The Shoe Quarter is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day

The Maaklabs bring together all the functions of the Shoe Quarter: stage, workshop, study center and laboratory.

An experience for the museum visitor, a challenging and stimulating environment in the superlative for makers, designers and supervisors. Here the public, students, designers and the business community can work (together), gain knowledge, research and above all: make. Traditional or experimental, with known and unknown materials. A professional workshop equipped with equipment, materials, knowledge and expert guidance. The maker labs are set up for tailor-made projects. It is precisely the human scale that makes a maker make conscious choices in terms of technique, aesthetics and sustainability. Research and experimentation are sparked.

The Make Labs are divided into 4 sections. For professionals, a public program, an education program and the guest lab. In this way, the Shoe Quarter aims to involve every visitor in its philosophy.

For the professional

The same idea of meeting and connecting applies to the layout of our labs. The machines certainly do not just represent the "known" way of producing. We use them to implement new ideas, to experiment with materials and products.


- (Shoe) designers, artists & (interior) architects.

- Graduates & recent alumni of manufacturing colleges (art & design academies, but also vocational colleges e.g. DHTA, St Lucas or HMC).

- Business & industry

For research and development

Discover, experiment and make. The Maaklabs are pre-eminently the place to investigate a machine, technique, material or visual reference. With the focus on the process: the research as an end product. But product development for an idea of final product is also in the right place in the Maaklabs. Testing, prototyping, fine-tuning: the environment of the Maaklabs challenges. Professionals can apply for product development based on their own drawings or previously conducted research.

For design projects

In collaboration with vocational schools, the Maaklabs are stages for design projects led by experts. The invited experts have exceptional knowledge of techniques or materials. These projects last a full day or several days and are a stepping stone to getting started with the techniques yourself. Learning the technique is key, but the origin and use of the technique is also covered. A basic knowledge of leatherworking or shoemaking is usually desired, but not necessarily required.

For the public

Visitors experience the creative process and meet the creators. Tradition and future come along insightfully and questions are answered. The experience is given an extra dimension during workshops. Here enthusiasts, hobbyists, students themselves crawl into the skin of the maker and discover techniques and materials. Professionals are also welcome to join, but the level is workable for everyone.

"With us, it's about more than watching and learning."

In addition to looking and learning, the Shoe Quarter is about participation and awareness. We want to offer new target groups an entrance into the cultural world and hopefully point the way to other museums. Because shoes are part of the identity for young and old, for rich and poor, for every color and every individual. The shoe belongs to the world and to everyone. In numerous forms. That includes multifaceted stories. Those we want to tell, we want to make visitors think about 'their' footwear, where it comes from, how it can be made with respect for the world.