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Le 10/09/2020

Proof of Concept (POC): experimenting through design

600 POCs – Proof of Concept -, innovative projects experimenting design, are at the heart of Lille Metropole 2020 Word Design Capital’s programme.

In order to ensure that solutions developed by design methods will work and last, we believe it is important to understand the creation process, and not only focus on the results that are obtained. This means that design approach in itself needs to be studied and analysed through various projects and experiments. We refer to these projects as Proof of Concept (POC). A POC marks the moment when we test a prototype of a solution found through design process and use the lessons learned to improve the performance and efficiency of a given product or service.


With the launch of a call for design proposals, a large number of businesses, local authorities, towns, universities and cultural venues are showing their interest in working with designers to test out and experiment with objects, applications and services. Over 600 POC ideas, from small to large-scale, have already been submitted.


Each POC will bring together a network of stakeholders, thereby facilitating cooperation, interdisciplinary and shared practices. Proposing new production and consumption models that are environmentally friendly, improving Lille Metropole resident’s wellbeing, involving citizens in the design and implementation of decisions, re-establishing links between the generations are at the heart of Lille World Design Capital 2020 ambition. POCs also provide concrete answers to rethink the world in the context of the environmental and post-covid-19 crisis.


Starting on the 9th of September, six Maison POCs (POC Centres) will showcase projects created in Lille Metropole area. These Maisons POC have been entrusted to designers and curators for designing methods, accompanying, guiding and enhancing many different initiatives of POC stakeholders. Each POC centre will be an exhibition centre, a project observatory and a research lab for exploring a specific theme. Five themes were selected:

  • Care
  • Circular economy
  • Collaborative city
  • Housing
  • Mobility
  • Public policy (hosted in Lille Metropole’s new headquarters)

On 24th of October, the POC Awards ceremony will showcase and reward the 20 POCs whose design integration and impact on society and the territory have been exemplary. 

A group of experts and citizens will be responsible for submitting a white paper and putting together a MOOC on the design approaches of the 100 best POCs. View the POCs here