The purpose of the BKRK Award is to challenge, support and guide creative talents and craftspeople on their path to entrepreneurship. We are looking for enterprising craftsmen or craftswomen of tomorrow who, with their unique expertise, are open to innovation and remaining relevant in the future.
The competition showcases and honours both national and international entrepreneurial and creative individuals who develop a product based on their expertise. The design should emerge from a basis of traditional craftsmanship with a clear link to Bokrijk as a source of inspiration. The result should have a positive impact on the economy and society. Thanks to the shared vision of a professional jury with significant expertise in the sector, the official prize distribution and overall image, the BKRK Award is an essential part of Bokrijk’s focus on craftsmanship.
VAKlab is Bokrijk’s expertise and services centre focused on craftsmanship and entrepreneurship. VAKlab guides creators, students, startups and entrepreneurs in realising their dreams and ambitions. Together with their partners, they strengthen and develop contemporary craftsmanship as an added value to the economy and other sectors.
Given the competition’s emphasis on craftsmanship and entrepreneurship, Flanders DC is an essential partner. Flanders DC is the foremost point of contact in Flanders as an organisation that is committed to creative and future-oriented entrepreneurship in design and fashion. Together with them, VAKlab can ensure suitable guidance for craftspeople who want to develop their activities into a business.
- Competition assignment
The BKRK Award #BraidingTechnique places the focus on the craftsmanship involved in weaving techniques.
We approach this craftsmanship from the present perspective based on past techniques, with a link to innovation and relevance.
- The product should represent authentic craftsmanship in use, technique, material and durability.
- It should be developed such that it has contemporary and/or innovative relevance.
- The product must generate added economic value and make the participant a potential entrepreneur.
During the process, there is room for exploration with various experts.
We are looking not only for decorative objects but also products that show evidence of out-of-the-box thinking using time-honoured weaving techniques. The participant has the creative freedom to decide on the materials and techniques used.
Participation is open to products that satisfy the points described in the section ‘1. Competition assignment’. The competition assignment will be judged based on the criteria outlined under the section ‘4. Judging’.
Participants may register with multiple products. A separate registration form must be submitted for each entry.
By registering, the participant automatically agrees to the provisions of these Competition Rules. Any entry that does not meet the conditions specified in the Competition Rules will be excluded from participation. Registration may be done online from 23/1/2023 to 28/5/ 2023 11.59 p.m. via the website: BKRK Award | Bokrijk.
Entries must be made in the prescribed manner, in full and within the specified deadline. If the entry does not comply with these conditions, the organisation is entitled to exclude it.
The participant must provide all the requested information and is responsible for the truth and accuracy of the information provided. The participant declares that the participating product does not infringe any third-party rights such as copyright or any design, trademark, model or other rights. The product must comply with the legal safety regulations, to the extent applicable. The participant indemnifies the organisation and the jury against any third-party claims in this regard.
All communication and events will be conducted in Dutch, but files may be submitted in Dutch or English.
The participants undertake to be present on the specified contact dates during the competition. These dates can be found in the section ‘5. Course of the competition’.
- Jury and coaches
Members of the jury are recognised authorities within their areas of expertise:
- Sep Verboom: designer and founder of Livable Platform, a design and research platform focused on shaping a future-proof approach towards people, the environment and society.
- Coralie Claeys: CEO of furniture maker Vincent Sheppard, internationally known for their Lloyd Loom furniture. This company, with its ecological mindset, today exports to more than 50 countries.
- Pascal Cools: Director of Flanders DC, Flanders DC is a Flemish design and fashion centre and works on developing strong future-oriented entrepreneurship in the design and fashion sector.
- Veerle Windels: a passionate journalist with more than 30 years of experience. With articles in national and international publications, she always goes for the behind-the-scenes story.
The experts who will also help in sharing knowledge include:
- Alexander Marinus: founder of Hey Jute and a multidisciplinary designer with a strong interest in the relationship between culture, society and nature.
