FROM MUSEUMIZATION TO SPATIO-CULTURAL CROSSOVER: ‘Towards spatial strategies that provide handles to rethink hopeful and seemingly hopeless vacancies from the perspective of Hardcore Heritage’.
“Hardcore Heritage represents a new way of thinking about monuments and cultural heritage. Through deliberate destruction, radical changes in context, and seemingly contradictory additions, a new field of tension arises between present, past and future.” (RAAAF)
Design Studio MAIG14 Semester 1: arCsus – architecture – Culture – sustainability
Academic supervisor, prof.dr.arch. Marc Dujardin
‘Towards spatial strategies that provide handles to rethink hopeful and seemingly hopeless vacancies’.
The master dissertation tracks, supervised by Marc Dujardin stem from the tutor’s approach of architecture and design strategy as ‘culture praxis’ (Architectural Anthropology & Spatio-Cultural Sustainability) as developed within his ‘arCsus Lab’ (architecture-CULTURE-sustainability), and complemented by the ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and acting of the innovative Amsterdam based RAAAF architects (RIETVELD Architecture-Art-Affordances).
From the vision and skills of the designer,- the master dissertation in architecture is pre-eminently a DESIGN studio after all-, the arCsus Lab team will focus on selective sites in Belgium, The Netherlands and beyond.
Re-designing the former DUMOULIN Pipe and Brick Factory” at Meesen (Wijtschate-Belgium) from the perspective of Hardcore Heritage.
Hardcore Heritage – Paroxism – Sequential Temporariness – Affordances – Drosscape
The project context as trigger:
The proposed project site accommodating the former Pipe & Brick Factory provides us with a unique spatio-cultural context and exemplary case to explore what RAAAF identifies in their book “VACANCIES STUDIES, experiments and strategic interventions in Architecture”, investigating the diversity and potential of ‘vacancy’ connected to the issue of ‘affordances’ or possibilities for action from an unprecedented multi-stakeholder constellation and operational framework.
We will work on, along and across the ‘edges’ (spatio-cultural crossovers) of the Village of Wijtschate, with as epicenter the site that formally served as a Pipe & Brick Factory, locally referred to as the “DUMOULIN Factory, named after the owner” . The site is currently object of various planning strategies for re-use, often prompted by merely “place making” design strategies and rigid heritage policies leading to either the “museumization” as unintentional monument (IPWW III Project by the RLICC-KU Leuven), or exposed to external forces (e.g. extension of the nearby slaughter house, etc.
The proposed and primarily ‘conventiona’l planning and design ideas and strategies totally disconnect from everything that our arCsus-RAAAF modus stands for defined as “Hardcore Heritage” and “Diversity, Vacancy and Affordances”, or spatial strategies that may well provide handles to rethink hopeful and seemingly hopeless rural or citified vacancies from the ‘viewpoint and skills of the designer’.
As such, within this studio, we will never start with a prefixed programme that seeks a place and a form. On the contrary, the site of the former factory, within reach and limits of its various intertwining perimeters (relational, contextual, situational, design-based) seeks new narratives and affordances. No (architectural) design proposal(strategy and output) at the end of the design studio can emerge without a profound understanding of the place as an intersection of typical features that made up the spatio-cultural identity, content and imagery of this tiny little but very complex built landscape and iconic fabric.
The research modus:
arCsusLab-RAAAF’s ‘Designing for Spatio-Cultural Sustainability’
Whenever the ‘potential’ dimension of architecture as medium of (spatial) communication and mediation is at stake, the role and meaning of culture as key dimension of sustainable development is commonly referred to as ‘Cultural Sustainability’, the fourth pillar of the sustainability concept (social – economic – environmental it Architecture should be approached as a cultural praxis and is widely referred to as ‘Architectural Anthropology’.
But above all, arCsus aims at triggering, challenging and inspiring young designers to develop their micro-scale design strategies, interventions and statements from different entry points, conceptual frameworks, perspectives and modes of communication, representation and media. As such, the designer will develop his/her personalized skills to approach architecture in the broadest sense of the word and scale of intervention as a ‘cultural praxis’.
One or a combination of international renown theory and practice-based design strategies, initiated by the academic supervisor in close co-operation with RAAAF, may well appeal to and inspire the student to upscale his/her design strategies, tools and frames of reference in relation to architecture, approached as a cultural practice. They will facilitate the supervisor to understand what kind of designer you are, aims to be, and how you can develop your personal ‘design signature’, empowering you with more confidence to play your role as designers of the future:
-DESIGNING FOR CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY –arCsus
-ARCHITECTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY& CULTURE MATRIX DESIGN – arCsus
-DESIGNING FOR MULTI-SENSORIALITY & INCLUSION – arCsus
-DESIGNING FOR SEQUENTIAL TEMPORARINESS – RAAAF
-DIVERSITY OF VACANCY – RAAAF
-ARCHITECTURAL BEHAVIOROLOGY – BOW-WOW
-POETICS OF DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION (TEACHING INSIDE RUINS – WANG SHU)
-LIGHT, ARCHITECTURE AND ATMOSHERES – PETER ZUMTHOR
-LANDSCAPE URBANISM (clearance – grid – casco – montage) – MARCEL SMETS
-THE THREE URBANISMS AND THE PUBLIC REALM (POST-NEW-EVERYDAY) – D. KELBAUG
-DESIGNING FOR MULTIPLICITY AND ADAPTIVE URBANISM – STEFANO BOERI
Taking the student’s personal interest and affinities into account, none of the above listed design strategies are compulsory, dogmatic or conventional. None of the design strategies, listed below, will be enforced as a methodology to follow or adopt. Intensive design-based consults and reviews will enable the student to evolve as well informed, deeply moved creative ‘scenographers’ in the field of architecture and sustainability.
website: www.arCsusLab.com (under construction)