HYBRIDS AS OPEN SIGNIFIERSAn exploration of design challenges concerning alternative open space in Flanders atypical constellation.The research is based on the hypothesis that highly urbanised regions such as Flanders can be considered as atypical metropolitan structures.If dispersed urban systems have one quality its the overall presence of accessible open space. Compared to dens metropolitan systems, dispersed structures are characterised by a mix of different types of open spaces at close range of each other, thus influencing the quality of live in the atypical metropolis. In the research I explore by design four samples of the non-consolidated Flemish open space structure. Spaces that were never designed and that seem to be the collateral damage of a stronger form of urbanism, open spaces that are emblematic to the Flemish diluted and dispersed urbanity. The samples are characterised by a tension between cultural and natural elements, by a mismatch between regional logics and local qualities, by disturbances, accidents and complementarities and by a cut-up dialogue between its constituent elements. Although the research by design is based on four projects, the projects are not the objective of the research. The projects are used to make a reflection on design challenges on both a regional and local level. Is hybridism characteristic to the whole Flemish constellation? Is the major design challenge the design of open signifiers on different scales? How can we strengthen the quality, diversity and complexity of the Flemish open space structure?