some of the country’s most distinct and distinguished ones in the hope of encouraging you to renew your membership once and for all.
Bikes allow you to see more of the sky
How two entrepreneurs have placed two-wheelers at the heart of their budding businesses.
Neighbourhood watch: The design improvements Region of Brussels’ residents would bring to their Communes (Part 2)
Nine more Brussels-based locals imagine the potential futures for architectural design in their neighbourhoods.
“I think you need some guts to live here”: The enduring and contradictory appeal of Borgerhout
We round up some of Borgerhout’s most involved and committed residents to consider the neighbourhood’s many different facets and discuss what makes it the hotbed of possibilities and potential it is today.
Neighbourhood watch: The design improvements Region of Brussels’ residents would bring to their Communes (Part 1)
10 Brussels-based locals imagine a future for architectural design in their neighbourhoods.
Let’s face it, biking is the future
Continuing our series on the love for cycling, two Brussels-based locals share how biking has changed their lives for the better.
On housing two generations under one same roof, by Chantal Baestle
Mons-based Chantal Baestle recounts her experience with the Belgian intergenerational housing project 1toit2ages.
BelgoMarkt, the neighbourhood grocer banking on homegrown produce
We met with the founders of BelgoMarkt, a year-old new age grocer relying on a myriad of Belgian producers, to talk entrenched habits, learning curves and what lies ahead.
On tips for sustainable urban lifestyles, by Dot-to-dot
The three Brussels-based founders of upstart online magazine Dot-to-dot discuss why and how they made urban sustainability easier to grasp.
Favourite Belgian Releases: Locked Groove
Berlin-based Locked Groove is back for one night in Ampere, and lays down 10 of his all-time favourite Belgian releases for the occasion.
12 innovations in personal living
A hand-picked list of Belgium's most useful and effective initiatives within the sharing economy, sure to facilitate your daily life.
School children talk about the supermarket of the future
Unmanned trolleys? Check. Underground tunnel-enabled distribution? Check. Drone deliveries? Colour-coded smart shelves? Check. Hover boards? Of course.
Belgium’s vibrant bicycle initiatives
A roam around Belgium's different bicycle-related initiatives, with profiles from a family-owned manufacturer, an edu-tainment publisher and bike sharing project, to the capital's only bike polo team.
Rising start-up stars Toon Vanagt & Eric Rodriguez
Veteran start up specialists nominate budding entrepreneurs to keep an eye on.
David Hachez on start-up rising star Jean-Philippe Lens
Entrepreneur David Hachez picks Jean Philippe Lens as entrepreneur to keep an eye on.
Start-up specialists on tips to success (cont.)
Technology entrepreneurs share advice to budding entrepreneurs.
Save the D.A.T.E
In its ever growing quest to cement its reputation as an all-round creative force, the city of Antwerp, is putting on the second edition of D.A.T.E.
Ten things to do during Design September
What to eat, see, buy, visit and listen to during this year's edition of Design September, which opens tomorrow.
20 of the best spaces for emerging art in Belgium today
We round-up 20 of the most exciting spaces for emerging art in Belgium today.
Preview: How to make it without IKEA
Our April edition will see us dig deep into the spirit of hacking while finding out what life looks like without IKEA
My top iOS apps by Damien Aresta
Graphic designer and technology buff Damien Aresta presents his very favorite iOS apps and explains why you should try them out.
An interview with Wiels curator Devrim Bayar about her project Le Salon
As Le Salon turns one year old, its founder and Wiels curator Devrim Bayar fills us in on the Brussels' premier go-to art guide.
Adeline and Alexandre on the opening of Nationa(a)l Pop Up Store
Cousins Adeline and Alexandre's blink-and you'll-miss-it one stop shop for Belgian creative entrepreneurs sets up in Brussels.
Urban development agency creates collaborations between shop owners and designers
In a bid to spice up the design aspect of our neighbourhoods' retail landscape, urban development agency Atrium launched a contest calling on designers to jazz up the windows and displays of local independent grocery shops.
Shopping for design at Antwerp’s Atelier Solarshop
We strolled through the streets of Belgium's major cities and picked out our favourite design store gems. Each day this week, tune in for a selection of our favorite addresses and featured items. Today: Atelier Solarshop.
