Changing the social economical profile of Kinrooi and its surrounding municipalities.

KinJoy was a long-term strategic project that the municipality of Kinrooi wanted to realise to respond to the need for socio-economic incentives and initiatives to keep the region attractive and liveable.

The main socio-economic drivers were agriculture, tourism and the gravel extraction.

Kinrooi attracts a lot of tourists because it has seven nature reserves that harbour rare animal and plant species, it has a marina which offers a lot of water sports, and several old windmills. Ophoven is considered the greatest inner harbour of Europe.

However, due to its isolated location, and limited job-opportunities, younger generations were moving to bigger cities mainly for studying and employment leading to a stagnated local community, fewer jobs, low average income, educational deprivation.

To turn the tide, we initiated KinJoy as a strategic project that was part of Kinrooi's central mission: Inner Care, which stood for the physical and psychological health of people in line with developments of the region. The aim was at making the DNA of the region more explicit and experienceable: nature, greenery, water, silence, healthy air, agriculture and horticulture.

In cooperation with a number of partners, Kinrooi, had the ambition to realise a sustainable accommodation concept with a structural link between care, tourism and agriculture; so that tourists and guests can enjoy an offer that benefits their physical and mental health.

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The project partners wanted KinJoy to meet real needs of future clients. Therefore the project needed a holistic approach where added value for people is identified, developed and communicated. After all, good designs are the crystallization of the correct interpretation and understanding people's needs in a certain context.

A design-oriented approach offers methods, techniques, and tools that contribute to accomplishing these added values. A such, we offered expertise and guidance specifically in the field of People Centered Design.

We organized the project in four iterative phases: Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver.


Generating insights about the theme and/or topics which were translated into starting points for design and the initial input for the project.

This involved intense dialogue with experts in healthcare, hospitality, tourism and agriculture as well as the potential customers during the entire process.  We conducted desk research, observations in the field and visited other existing initiatives for inspiration.

Our key learning were on the following:

People in the health care context whether providers or receivers’ various experiences with the physical, relational, sensory and cultural aspects of care.
Potential end users expectations from the project
Identification of the core strengths to build the brand promise
The underlying business model options
Technical and infrastructural requirements
Pre-defined environment for the implementation

We structured all the insights to prepare them for use in the next phases of the project; the emphasis was on creating a visual overview of our findings consisting of diagrams, photos, images, synthesis supported by text for clarification.


We created the design strategy, which was a result of a series of iterative high design workshops on location, intensive elaboration to further develop the ideas and concepts and we created the design encompassing the strategic concept, its elements and/or subprojects.

Upon this stage’s completion, the design strategy acted as ‘conceptual base’ allowing first investors to committed themselves via a Letter of Intent to finance and realize one or more subprojects.


We developed further the defined design strategy into concrete subprojects.

Subsequently the spatial preconditions were described in a master plan, the desired spatial interpretation was tested and adjusted in terms of its technical feasibility, business longevity as well as the legal aspects.

The municipality engaged itself to the realisation of the project with the contribution of land, buildings and gravel fund resources which would finance accessibility (streets, pavements, lighting...) and general utilities.

Ultimately, KinJoy would have to become a self-supporting initiative.


The project Limburgse Reconversiemaatschappij (LRM) joined the project to investigate the opportunity to set up a Public Limited Company with the further realization of KinJoy as its task.

Such a company would be composed of public and private partners, to carry out KinJoy as a tourist leverage project with attention to the defined residential, recreational, commercial and educational ambitions.

To safeguard the strategic design intent, we provided guidance and advice to initiate the realisation of KinJoy.

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We delivered KinJoy: a thorough accommodation strategy and concept which would completely change the socio-economic profile of the Kinrooi region that:

Contributes to strengthen the local social and economic fabric of the region.
Increases the prosperity and well-being of the region’s population as it provides additional employment opportunities, anchor the local economy and generate additional income for the local government.
Potentially become a spearhead in the leisure industry for Limburg in general and Maasland municipalities in particular.
Introduced the concept of a circular socio-economic environment.
Raised interest for investors to finance and realise one or more subprojects.

KinJoy is conceived as an ecology of building blocks, organized in three clusters or 'circles', namely the 'Club', the 'Oasis' and the 'Garden'.

Each cluster puts its own accents, nuances, emphasis within the global theme. This was deliberately chosen so that groups as well as individuals, individuals with special needs, friends and families as well as holidaymakers can all enjoy an offer without compromising the quality of the offer due to the mixed of target groups. In other words, the clusters ensure that various guest profiles with their own motivation to visit KinJoy, get what they are looking for harmoniously.

KinJoy acts as the general theme where each cluster functions autonomously offering three elementary functions:

1. Recreation activities

2. Accommodation

3. Catering

Shared functions include a central reception, the care framework, boat-taxi service and parking facilities.

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Let's SNOKX for Our Future.

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