Toon menu


Santiago Cirugeda - Guerrilla Architect


                Santiago Cirugeda is a Spanish architect, from Seville, that after seven years of working by himself created Recetas Urbanas (Urban Recipes), an architecture office which develops self-build projects that the common citizen can use to appropriate and occupy a space. He defends an ‘unselfish’ architecture that also helps the non-architects to improve the spacial qualities of their environment.                  “(…) an architecture that is cheap and available to all.”[1]         ...
Lees meer

On Skanderbeg Square, Tirana - 51N4E


 “While silent, the space becomes a story in the moment when the popular movement takes place. The motion of the bodies, as the motion of the sea, freezes everything around. Running to the altar, in front of the piazza, under the dome, in front of the fountain... each step is uncontrollable. During this movement, history is being unfold, a history based on different perspectives, on a series of trompe l’oeil and forced projections. The perspective of the one holding the power is confronted with...
Lees meer

How we managed the Democracy


The good beginnings On our first meeting ‘We’* decided that the work and actions of our group should be build on a democratic foundations. ‘An experiment in radically democratic education based on self-organising swarm intelligence as opposed to group instinct or herd spirit’, as I recall. Not often you hear from your tutors that your opinion matters as much as theirs or that everything can be put to the vote, so when this moment finally comes to your life you just take it as it is and- just in...
Lees meer

Wim Cuyvers, park ranger nor Parck Farmer


- An introduction to Wim Cuyvers' work on public space, slightly edited and translated from a Dutch text by Kristien Van den Brande: ‘In and throughout his work as an architect, writer and artist Wim Cuyvers searches for moments of existentiality: moments of resignation, of confrontation, of ecstasy, when one exposes his- or herself. The moment when we cease resisting against an unplannable or uncontrollable life and fully give in to the now. For this type of moments each and every one of us se...
Lees meer

Responsibility - Loading


We are citizens of a century of a change. Century where paradox situations are as real as never before, with the biggest accommodation service company not having a single hotel - Air Bnb, largest transportation company not having a single car - Uber, Biggest media company not having a single official journalist - Facebook. We are witnesses of a shift and development of a variety of sectors ranging from healthcare, teaching, learning, working and of course - transmitting and perceiving the inform...
Lees meer

Unbuildable architecture - activism on a paper


‘To really appreciate architecture, you may even need to commit a murder.’ - Bernard Tschumi expressed in one of his ‘Advertisements for Architecture’ - a series of postcards based on the thought that architecture is quite frequently experienced through imagery and verbal format rather than in real world and built environments. Without any doubt, all realised architecture is perceived by individuals in every day life, although majority of individuals do not actually care of the spiritual meaning...
Lees meer

Can true activism only exist with(out) corporations?


Stefan Damsin from Recyclart doesn’t consider himself, nor the organisation in itself, ‘activism’. Something that flabbergasted me when I first heard it during his Sofa Talk in the WTC I tower on the 9th of march 2018. Then it hit me at the exact moment he said “For years we received subsidies from the people we are now against, we have to answer to so many organisations outside of Recyclart still, that we can’t – truly – be activists”, that maybe he was right. The work Recyclart does, especiall...
Lees meer

Intercultural public space


Now a days more attention is given on to the human dimension in the city planning and the need for quality in the public spaces. Importance of public spaces is universally accepted by one and all. The question is what makes public space more successful? The designer is trying to give best model of good public spaces. However we find that many times well designed public space also doesn't generate good public response.  What is successful public space? Successful public space are the place whic...
Lees meer

"The Power of a Kiss" by Nicolas Mansour


            “My God, Help Me Survive This Deadly Love” A kiss ( also known in old English as cyssan, or coss ) is an old action, behavior of showing gratitude, love, passion, respect , friendship , peace etc. It depends from one culture to another , from one tradition to another, It may be one , two , or three. Some people kiss the cheeks , turn each others cheeks to touch, lip kiss . Others just be so annoying and make a fake kissing sound with their lips , bus...
Lees meer

How to reclaim the public space : step 3


Last year, the city of Liège renewed their contract with the multinational corporation JCDecaux for the next 15 years. This company is mainly known for their bus-stop advertising systems and billboards. In Liège, the contract covers 1.900 m² of public space with publicities. This new contract was criticized a lot by the inhabitants: non sustainable, unhealthy, unsafe for the road users, ugly infrastructures,... They don’t like it and they are right: for 1€ generated by the advertising, 11.5€ are...
Lees meer

Challenging Architecture and Activism as We Know It


During the course of a semester, numerous open discussions, presentations, and sofa talks all took place within the environment of a rough exposed concrete interior on the 24th floor of the WTC building in Brussels. These weekly meetings involved discussing current topics and texts in relation to architecture and activism over some enthusiastic chatter, laughs, and sarcastic remarks.   Coming from a background where I had no exposure or sense of activism, and, further more, its relation to arc...
Lees meer

Reminescent thoughts - Diana Galatus


One day, in March, we went to visit the RecyclArt in Brussels, a place that faced too many issues in order to be understood by everyone in only one storytelling session. A quick description of the place: well-anchored function powerfully linked with the neighborhood, changing faces at each corner. First, it looks like an extension of the skatepark, then there is a bar, oh and an office! People are working in here. But wait, there is a train station too and if you wait a little bit more, there’s...
Lees meer

about jargon


During the course of the architecture and activism elective, we were occasionally talking about the various terms abundantly used not only in architecture, but generally in our contemporary globalised meritocratic world. I consider myself too part of this phenomenon, and I am sometimes guilty of using these terms too. This text is, ironically, probably no exception. Nonetheless it might be worth to critically examine these circumstances. In architecture, terms such as strategy or sustainable or...
Lees meer

Non-place; the ultimate playground for urban activism and civil disobedience


Imagine, an urban scenery with a mass demonstration right in the center of the city. And around the corner; the sudden metamorphosis of a monumental building into a dirty squat. What we see is a kind of centralised urban activism, very known by the common mind. Centralised in the sense that the efficiency of such activism seems to rely on the centrality of its location, both geographically and socially. As if: the more central, the more momentum. A little poke in the heart shakes up the whole ci...
Lees meer

THE THIRD SPHERE - a General Theory of Heterotopia in a Nutshell  


 (On the occasion of last classes and as prologue to a long summer, a short text on heterotopia...)  Heterotopia is a concept of Michel Foucault and literally means 'other place' (hetero- topos). He introduced the neologism as a counterpart to the concept of utopia (non-place or eutopy, good place). Foucault's examples give a good idea: the military service, the honeymoon, saunas, hammams, holiday villages, museums, theaters, cinemas, library, cemeteries, elderly homes, psychiatric institutions...
Lees meer