The Valletta Design Cluster

Il-Biċċerija l-Antika

What is the Valletta Design Cluster?

The Valletta Design Cluster within the Valletta Cultural Agency — a legacy project of Valletta 2018, European Capital of Culture — is a community space for cultural and creative practice situated in the renovated Old Abattoir (Il-Biċċerija l-Antika) in Valletta. It focuses on design, entrepreneurship and social impact, while supporting and promoting user-centred design as a catalyst for innovation and as a multi-disciplinary approach that can create positive impacts for communities and individuals.

The Valletta Design Cluster’s aim is that of providing space and opportunities to Malta’s burgeoning cultural and creative operators. It is a project steeped in the rich history of Valletta, providing a bridge between 450 years of urban activity and the city’s future. The key human contributors to this major regeneration effort are Valletta’s residents and neighbouring communities together with cultural and creative professionals in design-intensive practices.

What are our facilities?

This space includes dedicated resources and areas for Co-working, a Makerspace, Meeting rooms and conference facilities, a Foodspace, Studios and a new public Roof Garden. The Valletta Design Cluster also has its own practitioner-in-residence spaces, with two apartments that can double up as international project labs for visiting creative practitioners, makers and researchers.

What does Design mean to us?

“Design is a discipline of study and practice focused on the interaction between a person — a ‘user’— and the man-made environment, taking into account aesthetic, functional, contextual, cultural and societal considerations.” International Council of Design

At the Valletta Design Cluster, we define design as action, process, and result where the driving force is the need to find a functional solution to a problem shared by many.  Design links creativity and innovation to shape ideas into reality, whether it’s a place, product, service, system or way of living in order to make the world a better place. We believe that by engaging in activities that improve social well-being we serve better our communities and fulfil our role as a platform for empowerment and exchange.

To this end, we encourage collaboration, inclusivity, co-creation and experimentation within and across disciplines ranging from artistic and creative practice, sustainable enterprise, product design, architecture, fashion, robotics, crafts, placemaking, culinary practice, game design, software, film industry-related design, social enterprise and more.

Want to be a member?

Look into our Regular and Studio Membership Schemes.

Where to Find Us

Our Community

The Valletta Design Cluster building
c. Darren Agius
The community dimension is at the heart of what the Valletta Design Cluster is. We value collaborations and believe in the potential that community-embedded knowledge and resources have to transform society and make lives better. The communities that make up the Valletta Design Cluster consist of various individuals and organisations that generate positive social value through creativity, enterprise and social impact. These range from independent practitioners to micro-entrepreneurs, public entities to international partners, residents to students in various disciplines, makers and food practitioners, and civil society players to organisations involved in public greening initiatives and and placemaking. Our form of community engagement is based on an open education model, and directly builds on principles inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.