Rat Relay

20 – 22 November 2018, The Foundry & IDC

Global innovation challenge for global good
Rat Relay is a unique three-day global innovation challenge organized in the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN). It simulates real-world situations in organisations where very often one individual person or team is only working on a project for a limited time and not from beginning to the end.

Rat Relay projects rotate around the world in 6 slots of 6 hours. The projects are provided by sponsoring companies, startups or NGOs. The slots consist of teams (5-10 people) working in one stage of the design thinking process and then passing it along the Design Factory Global Network for the next step of the design thinking process.

Students take part in Rat Relay for one or more 6-hour slots but get a real hackathon experience, including the thrill of working in a short time frame, meeting people from different backgrounds, being coached on the topic of that slots, etc. And don’t forget the free food and drinks!


Tuesday 20/11

Slot 1 (8:00 – 14:00)

Empathize & redefine is all about understanding the challenge, the user and the different stakeholders involved. This information is key since the participants in the other slots don’t know our local culture & background.

Location: The Foundry

Challenge: Ghent Design Factory, Belgium

Slot 2 (15:00 – 21:00)

The main idea generation phase is focused on thinking of solutions for the challenge. The group will have to diverge and converge their ideas during this phase.

Location: The Foundry

Challenge: Tartu Delta Sandbox, Estonia

Wednesday 21/11

Slot 3 (8:00 – 14:00)

In the prototype slot ideas and concepts are transformed into tangible and testable objects. The goal for this slot is to create prototypes and give clear instructions to the next group on how to create the prototypes. No prototype experience is needed.

Location: The Foundry

Challenge: Duoc Design Factory, Chile

Slot 4 (15:00 – 21:00)

Test is about creating and testing the prototype and documenting the results.

Location: IDC Kortrijk

Challenge: Design Factory Korea, South-Korea

Thursday 22/11

Slot 5 (8:00 – 14:00)

The iterate slot gives you the most flexibility as what to do. Work on new ideas, improve prototypes, create new prototypes, … Everything is possible!

Location: IDC Kortrijk

Challenge: Design Factory Saõ Paulo, Brazil

Slot 6 (15:00 – 21:00)

The final phase is about synthesizing & pitching. It is focused on condensing all the results into a deliverable package for the client & impressing the client with the results! In this slot we’ll work on our local challenge that we started with in slot 1.

Location: The Foundry

Challenge: Ghent Design Factory, Belgium

Rat Relay is coming closer!








Join the biggest Rat Relay edition ever!

14 different Design factories will take part in this edition, from Finland to Estonia to South-Korea, Japan and Brazil. Be part of this global movement of young innovators!


Jolien Coenraets

Jolien Coenraets

Manager Ghent Design Factory

Jolien Coenraets studied Computer Science at Ghent University and built her own app development company while graduating. After her studies she joined Durf Ondernemen to promote student entrepreneurship at Ghent University.

Recently she started Ghent Design Factory, a multidisciplinary organisation within Ghent University that focusses on design thinking & innovation. Ghent Design Factory is part of the Design Factory Global Network.

Remo Blauw

Remo Blauw

Intern Ghent Design Factory

Who is not excited about design? If you ask me everything is design and design is (my) everything. I am a student Communication and Multimedia Design from the Netherlands. I studied in The Netherland, Japan and now in Belgium. I focus on product development/design and I have experiences with the development of serious games. Design thinking is the only thinking that I do and I love to help anyone that needs a hand on that department.

If you are looking for someone who embodies the Design Factory mentality then you found your guy. Working with all kinds of nationalities and mentalities is a challenge that I take head on.

Yannick Christiaens

Yannick Christiaens

Teaching staff IDC

Enthusiastic about everything which is product design. Skills as 3D modeling, rapid prototyping methods and managing the creative process were part of my education as a Master in Industrial sciences (option Industrial Design).

I am a teaching assistant – researcher in the IO team at UGent – Campus Kortrijk. I specialize in (advanced) prototyping, give courses on industrial design and coach students in completing their master thesis. Furthermore we try to set up Industrial Design themed research projects (Tetra/ICON/…) within the UGent research community.

Goal is to use my skills as an industrial design engineer to make innovative and marketable products.

Frequently asked questions

Who can participate?
All students, researchers, professors and staff from Ghent University can take part in Rat Relay. Alumni and students from the AUGent association can take part if there are places left.
Why should I participate?
It is a one-time opportunity to work with real-life problems based in open innovation, sponsored by real companies, startups or NGO’s. You will be part of a mixed team where students, company representatives, university staff, teachers and researchers are welcome to join!
All the problems will have some kind of social benefit and a global aspect, so you have a wonderful chance to get a global reach in a short timeframe. The result will be a design and prototype of a concept or a service.
What are the main outcomes?
Getting to work in a real global team, diving deep into global distributed collaboration, handle time pressure, enabling best possible progress for the next team with project documentation and increased argumentation skills for decisions that have been made. Learning outcomes also include process planning, product development skills, teamwork skills and international communication skills.
Can I subscribe for multiple slots?
Yes you can, although we do not recommend taking part in two slots per day.
I want to join with my friends. Is this possible?
Yes that is possible. Just subscribe for the same slot.

Join the global experience

Follow the Rat Relay page on Facebook to be updated on the global progress.