Street Prostitution in Eindhoven

Earlier this spring the Köln International School of Design offered a three month service design course addressing the subject of prostitution. They chronicled their research and design progress though a weblog called On The Road.

Project brief from the city of Eindhoven: Finding Innovative Solutions for Street Prostitution [PDF 204K]

On November 1, 2003, the so-called “Tippelzone,” a specific working area with special care facilities for addicted street prostitutes was created in Eindhoven. A first objective of creating this zone was to stop the nuisance caused by addicted street prostitutes and their clients in the living area of Woensel West. A second objective was to improve the work and living conditions of the street prostitutes.

Four years later, the evaluation and expert meetings that were organized around this subject showed that the zone and other facilities did not solve the fundamental problem of street prostitution.

An alternative approach has been developed through various parallel initiatives. The municipality has decided to use a rather unorthodox method of “service design” or “social design.” The aim is to develop innovative services for street prostitutes to become more in control of their own lives.

Here’s a film of Köln’s presentation with an introduction by professor Birgit Mager. Their research is not for the faint of heart (and it’s probably not work-safe):

On The Road [CityTV.nl]

Their key research findings:

  • The Tippelzone is wanted
  • We can’t change the demand for street prostitution
  • The women need a stable contact person in their life
  • The women are dependent on their environment
  • Lack of motivation for detox
  • Lack of cooperation between the organizations

Based on their research they’ve designed a comprehensive service organization to address the situation. Their slides don’t seem to be online but I’ve reconstructed them from the presentation and posted them as a PDF [756K].

This is simply fantastic work.

[via DesignThinkers]


  1. Thanks for posting this. You can find more information on the Service Design Network website.

    http://www.service-design-network.org/index.php?id=55#c323

  2. dennis meulenbroeks

    Dear Design for Service

    It was a very nice project. Whe were also involted with the proces off Levens Kracht.
    For more info http://www.t-huis.info
    Servicedesign Tippelzone

    greetings from Eindhoven




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