Inside Brussels’ latest hotbed of design innovation Studio With A View
We dropped in on Studio With A View, an innovative artist hub that unites five designers, two photographers and an architect under one roof.
The craftsmen that are the backbone of Belgium’s design industry
It’s a well-known fact: behind every great designer lies a great craftsman. We've visited five specialised ateliers in Belgium to bring to the fore those that usually take a backseat.
An interview with the founders of Antwerp-based design practice Unfold
We've been profiling notable Belgian designers this month, and today we talk digital technology and the means of production with Antwerp-based multidisciplinary design duo Unfold.
An interview with the founders of Ghent-based design imprint Studio Woot Woot
Founder of Ghent-based Studio Woot Woot Karen Soors is kicking about at La Fabrika with collective exhibition 'Colour' . She kicks of our Design September-inspired series of profiles of outstanding Belgian designers.
By 2020, 40 percent of the Belgian population will be over 50. They will want to have fun, travel, and stay healthy and mobile in their own (renovated) homes. These four professionals understand that seniors will soon rule the world.
The best travel spots in Belgium
This month is all about travel at The Word, and we've been busy touring the country trying and testing Belgium's best and most original getaway spots, from habitable Trojan horses to design hotels and the loveliest of bed & breakfasts.
Damien Aresta talks podcasts, belatedly inspired by a bunch of captivating audio files. Read all about it.
The best travel blogs in Belgium
The holiday season is upon us and we reckon you deserve a break. To get into the swing of things we've got an online travel special for the month of June, starting with our pick of Belgium's best travel blogs.
Collaborate. Cooperate. Consume
Economic models based on sharing, swapping, bartering, and collective buying are outstripping outdated modes of shopping. We spoke to five alternative economisers, collaborative consumers and collective shoppers.
The start-up survival kit
We’ve pieced together a range of survival kit items to get you through the start-up years, from the essential laptop bag to lifesaving Aiki Noodles.
The best start-ups in Belgium
Handpicked by our in-house team of editors, designers and web developers, we select the most promising Belgian technology start-ups of the year.
Pimpinelle, a new boutique in Brussels for foodies, inspires Damien Aresta to sample some other recent delicious food experiences. Dig in.
The best architectural renaissances in Ghent
In the second part of our series on repurposed old spaces and buildings, up-and-comer Adriaan Hauwaert takes a look at Ghent's Huis van Alijn and the Nucleo project.
The rise of e-suicides
Today we kick off our series on 'new beginnings' by taking a look at those who dare to say goodbye to their social network accounts. But, as the Eagles put it: “You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave.” Or can you?
Our new website
A few words on our freshly re-launched website, the team behind it and the writers and photographers whose contributions we've enlisted.
My little white screen
Frédéric Nicolay, the creative mind behind Café Belga, Potemkine and cult Belgian beer Vedett, continues in his quest to freshen up Brussels with his neighbourhood-loving little white screen project.
Fifteen questions to: Zhao Li
With her playful, animal-shaped creations, up and coming jewellery designer Zhao Li has roots in China and a home in Antwerp, adding some much-needed colour to the local jewellery scene. We speak with her about the beauty of spiders, using medical plastic and her jewellery line 'talitali'.
Into the light
A light-sensitive series of juxtaposed animated gifs that has the entire office finding itself a new-found love for the digitally-bettered arts.
Win: Share our iPad AppStore link and win yourself a Word goodie bag
Share our iPad AppStore link on your wall, take a screenshot and email it to us. How to win yourself a Word goodie bag in three easy steps.
Spicing it up: Saveurs et Savoirs
For the last instalment in our four-part series of inspiring retail start-ups, we spice things up a little with Saveurs et Savoirs, a temple to the senses set to open in Brussels this December.
Ménage à deux: When fashion, art and lifestyle collide
In the third instalment of our series on new retail innovations, we meet DJ duo Ménage à deux a couple of days prior to the opening of their concept store of the same name, a fashion, design and culture emporium nestled in the heart of Brussels.
Miam Miam Bio: Organic food Grandma-style
In part two of our ongoing series on dynamic, local retail start-ups that enliven your neighbourhood's retail landscape, we meet the owner of Miam Miam Bio, an innovative organic concept that puts Grandma-style cooking at the centre of its philosophy and offering.
