The Shoe Quarter is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day

The Maaklabs bring together all the functions of the Schoenenkwartier: 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, do research and above all: make. Traditional or experimental, with known and unknown materials. A professional workplace equipped with equipment, materials, knowledge and professional guidance. The 'maaklabs' 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 stimulated.

The Maaklabs are divided into 4 parts. 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 don't just stand for the 'known' way of producing. We use them to implement new ideas, to experiment with materials and products.


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

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

- Business & Industry

For research and development

Discover, experiment and make. The Maaklabs are the perfect place to investigate a machine, technique, material or image reference. With the focus on the process: the research as the end product. But product development for an idea of end 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 an exceptional knowledge of techniques or materials. These projects last a whole day or several days and are a step towards being able to work with the techniques yourself. Learning the technique is central, but attention is also paid to its origin and use. A basic knowledge of leatherworking or shoemaking is usually desired, but not necessarily necessary.

For the public

Visitors experience the creative process and meet the creators. Tradition and future come along insightfully and questions are answered. The experience gets an extra dimension during workshops. Here enthusiasts, hobbyists and students crawl into the shoes 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 the Shoe Quarter, besides looking and learning, it is about participating and awareness. We want to offer new target groups an entrance to the cultural world and hopefully show them 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 many forms. This includes many different stories. We want to tell them, we want to make visitors think about 'their' footwear, where it comes from, how it can be made with respect for the world.