- Esmé Hofman: an internationally renowned all-round basketry artist who advises museums, collectors, designers and individuals on the restoration, repair and construction of exceptional wickerwork.
Coaching during the summer months (July, August, September):
For each entry, the jury will assign two coaches who will work with the participant individually to improve the entry. The coaches will be announced later during the competition.
The entries will be judged based on the following criteria:
- Sustainability and innovation
- Craftsmanship and technique
- Entrepreneurship - economic potential
The entered products should not have been commercialised earlier or be commercialised before January 2024.
- Course of the competition
First jury meeting: 12 June from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. where the judges will decide which 10 entries will be retained. The participants are not admitted to this jury meeting.
By 13 June at the latest, all participants as well as the 10 selected participants will be notified by email regarding the selection made by the jury.
Meet and Greet: 26 June from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p. m. at the Craftsmanship Campus (Campus van het Vakmanschap) in Bokrijk. Here, the selected participants will have a chance to speak to the judges and experts.
Summer months (July, August, September): the selected participants will have time to fully fine-tune their project based on the feedback received. Coaching meetings will be planned with the coaches (2 x 2 hours) to discuss the entries based on the judging criteria (see the section ‘4. Judging’).
Second jury meeting: 9 October from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. at the Craftsmanship Campus in Bokrijk. Here, the 10 selected participants will each have 30 minutes to present their reworked proposal to the jury. The judging also takes into account how the product will be marketed.
At the end of the day, after all participants have presented their prototype, the jury will select three nominees. These three nominees will be notified at the latest by 15 October 2023. The decisions of the jury are binding. The nominees undertake to maintain full discretion regarding the selection until Bokrijk has announced the nominees.
- Prize distribution and closing event
The winner of the BKRK Award #BraidingTechnique will be announced at the closing event on 24 October 2023 and be given the opportunity to be present at the WONDER Kortrijk Creativity Festival.
Ten selected participants
- Meet and Greet event with the judges and experts on 26 June 2023.
- Individual coaching sessions during the months of July, August and September with the coaches (2 x 2 hours)
- Professional photos to be used freely for personal purposes
- Part of a network with like-minded people
- Inclusion in a publication about the BKRK Award
- Invitation to the exclusive closing event on 24 October 2023
- Video presentation of the product, to be used freely for personal purposes
- Exhibition and reception during the WONDER Kortrijk Creativity Festival (19 October - 5 November 2023)
- Presence at various venues including the Craftsmanship Campus
- Place on the podium at the closing event
- Featured in press release
- Media appearance
- Presentation of the product at the exclusive closing event
- Individual coaching during a dinner with Sep Verboom and Coralie Claeys at the end of the competition
Bokrijk is responsible for all communications concerning the BKRK Award. Via our broad network, we involve various partners in this to ensure both regional and interregional access. But the participants are also an important link in the communications.
Participants are always free to use text and photos about this award, available via our online channels, in order to create as much buzz as possible about their entries.
The 10 selected participants will receive professional photos of their product from the organisation (see the section ‘7. Prize’). These may be used freely for personal purposes. There will also be a publication featuring the 10 selected participants and they will be given a place on the podium during the closing event.
The three nominees will be professionally photographed after the second jury meeting and recorded on video (see the section ‘7. Prize’). In addition, they will be featured on the various communication channels about the BKRK Award, both offline and online.
The participant is responsible for the transportation of the product to VAKlab, as well as for the packaging and any other associated costs.
The organisation is not liable for any design damage caused by hidden defects and construction errors.
- Making the concepts available
The three nominees will have the opportunity to present their work at various venues, including at the WONDER Kortrijk Creativity Festival and the Craftsmanship Campus, provided that they offer the product free of charge and on a temporary basis. Bokrijk will arrange for the necessary insurance policy or policies. The same applies to other possible display opportunities.