An unexpected journey on a 21st century expedition.

International Design Expeditions (IDE) operates expeditions where international designers collaborate with local enterprises creating groundbreaking solutions to crucial needs. Sustainable innovations for regional development.

Each expedition is curated to the exact needs of the area and is divided in 3 phases in time: Preparation/ Journey / Return. Designers are in residence to complete the journey from assessment to solution to production.

It is a hands-on work for the production of prototypes leading to a sustainable product development.

An opportunity for young designers to confront challenging real life situations on the ground, with the support of experts. The initiative will produce a new generation of innovators through problem solving on a local level with local partners. Curious and sensitive young designers will become part of a fresh new production concept.

An opportunity for enterprises and regions to see the benefits that design can bring to a business, a locality and their international position. The enterprises will bene t from a powerful combination of cutting-edge innovations and extensive experiences.



IDE is a non profit organization in Brussels working in tandem with the IDE/network E-Community Market Platform in Asia.
It is a pioneering initiative led by Catherine Ferbos Nakov, President – Mathilde Bretillot, Creative Director – Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts, Strategic Advisor and Pierre Balsan, Business Development.

The IDE team is made up of professional experts in architecture, design, art, business, law, economic development and education. The IDE team will participate in studio days, public lectures and conversations.



Worldwide. Linking local to international.

Residencies are housed within the area of the enterprises. Designers work within the enterprise or within a collaborative working space made available by the local region/ partners.



We need to listen to the right signals.
Design is a shared practice. Local enterprises need an innovative design process, and young designers need hands-on, real time experience.

The potential of local enterprises and regions, and the lack of contact with design lead us to realise the decisive role of a designer as a facilitator.

Design poses questions, finds solutions and sees details inside a wider vision. It allies a cultural language and a working method. Emotions and real world applications must be researched and supported to create a new environment worthy of us all.






The IDE team and jury will select the most talented young designers from accross a range of specialties, from all over the world. The IDE team and the local region/ partners will recruit the enterprises.

Like-minded enterprises and designers will be partnered to conceive, manage and complete specific projects.

PREPARATION: Meetings: enterprises /region /designers / IDE team and experts.

JOURNEY: Hands-on work enterprises + designers to produce prototypes leading to product development. Creating pavilions where the public meets designers and enterprises. Lectures by experts. Local Exhibition. Live website showing real time stories.

RETURN: Round tables: the results of the expedition are shown and discussed. An International Exhibition.
A trunk of new products on the market.



A virtuous cycle linking local to global



Cultural exchanges.

A new digital space: the IDE website will showcase the project and allow creatives, experts, sponsors and the public to interact with the expedition in real time.

Networking / Social media links and activation.

Expeditions Yearbook to be published.

London based international integrated PR campaign 2018–2019.



An IDE Design Route opening up this unique creative methodology to worldwide visitors in every site where the local enterprises and the international designers work.

Designers will create purpose-built pavilions where the public can follow the expedition, participate to discussions and meetings to truly understand the design process, and to discover exactly how design benefits local production.



IDE Product Distribution through an E-Community Market Platform on the IDE website.

The creation of product and services collections.

Podiums/ Pop-up stores in museums and renowned shopping centers around the globe.

Products which will also be available via the IDE Design Route / the producers networks.




Conception and Production, a connected process

Context has a determining influence on any creative process. Designing is both a very intimate and connected practice.
Permeable to all surroundings — weather, spaces, noises, people, views, abundant penetrating light, vivid tastes, strong, varied, archaic landscapes, textures and colors.
The designer is intuitive – this context penetrates their skin.Searching to develop and discover real new content, the expedition sifts through a myriad of historical stories and traditions, local uses and practicalities, visions and dreams, conversations and shared meals, which all nurture a new way of seeing and thinking.

Here is the unity of time, unity of place, unity of action.IDE builds up a specific context for the project. In a territory for two whole months; designers are intimately associated to all the particularities of place and the people who live and work there. Freely and connected ­­­, they seek a new language of objects emerging from materials and savoir-faire – that precious invisible knowledge.
Conception and production are simultaneous, like improvisation, like Jazz, which can only be successful after deep preparation.Distance from conception to production doesn’t exist anymore, no plans to be reproduced, just drawings as a starting point to discussion and interpretation.

Objects appear directly from the knowing and mastering of a material, whether it is dough or clay.Prototypes are the final objects and the model for reproduction.This is how IDE operates a unique and challenging experience and result.

Mathilde Bretillot