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(19-20) The Radicant


Architecture and migration

Engagement: Urban Cultures, Campus Brussels
Tutors: Caroline Sohie and Cecilia Chiappini
Academic year 2019-20

Human mobility is higher than ever before and continues to surge, becoming one of the global phenomena defining the 21st century. An estimated 272 million¹ people are international migrants in the world. Migration has a radical impact on both the place left behind, and on the place where migrants temporarily or permanently settle. It alters the geo-political, economic as well as the socio-cultural fabric of place.

The design studio:

– Explores the connection between migration, cultural identity and the built environment, and how relocation and displacement inform the medium of Architecture.

– Raises fundamental questions about a changing global and local society:

What is the nature of architectures arising from migration?

How are collective identity and social relations be reconstructed and
negotiated when flux and transition is the new norm?

How do global migratory movements inform notions of belonging,
and how are roots, tradition and heritage manifested in space?

How can the ‘genius loci’ be amplified to embody a hybrid spectrum of
multiple ‘other’ origins, all at once?

– Encouraged to learn from other fields of artistic practice- multi-media arts, installation, performance – and test alternative pathways in design/research practice by testing new ways to engage with site, concept and communication.

– Tests and concretise these reflections on architecture and migration through speculative design projects.

– Sets within one of Brussels most cosmopolitan urban areas:
the European Quarter and the Matongé neighbourhood; a geography in constant flux.

For detailed information, please read the Studio brief.

Interested students can join THE RADICANT Facebook group to access material on: maib24 THE RADICANT

¹ United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (UN DESA) – International Migrant Stock 2019, Workbook: UN_MigrantStockTotal_2019.xlsx


On the studio 2019-2020

This studio results consist of two components; 1) THE SITE ANALYSIS This was undertaken in 3 groups: Expectations (pdf): Pauline Jonnier, Selen Sürmeli, Eszter Hoffmann, Zeliha Öztürk Appropiations (pdf): Lucie Pucholdtová, Catalina Neira, Tina Zoltani, Artun Gürkan Materialisations (pdf): Anna Anuszkiewicz, Georgiana Musa, Vitor Breder, Sandrik Vizarraga Pavloff 2) THE FINAL PROJECTS This was undertaken […]


Catalina Neira – Lucie Pucholdtová: B-O-X

Latin radicandum, neuter of radicandus, gerundive of radicari – the radicant. Meaning taking root on, or above, the ground; rooting from the stem, like the trumpet creeper and the ivy. Can we use this description not only for plants, but also for people? Are people moving to other countries and across the seas a problem […]


Artun Gürkan: DIRT

Project start with tackling the Mary Douglas concept of Dirt in Urban context: For her, Dirt was ”the kind of compendium category for all events, which is a blur, smudge, other, or confuse accepted classification.”* Dirt was not about the object but where the object placed and situations of the object. It was about the […]


Sandrik Vizarraga Pavloff: HYBRID SPACE

Defintions of ‘hybrid’ and ‘hybridity: Biology « ‘Hybrid’: offspring of parents that differ in genetically determined traits. The parents may be of different species, genera, or (rarely) families. The term hybrid, therefore, has a wider application than the terms mongrel or crossbreed, which usually refer to animals or plants resulting from a cross between two […]


Tina Soltani – Georgiana Musa: THE PORTAL

Looking to the urban fabric of Brussels we can observe that it is made of overlapping historical layers, from the past till present the city suffer transformation by demolishing and adding new construction for economic reasons including the migrant’s movement in a large scale. The changes are visible today if you walk by the street […]


Anna Anuszkiewicz Ania – Vitor Breder: DENS CITY

This booklet is the last of 3 parts of a broader research developed by students of the International Masters in Architecture at KU Leuven. Led by professors Cecilia Chiappini and Caroline Sohie and following the MAIB24 Design Studio (2020.1), students were challenged to analyse, discuss and make proposals to the districts of Matongé and EU […]


Eszter Hoffmann: CULTURAL OASIS

An implementation of ‘The Radicant’ Matongé and EU neighbourhood in Brussels In this booklet you can find a proposal for the European and the Matongé neighbourhood in Brussels. This work delivered by Eszter Klára Hoffman within the Design Studio, called “The Radicant” supervised by Caroline Sohie and Cecilia Chiappini. The studio was built around the […]


Selen Sürmeli – Zeliha Öztürk: INBETWEENNESS

Inbetweenness is a research project* that focuses on the conditions regenerate in between territories, cultures, identities, and physical/imaginary states. The project presents visible and invisible layers in urban context while providing an intervention that catalyzes potential conflicts and tensions in urban/spatial level and mediates contrasting elements and existed conditions. The research starts with approaching binary […]



Preface: Integration from the homescape Set within the context of ever-increasing human mobility, the globalization of the 21st century, and the concept of the Radicant1 developed by Nicolas Bourriaud in 2009, the studio of the same name – run by Caroline Sohie and Cecilia Chiappini; explored the connection between migration, cultural identity and the built […]


Invitation: The Radicant design studio final review 27/5/20

THE RADICANT studio investigates the impact of migration flows and human mobility on the geo-political, economic and socio-cultural fabric of place. The studio examines this topic through analysis of the cultural fabric of the Matongé and Leopoldswijk; two neighbourhoods in Brussels known for their highly diverse cultural identity. Our Masters students have been exploring the […]