The interview: Magne Furuholmen
We speak with 80s pop icon and a-ha founding member Magne Furuholmen about his work as a visual artist and eco-activist.
The weekend 23.9
Our selection of things to do this weekend includes everything from design exhibitions and open door walks to cinematic retrospectives and art shows.
OpenSoon supports businesses with an attitude
In a fresh bid to add character to your local shopping strip, the Belgian government has launched OpenSoon, an initiative that puts independence and creativity back at the heart of your community by supporting young upstarts in their retail adventures. We profile four of these subsidised projects, starting this week with Brussels-based jewellery shop-come-talent-plateform Joya.
London’s The Peoples Supermarket wins smart future minds award
A supermarket for the people by the people - this is the motto of the winning project. A sustainable food cooperative that provides healthy, local food at reasonable prices convinced the international jury at the smart urban stage Frankfurt.
‘WeForest’ represents Belgium at smart urban stage in Frankfurt
Saving the planet by planting trees - this is the mission of Belgian NGO WeForest which has the chance to win the smart future minds award tomorrow in Frankfurt. We spoke to CEO Marie-Noelle Keijzer in the run up to the big day.
A few words about our iPad app
Our iPad app having hit Apple’s AppStore last week, we thought it useful to give you a little background information on it. You know, the why, who, what, when and all. We first started toying with the idea of developing an iPad app towards the end of the summer 2010. Apple had just released its […]
Getting diggy with it: our QR codes
You might not have noticed it, but we took a step closer to the future in our last edition, the red album. Indeed, QR codes (those god-ugly barcodes you can see at the tail-end of some of the red album’s stories and features) were introduced to our pages, the sole purpose of which is to […]
Cooler than an ice cube
Picture this: A five course meal served by a two-starred chef in an ultra-white, ultra-modern, ultra-Swedish structure, located 45 meters above the ground. We couldn’t help but accept the invitation (despite a paralyzing fear of heights) to have lunch in The Cube, a concept-restaurant introduced by home appliance giant Electrolux. And even though it’s the […]
Faguo – world dominance one tree at a time
There’s something rather heart-warming about seeing a start-up coming-of-age, especially in the fast-paced and unforgiving world of fashion. If you’re anything like us and keep a close watch on the daily going-ons of the industry, you’ll agree that certain new arrivals somehow seem more astute than others at remaining at the top of the hype […]
Fashion: Ada Zanditon’s Cryoflux (Fall/Winter 2011)
London-based Ada Zanditon rocked the fashion world when she unveiled her last collection during London Fashion Week. Entitled « The Cryoflux », it explored the darkly poetic idea of a frozen world in a strange state of flux. Dramatic shapes, beautiful fabrics and a strong aesthetic defined her outfits, as well as her ongoing commitment […]
The black market
For a “non-colour,” black has surely seeped its way into every aspect of our lives, from fashion and food to beauty and bathrooms. Photography Benoît Banisse Art direction and styling facetofacedesign 01. Royal rolls Toilet paper doesn’t usually get us talking, but that all changed on a recent night out. After having downed one long […]
Less is a bore
Minimalism equals good taste. For nearly a century, such was the design credo of the Western world. But let’s face it: the world has changed a great deal since. Writer Anneke Bokern Suddenly, countries that never had much of an influence on the international design scene are developing into major markets. “People here want golden faucets”, […]
Tap that thang: we want to hear from you (in return for some booze)
Our iPad app comes out early January. Expect a more engaging and immersive editorial experience. Print, digital, video and sound – all-in-one. Its starting point will be the magazine (as with pretty much everything in Word world), its scope the neighbourhood (you know, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Koln) and its reach […]
FAntastic and FAbulous: the opening of FA Gallery
The project was an ambitious one right from the word go. The idea, although simple, was massive in its scope: to reinvigorate a dire and rather stale local fashion and art landscape (in this case, that of Kuwait), and infuse it with much-needed pep. Whilst style staples such as Villa Moda had dominated the local […]
Down on Rue Antoine Dansaert comes a new store that’s answering a lot of prayers with its eco-friendly and fashionable wares. Brought to us by Sonja Noël, the owner of the street’s stalwart Stijl, is Hallelujah. An eco-friendly take on luxury high fashion, this boutique is far cry from the hippy uniform of tie-dye, rainbow […]
A shoe called Faguo
