Tunneltaal (2021), a collaborative project with Manon Lambeens.

In 2021, graphic designer Manon Lambeens graduated with her project ‘The Social Game’. Manon and I attended the same university and it is here where we met each other and got to know each other’s work for the first time. Since the both of us live in the same village and her urban project ‘Tunneltaal’ (which was part of het graduation project ‘The Social Game’) was located just a few hundred meters from both our homes, it was only natural for us to start a collaboration.

‘Tunneltaal’ is an urban space project that wanted to reimagine a frequently used, yet dilapidated space in Wezemaal, Rotselaar. This space, a bicycle tunnel right behind the Montfort Institute, is a central place for students and inhabitants living in its surrounding suburbs. It is place many people traverse both during day and night and Manon wondered if it would be possible to make this place a more amiable and safer place. One of the leading questions were: ‘How can we find creative solutions for street lighting?’ 

Not only is ‘Tunneltaal’ a project aimed to make our environment safer, it is also aimed to connect people and communities during difficult times. In a time where social distancing has become the norm, ‘Tunneltaal’ was a place that illuminated our dark nights and connected us with each other.

Het Sociale Spel (The Social game) stands for cooperation. Design as a bridge in our daily lives. What position as a designer do I take within our society? What is design to me and how do I want to present design in our society? Keywords in this game are: process, creativity, accessibility, education, collaboration, togetherness, respect, design tools, public space, social design, typography, language, local communities, identity and dialogue. The Social game I chose to play started with line drawings in my own bubble. Then my pinball machine shot me to type design with kids. And finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel. The Social Game is accessible, there is room for everyone. My pinball machine has kicked off The Social Game.

Manon Lambeens (°98) is a graphic/social designer and an illustrator based in Leuven (Belgium). She graduated from the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Ghent (KASK) with a master’s in graphic design. In her spare time, she is very active in youth work. This social aspect is reflected in her methodology and practice. That’s one of the reasons she chose to study an educative master at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp. Her methodology and work ethic is based in the Homo Ludens. We don’t work as a designer, we play. Manon designs space projects, combines illustrations with graphic design and has a big interest in typography. She designs branding identities, posters, spaces, books etc. Manon likes to include the people she works with during the process.

A project created by graphic designer Manon Lambeens
In collaboration with photographer Benina Hu, illustrator Thorsten Staes and filmmaker Floris Leempoels.

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