The Retail Design Lab is an ever-growing knowledge centre at the Faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University. Within research group ArcK, we specifically look at how the spatial environment, the physical store in this instance, is experienced by its user, the customer. We consider this one’s perceptions but also behaviours and emotions. The research is closely intertwined with the educational programmes of the Faculty as well as the consultancy projects we work on for, and in collaboration with, the industry (retailers, designers, suppliers, cities and municipalities, etc).

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Our main goal is to improve the customer in-store experience through interventions in the store design. After all, the physical store is a means of communicating with the customer, just like all other (online) channels. We wish to help retailers, designers and consultants achieve more experience-oriented shops. To do this, we want to share as many scientific insights and as much scientific knowledge as possible in an accessible manner to any interested party. This website represents our main sharing platform when it comes to these insights.

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Our team

Prof. dr. Katelijn Quartier
Retail design expert
Katelijn is one of the instigators of research in the retail design field. Together with the team, she has been growing the seed planted 15 years ago into the current Retail Design Lab.
Charlotte Beckers
Retail design consultant & researcher
As an interior architect and trend-watcher with a specialisation in retail design, Charlotte also links theory to practice. She translates scientific publications into relevant tips & tricks and can thus advise retailers in a very targeted way on how to generate relevant shopping experiences.
Dr. Elisa Servais
Retail design consultant & lecturer
Elisa has just completed her PhD and is the most recent addition to our consultancy team. Elisa has loads of experience in the retail design sector and is thus now responsible for our services to international clients. She is also an integral part of our teaching team.
Nonku Grootboom
PhD student
Building on years of experience in researching and teaching retail design as well as materials studies at the University of Pretoria, our South African colleague Nonku has now ventured on a PhD journey in sustainable retail design.
Ilse Van Doorsselaere
As a retail design expert with her own design agency, Ilse supports our retail design students in their growth as designers of retail specific spaces. Through her design guidance, she prepares them for the field.
sven stas
Sven Stas
Sven is driven by a deep passion for creating unforgettable customer experiences. His approach to teaching is both inspiring and transformative making the most of his infectious energy to train his students to become true retail designers.
Constant Berkhout
PhD student
After a rich career in generating opportunities for business growth through data-driven analysis, market discovery and team management, Constant is setting his sights on completing a PhD. His main research question: Will physical stores perform better when customers play a more important role in the design process?