A collective sigh for yet another sneaker claiming to save the world, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d already seen Faguo. A discreetly designed and simple sneaker which looks like something we’ve all owned at some point in our lives, although there is something hidden beneath that sober and humble exterior. Encapsulated in the trademark […]
The Special Showstoppers: The Goods
We touch upon all aspects of design – from creation through to completion and reparation – in this month’s selection of special show stealers. We’ve got the software to prototype it, the loungechair to ponder it, the stool to rock it out, the plasticine to fix it, the mirror to have a final look at […]
Giving the people what they want
Citroen’s new DS3 has been on my mind ever since I took it for a test drive over three weeks ago. At first sight, you’d be forgiven for thinking they got it totally wrong. It’s much more muscular, intimidating even, than the original model (which we paid respect to in our Rough Edges Issue). It […]
Belgium has a number of reputable festivals all year-round but if you’re looking for a low-key urban initiative, Deurne is now to be added to your summer ‘to-do list’: this municipality of Antwerp premiered a “route of art” and festivities between Wednesday 18th and Sunday 22nd August. Named Deurnroosje after the Sleeping Beauty tale (i.e. […]
Naked and bare
Cultural life in Brussels might shift into lower gear during the summer but contrary to popular belief, it does not die and disappear into a vortex of oblivion. Amongst the recommendable activities available to those whom, by choice or by necessity, will spend the better days of the summer in the city, the opening of […]
Brussels: where we peruse art
Dog days like these – when meagre desk fans just won’t cut it and the prospect of being in closed quarters has your forehead dripping – are ideal to seek refuge in the vast and deliciously chilled premises of the city’s art centres and galleries. Below are some of our locations of choice when it […]
The Special Showstoppers: At the back of the bus
The nomadic lifestyle of the band on the summer festival circuit is both a blessing and a curse. While such movement adds exponentially to both industry cred and the rock ‘n’ roll allure, the effects on both sanity and hygiene can be much less desirable. Whether struck by stress, boredom, the sense of imprisonment, or […]
It’s that time of the year again…
The highly anticipated annual Fashion Show of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts took place this past weekend in the industrial Northwest district of the city. The location – a large hangar beside the canal – was an interesting choice. For while the unrefined character of the neighbourhood was not at all in line with the […]
We made your world
Many of the objects that we overlook or take for granted have had an extraordinary role to play in human history. From concrete to the cathode ray tube: yesterday’s breakthrough discovery often becomes tomorrow’s trash. Photography Guy Van Laere Additional research Hettie Judah “For over one billion people in the developing world, glasses are a […]
Life at the cutting edge can get pretty exhausting – kept awake at night by genius ideas, burning through the shoe leather as you sprint your way too and from the patent office, wrestling frustration as things fail to fall into place just so – we thought we’d help out with a little selection of […]
Currently available at
Giving an extended online lease of life to an article we ran with in our skin issue, here’s the piece Randa (our newly-posted London correspondant) did on Dover Street Market. Photography Charlotte May Wales Dover Street Market still feels fresh as new despite being around for half a decade, making it one of the best, […]
Ctrl-alt-del the front row
Playing your cards right as the PR officer entrusted with shaping a given designer’s front row has recently become that much harder with the arrival on the scene of teenie-bopping bloggers. Armed with an online following that’d make @aplusk bow down in awe, these industry outsiders have suddenly become front row material, with designers and […]
The Scatalog – Design goes down… and out
Back in September, we talked with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg about her RCA graduation project on bacteria hacking and synthetic biology. She’s barely stopped moving since then – she’s currently working on a new research project in Australia, but before she disappeared off to the other side of the world, she joined up with a team […]
In the mood for design and interiors. Maison et Objet 2009
Went up to Paris to catch the good, the bad and the downright ugly at Maison et Objet . First observation, I was astonished at the amount of Belgian companies specialising in outdoor furniture. Royal Botania had one of the largest surfaces at the fair. Extremis seemed to have the main spot at the fair, […]
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