A design competition for students of architecture, interior design and product development

Design the living environment of tomorrow! By designing architecture, interiors or products with a wide and simple use for all ages or abilities.


Are you up to this challenge?

Then participate in U Design for real people. Learn to apply the principles of Universal Design in every design, from concept to implementation. That’s how you create solutions that work for everyone.

For real people. For users of all ages, with and without disabilities. For the entire society, and therefore for everyone.

Who can participate?

Students who are enrolled during the 2019-2020 academic year for a design course in architecture, interior design or product development in the third or fourth year at an educational institution in Europe (EU and non-EU countries).

Students from other design courses or other study years may participate, provided that their study programme has a focus on UD during the 2019-2020 academic year.

You can participate individually or as a duo.

The competition has ended. You can no longer register or submit a project.



  • 14-18 October 2019: kick-off week
  • 5 July 2020: deadline for submission
  • Summer 2020: preselection of the best submissions
  • 9 September 2020: international jury
  • 10 September 2020: award ceremony and UD conference (virtual event - more info follows)
  • 11 September 2020: roundtable meeting with educational institutes and evaluation of the student competition

Get started and create a design in one or two of these categories

  • Architecture / Urban development / Spatial planning
  • Interior
  • Product

In this competition we organise several workshop sessions in Novembre and March to teach students about UD and to let them consult with experts in UD. They get the opportunity to:

  • follow an inspiring workshop on Universal Design and accessibility by Inter or other experts.
  • request user feedback with their design or to follow an immersion session with users.
  • advice and coaching by UD experts.

Students at a Flemish or a Brussels Dutch-language educational institution are obliged to participate in at least one of the workshop sessions.

Students from educational institutions outside Flanders are exempt from participating in the workshop sessions. These students must look for local guidance in their own country or at their own educational institution to meet the competition criteria. Participation in a workshop session in Flanders (held in Dutch) can be done on a voluntary basis.

What do we expect?

  • A design with strong Universal Design qualities.
    • The design responds to the context.
    • The design facilitates equality.
    • The design facilitates accessibility and usability.
  • User involvement in the design process.

(For more details, please refer to the competition rules.)


Are you with the nominees? Then we will exhibit your design and publish it on the competition website.

Are you one of the winners? Then you will win a multi-day study trip to Lisbon.


Jury 9th of September 2020 - Z33 Hasselt

Click here to see who's in the jury.

The preselection takes place in the summer of 2020. 

Afterwards, a maximum of 18 selected projects will be judged on 9 September 2020 in Z33 in Hasselt.


Award ceremony - 10 September - De Krook - Ghent

If you are among the winning students, we expect you on 10 September in De Krook in Ghent. We'll call the winning students on 9 September to tell them the good news. 

The award ceremony will be held that day by chairman Lieven Scheire and Minister Bart Somers. Lieven Scheire will also interview you that day. 

The award ceremony and the interview will be recorded and played during the web event on 17 September 2020, around 1-2 pm.


U Design for real people with Lieven Scheire. An inspiring web event about Universal Design - 17 September 2020, 1 to 2 pm.

Universal Design or Design for All is a user-centred design approach with aesthetically pleasing solutions for a large and diverse group of users. Its resulting user comfort is independent of physical abilities, age, gender, culture, language or learning style.

Do you want to learn more about Universal Design and how your projects benefit from it, as a designer or as a client? And do you want to know what the advantages are for all your end users?

Register and discover all this and more at 'U Design for real people' on thursday 17 September.

Listen to interesting international speakers and see some good practices. Discover the winning projects of the design contest 'U Design for real people', for students of architecture, interior design or product design.

Target audience

  • Students and teachers in design studies such as architecture, interior design and product design
  • Architects, interior designers and product designers
  • Clients and managers of projects in the public and private sector (buildings, outdoor spaces, products, services, events)
  • Government officials and policy makers working on inclusion
  • Anyone with an interest in Universal Design


Lieven Scheire, comedian, physicist and science communicator


Inter, the Flemish expertise centre for accessibility and Universal Design, in collaboration with the Flemish Agency for Local and Provincial Government, team Equal Opportunities.


  • Wendy Metten, managing director of Inter
  • Onny Eikhaug, president of EIDD Design for All Europe
  • Bart Somers, Flemish Minister for Integration and Equal opportunities


Partly in Dutch, partly in English. Subtitles in Dutch or English are available.


  • Word of welcome by Wendy Metten
  • Lieven Scheire: Universal Design, an advantage for all
  • Onny Eikhaug: Design for All - a people-centred strategy for innovation and inclusion
  • Lieven Scheire: about the design contest 'U Design for real people'
  • Flanders fosters the high-quality designers of the future: Bart Somers hands out the awards to the winners of the design contest
  • Interviews with winning student teams in architecture, interior design and product design about their designs
  • Good practices with Lieven Scheire:
    • the accessible office building Herman Teirlinck in Brussels
    • Bokrijk, an open air museum with an accessible infrastructure and an inclusive visitor experience
    • accessible and inclusive events at the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent

Register before 16/9! 

To the registration form 

Any questions? 


0032 478 79 33 51 (Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) 


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