Yellow design Foundation is a multidisciplinary, European and interregional platform for research and information on design and visual communication. The Foundation is member of UITP and partner of the UN Habitat Urban Planning and Design Lab.

Our expertise combines a user centered approach, design know-how and strategic thinking that covers mobility, architecture, urban planning, public space and placemaking.

Our ambition is to raise awareness of the impact of design on the general well-being and quality of life of citizens.

Our detailed focus is on sustainability, aesthetics, simplicity and fun as well as energy, environment, safety and perceived security, while taking into account the positive financial impact design can have as a management tool.

Our mission is to promote and integrate design in the economical, social, cultural and management processes. Yellow design Foundation contributes to the research, development and introduction of innovative design solutions that enrich communities and support their values.

Yellow design Foundation’s first assignment was a research action on the impact of design on perceived security in transit zones of urban public transport.

This research action lead to the development of SPIN-UP (Security Perception in Urban Public transport) a methodology to assess the quality of public space related to mobility.

Matale: an awaking city (trailer)

We are pleased to present the trailer to our "Matale: an awaking city" production.
The full 30 minute video was released in April 2014.

This custom-made video shot on location during early 2014 concerns the city of Matale, in Sri Lanka, due to undergo extensive urban renewal. We hear the hopes and dreams, hard reality and ambitious town planning projects as we speak with government ministers and the Mayor, as well as small business owners, artists, and school children. Seeking the widest possible views, we travel to different institutions, shops, tea plantations, current street projects, fairs, festivals and more in order to reveal the strengths as well as the weaknesses of Matale as it stands on the brink of extensive urban redevelopment.

This video supplies an extensive, in-depth perspective to help any viewer realise that Matale, much like other cities of its size and aspirations, has a huge potential ... all it takes is understanding and putting together those key elements that could make it shine.


Who Is

The board is composed of the following members:

Anne Leemans, Secretary General

Anne graduates in 1981 as an interpreter (E-S). In 1990 she joins an international design group and from 1991 manages their Brussels-based design subsidiary. Between 1993 and 1996 she coordinates the design development process of Thalys, the first pan-european railway initiative. In 1999 she creates Fontana identity and design specializing in the creation, development and implementation of visual identity and (corporate) branding programs on behalf of national and international organizations and brands. In 1997 she became a board member of the Belgian Institute for the Promotion of Industrial Design which in 2004 became Yellow design Foundation.

Since 2004 she also acts as the Secretary General to Yellow design Foundation.

Between 2004 and 2007 Anne and her team at Fontana initiated and coordinated on behalf of Yellow design Foundation and with the backing of UITP (www.UITP.org), and several other international partners a research program conducted in six European countries and focused on the link between perceived security and design and ultimately lead to the development of SPIN-UP (Security Perception in Intermodal Stations for Urban Public transport) methodology.

In 2010 Anne acquired from UIC on behalf of Yellow design Foundation an international research project on the design of major European interchanges with the objective of developing a toolbox to guide operators, authorities, urban planners, architects and real estate developers and other stakeholders along the process. In the Spring of 2011 Anne and her team carried out a benchmark of major interchanges in South and South East Asia. Currently Anne is coordinating an international research project on the contribution of mobility to low carbon cities with the backing of UN Habitat and UNEP.

Kristel Van Ael

Kristel graduated in 1987 as a product designer in Antwerp and in 1999 obtained a postgraduate degree in 'integral product development' at KU Leuven. Next Kristel was active as a design manager for e-business at Tagora advertising group, teaches web design at the Hogeschool Antwerpen, department for product development and continued to develop her own practice as an independent designer prior to become a partner at Namahn.

Additionally, since 2003 she has been a member of the approval Commission for Architecture and Design of the Ministry of the Flemish Community and since 2004 is also a member of the Council for the Arts.

Kristel is a board member of Yellow Design Foundation and fluent in Dutch, French and English.

Nady Bilani

Nady started his career in R&D, working on innovation, product development and project management. He then moved into general management positions, and now dedicates his time to consulting in various sectors, such as strategy development and its implementation, project management or support in starting up new projects or enterprises.

He also brings along an international experience having lived and worked in several countries and been exposed to various cultures.

The founding members

The founding members of Yellow design Foundation are:

Anne Leemans, Kristel van Ael, Guy Schockaert (+2013), Johan Valcke, Lise Coirier, Michael Cravatte, Christian Dugardyn, Axel Enthoven, Jean-Louis Lejeune, Paul Lievevrouw, Michel Michiels, Philippe Olbrechts, Quentin van der Straten, Gérard Wibin, Marie-Françoise Plissart.

Latest Projects

Low Carbon Stations

Yellow design’s “Low carbon stations for low carbon cities” provides a comprehensive perspective and instructions that are of universal applicability. We believe this report and its recommendations can benefit many people. Its design and the guidelines it contains are simple and instructive. Its illustrations facilitate comprehension. Thank you all for the excellent work.

Alice Dahlstrand & Anna Hansson
Swedish Transport Administration




Further to research in six countries in Europe (Norway, Sweden, Belgium, France, Portugal, Turkey) we developed a methodology to assess the quality of public space and public transport space from a user point-of-view. 



Toolbox UIC

On behalf of UIC (International Union of Railways) we developed a toolbox for the design of major interchanges in Europe. The field research was carried out in Milano Centrale, Madrid Atocha, Paris Montparnasse and Berlin Haupthbahnhof.


pdfUpon Request

Benchmark UIC

On behalf of UIC we developed a benchmark of major interchanges in Asia (Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul, Tokyo), compared results and best practices.


pdfUpon Request


We Offer

Yellow design Foundation provides design ideas, quality assessments, project definitions and recommendations for the built environment and the use citizens make of it.

In our multidisciplinary research approach we combine architectural, engineering and urban planning with human science expertise. We examine and compare data, develop spatial analyses, document them with interviews, photography, film and design recommendations. Yellow design Foundation acts as an advisor and consultant to a variety of national and international organizations in mobility, urban planning and public health related projects that require sharp and smart solutions.

Around the World


Stockholm, Oslo, Helsingborg, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Oporto, Istanbul


Paris, Madrid, Milan, Berlin


Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo


Brussels: Roodebeek, Jacques Brel, Bourse, Anneessens, Bockstael, Stuyvenberg, Simonis


Matale, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Da'nang (upcoming)


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  • Address: Rue de l'Association 39, 1000 Brussels
  • Phone: +32 2 734 02 48
  • E-Mail: info@ydesignfoundation.org

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