During my last blog trip to Gent I’ve been able to take a view on the city’s design, technology and street art. Together with other travel bloggers and journalists I have visited a few creative hotspots such as the new pop-up locations in the old library of Ghent, the futuristic building of the new De Krook library and the Design Museum. I also joined graffiti tour and had some great delish experiences at the top culinary addresses in the city.
After checking in Hotel de Flandre, our first stop was the old library that became a buzzing ‘NEST’ for creative pop-ups, startups and events. When the city moved all the books to the new library the ‘Krook’, this place wasn’t left empty for long and soon turned into a new space for entrepreneurs who think outside the box and thus create surprising spots. After having a tour around this vibrant building, we enjoyed lunch at Foodstorms Café, a new pop up at NEST. On the 6th floor they serve comfort food that is simple, plant-based, tasty and quick.
DE KROOK LIBRARY
Then followed a tour trough the new library, located on the corner of the waterfront that connects the city center with the art district. So what is to experience in this amazing building apart from borrowing books? The Library is an open house for knowledge, culture, entrepreneurship and innovation and offers programs for wide variety of interests and age groups. You can attend special events or workshops. Find your own place and tap into technology, the Wifi is free. Teens have their own space. Students, musicians, writers, – enjoy special areas too. Meeting up with friends? Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or have a lunch at the Krookcafé. And don’t forget to take a view from the 5th floor.
Do robots take over the world or are they going to save the world? Next stop was the ‘Hello Robot’ exhibition In Design Museum that focuses on the impact of robotics in our daily lives and shows a number of surprising examples. The smartphone has already changed our daily life. Many other machines are becoming smarter and more autonomous. From science fiction to everyday reality: robots have found a place in our lives. With an extremely wide range of objects that range from pop culture, commercial wearables, design prototypes, interactive installations, video reports and industrial robots, ‘Hello, Robot’ explores our relationship to technology.
You can visit this expo until Sunday 15 April 2018, at the Design museum Gent, Jan Breydelstraat 5.
In the evening we had a dinner at Mémé Gusta, a new restaurant that serves Flemish cuisine from grandmother’s time. Just think of stew with French fries and ‘souk’. The interior may also have a classic touch: vintage framework, a bar in white, wooden furniture, but also retro pears and lampshades. To be found on Brugstraat 19 in Gent.
On the second day we had the street art tour, guided by Rick Molyneux, the founder of Wallin, who told us all about the fascinating background of street art and graffiti in Gent. At first sight you can already tell that Gent has a strong urban alternative culture. The whole town is one great collection of cool street art pieces. Big murals visible everywhere and the more you go deep into the hidden streets and side walks the more bizarre street art you will find. It takes the form of paintings, street signs, stickers, you name it. Interesting fact: the city of Ghent supports individual graffiti artists. For example projects such as the Sorry, Not Sorry street art festival gives creative people more space for urban art and the opportunity to use the city as a play and creation space and on the other hand to bring street art to a large audience.