052-1121-23L  Studio Brussels: Paradox of Practice

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersF. Persyn
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentPlease register (Link) only after the internal enrolment for the design classes (see Link).

Project grading at semester end is based on the list of enrolments on 1.11.2023 (valuation date) only. This is the ultimate deadline to unsubscribe or enroll for the studio.



Courses

NumberTitleHoursLecturers
052-1121-23 UArchitectural Design V-IX: Studio Brussels: Paradox of Practice (F.Persyn) Special students and auditors need a special permission from the lecturers.
No course on 24/25.10 (seminar week).
16 hrs
Tue09:45-17:30ONA E 25 »
Wed08:00-17:30ONA E 25 »
F. Persyn

Catalogue data

AbstractThis semester is about Brussels North, a district deeply affected by trauma. In this dramatically monofunctional district, investors and planning authorities have recently agreed on a 10% public utility within every new construction and renovation. We will use this as an entry point to question and rethink the notion of the public, as well as its mirror, the counterpublics.
Objective-Collaborating with a multitude of actors from different backgrounds. -Working across scales between local urgencies and institutional developments.
-Creating specific spatial qualities in public space.
-Identifying physical and intangible borders and boundaries that define space.
-Developing your ability to improvise and adjust to a dynamic environment.
-Communicating complex ideas through a performative approach to architecture.
-Documenting a non-linear creative process through a mix of media. -Understanding and exploring your senses to design and facilitate dialogues.

Grading criteria:
1 Clarity and Independence of Position
2 Relevance regarding the case
3 Depth of engagement
4 Representation
5 Design in Dialogue
6 Mutual Collaboration
7 Personal Development
ContentCities are sites for the extraction of profit and wealth, where capitalist delusions of grandeur materialize in the most delirious ways. Real estate, at times in collaboration with city authorities, continues to project newer and bigger developments on top of existing lived realities. In the process of enacting their fantasies, entire neighborhoods and communities are violently wiped out. Many of these processes remain ongoing, even though the wounds of past events are not yet healed.

This is the case for Brussels North, a district deeply affected by trauma. The city’s economic optimism that followed the 1958 World Fair, and the establishment of the first European institutions that same year, prompted the conceptualisation of the Manhattan Plan. This urban, modernist master plan, euphorically oriented towards its American namesake, envisioned the Northern district as a business hub connected to an immense highway network. The plan was never fully realized; only two of the originally eight planned World Trade Center towers were erected, causing, however, the demolition of an entire neighbourhood and the eviction of its inhabitants. Enthusiasm fainted, forcing the city administration itself to enter some of the buildings. Such aggressive strategies of urban renewal have inevitably forced cities to become places of resistance and emancipatory struggle. Massive protests that followed the Manhattan Plan prevented authorities from pursuing further demolitions of the old city fabric. Today, Brussels North District is being reinvested in once more, with renewed optimism.

How to deal with trauma? In this dramatically monofunctional district, investors and planning authorities have recently agreed on a 10% public utility within every new construction and renovation. We will use this as an entry point to question and rethink the notion of the public, as well as its mirror, the counterpublics. Being densely inhabited environments, cities carry the immanent potential of radical change due to the continuous collective reinterpretation of urban culture. Through carefully listening, observing and collaborating with a variety of local positions, we will gain a deep understanding of the complexities at play. We will become active and intervene as designers while being aware of the paradoxes of practice. Sometimes making something sets unforeseen processes in motion. We will identify underlying risks, such as gentrification, commercialization and displacement, to prevent another chapter of trauma for Brussels North. Further, we will ask ourselves: How to relate to utopian visions of the past? How to deal with the decaying and failed structures of burgeoning times? Even more so, within an overbuilt world facing ecological collapse?

The studio‘s endeavour is threefold: to strengthen the students' literacy with critical spatial theory, to articulate individual positions and to test alternative architecture practices and doing so by engaging and learning with and from artistic practices. The design studio will be tightly knit with a diverse group of local actors. We will cultivate a reading club, propose interventions in Brussels and Zurich, host a symposium and curate an exhibition.
Prerequisites / Noticegroup work only

Introduction: 19.9.2023, 9:00
Intermediate crits:10.10.2023 / 28.11.2023
Final crits: 20.12.2023

CHF 200.-- per student (estimated costs, without possible seminar week costs)
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Decision-makingfostered
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence assessed
Sensitivity to Diversityassessed
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityassessed
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits14 credits
ExaminersF. Persyn
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationUltimate deadline for changing enrolments for this course is 1.11.2023, 24:00 h.
After this date it is strictly forbidden to enrol for the course or to delete the enrolment!

Learning materials

 
Main linkInformation
Only public learning materials are listed.

Groups

No information on groups available.

Restrictions

General : Special students and auditors need a special permission from the lecturers

Offered in

ProgrammeSectionType
Architecture BachelorArchitectural Design (from 5. Semester on)WInformation