what would you bring to life?


The first edition of the Pop-up School has taken place and can certainly be called a successful pilot since requests for a new edition have been coming in from several sides. You can read up on the first edition through a short summary now, watch a video and come back after the summer break for a more extensive report. Any news about
upcoming editions will be added as soon as we have more information.

What is the Pop-up-School?

The Pop-up School is a temporary school where committed individuals explore challenging case studies in depth, and together look for surprising solutions and possibilities from the standpoint of opportunity. We do so together with students, teachers, experts, and stakeholders who directly benefit from creative and innovative solutions. Through diversity we try to establish meaningful activities in a sustainable society. Every person is unique! And we like to keep it that way. Our core drive is our eagerness to learn. We take control, and use everybody’s expertise and network. We are not afraid to take the plunge or to surprise.

think, act, share and create


we enrich people


any time, any place, any problem


What do others say about the Pop-Up School?

  • "Dreams and deeds create confidence and personal involvement and consequently break the radical averageness our current educational system has been caught up in. The Pop-up school reacts to a societal question. Everybody contributes their own concepts and extending insights. Concepts such as open design and learning organization come together. Similar to Rotterdam Professional City the Pop-up school works with the potential and interests of its participants."

    Henk Oosterling
    Henk Oosterlingphilosopher and professor at Erasmus University / Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • "In a Pop-up school (art) students will be enabled to use their creative thinking skills on an economic, social, financial and organizational level. Our previous traditionally focused curriculum seldom offers students this opportunity, and no links are made with other ‘professional’ contexts which allow them to work perfectly and successfully as well. A peer-to- peer learning environment is created where similar goals can be interpreted together and in different ways."

    Kurt Vanbelleghem
    Kurt Vanbelleghem Kurt Vanbelleghem, curator, St. Lucas University College of Art & Design / Antwerp, Belgium
  • "Die Idee eines (grenzüberschreitenden) Netzwerks solcher Pop-up-School ist einen sinnvollen ganz neuen Ansatz, Erfahrungen mit Wissensbegehren und Fragen zu Themen aktueller Relevanz zu koppeln und ein neues, unkonventionelles und kompaktes Lernangebot an ungewöhnlichen Orten zu schaffen."

    Dr. Margrethe Schmeer
    Dr. Margrethe SchmeerMayor city of Aachen / Germany
  • "We from What Design Can Do celebrate the Pop-up school because of its temporary character – in the organization of short theme focused sessions – which contributes to a fast and far-reaching spread of a cross-disciplinary approach. Pop-up School introduces participants to a focused working method, when once tried, can be implemented in their own practice and also functions as an accelerator for projects with a societal goal."

    Richard van der Laken
    Richard van der LakenDesigner and initiator What Design Can Do Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • "The Pop-Up school is based on an open, creative concept, which strongly challenges people. Although the municipality does not structurally have the tradition to shape education, we think that for us as local government, many interesting chances are represented by this concept. At the same time, we think other local partners from the comprehensive field of different study programs, research, and education are interested in such a concept."

    Wim Dries
    Wim Driesmayor City of Genk / Belgium
  • "The Pop-up School stimulates – another way of thinking – and figuring out different ways in teams of diverse people with their own specific backgrounds. This way, you are constantly in contact with a society which moves and responds."

    Aniek Verbruggen
    Aniek VerbruggenBA student Lecturer in Arts & Design, faculty AFM / Maastricht, The Netherlands

Who we work with

How does the Pop-up-School operate?

The Pop-up School takes place at a special, inspiring location, where we will be able to fully focus on a socially relevant theme. The Pop-up School makes use of the method of Design Thinking. The design phase starts by defining the challenge and our interest and personal connection to the topic. We research the opportunities and possibilities in the surrounding context. By interpretation, ideation, and focus we make choices, which we will work out in a concept. Application of the concept allows for feedback and teaches us in what way the suggested solutions provide changes for the future. The power of cooperation brings us further.

What are our next projects?

Why the Pop-up-School?

Many roads lead to Rome. Discover that not only the goal, but also the road itself will enrich you. With us you are in good company. Working together with students from different disciplines, who bring in a fresh perspective, sharing ideas with professionals who want to move forward in their field, and diving into the special atmosphere we create together. The Pop-up School will help find creative solutions for a socially relevant theme.
Our current society is tilting. Existing models and organizations ask for renovation. The Pop-up School can respond to this and investigate the problem, showing opportunities with applicable solutions. What question keeps you up at night? Let us know.

What makes us unique?

  • Short intensive educational activity.
  • Experimenting with open source.
  • Creative thinking and working methods.
  • Special location with informal activities.
  • Interdisciplinary teams.
  • Making connections with experts, students, teachers and others.
  • Equal treatments.
  • Real-life problems, sustainable and human centered.
  • Combining heart, soul and brain .
  • Valuing each other’s talents, knowledge and network and making use of them.

Feel Think Act - process Pop-up-School   The personal working process of the Pop-up-School.

First edition! First theme!

The first Pop-up School is a wrap and was focused on the theme:


Senior citizens have a built up a broad experience and expertise and like to employ their talents for the good of other people and society. We have explored the different ways in which their knowledge and experience can be put to good us to form new connections between people. Together we tried to find inspiration to create a pleasant and rich environment in which we all can thrive.

Who we are

Diversity is the power of the Pop-up School. Talents come and go. Also in our team. The core team of the Pop-up School is just as diverse and dynamic as the problems itself which concern us socially and culturally. The society is in constant motion like a living organism, and it’s continuously changing whilst the experience and knowledge is guarded. Through diversity of contributors, from students to teachers and from juniors to seniors, we have large interfaces and affinity with all our target groups. This implies that an enormous relevant network can be used when necessary in new cases.