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(22-23) Architects Without Qualities

Pieterjan Ginckels, Brussels, 2022-2023
Master Studio, semester 3
Master of Architecture, Brussels
Open for students Interior Architecture

Q: What do you get when Travis Scott Airbnb’s O.M. Ungers’ House?
A: …

In this studio, we celebrate the impact of contemporary visual cultures on working±being. We connect our thorough practice of incremental conceptual work with the pervasive culture of the (scroll)surface. We will recognize, embrace and design post-millennial ways of enquiry and action. As we engage with our surrounding cultures, we will actively explore their underlying strategies and technics. These cultures include architectural cultures of learning and production: cultures we will try to bypass, deflate, subvert or annoy by developing other modes and moods of practice. ARCHITECTS WITHOUT QUALITIES embraces and engages in agencies that pierce the pictures of ourselves, our projects and our disciplines. We will grow into a collective, absorbing and radiating the complexities of being architects, drowning at the surface.


We will start with a SURFACE SCAN – We are trendwatchers, and mine offline and online cultural extremities, shifts and situations.
Everyone is invited to suggest personal hypes, obsessions or intolerances, and together we will reconstruct the surfaces that surround us into a situated, incomplete, triggering state of the world. Previous scans uncovered hygge zombies, VR microdosing, brotox parties, cottage core & goblin core, haute couture vs shanzai, or flexdesk work havens.

Subsequently we design, organize and execute a SPEED TRIP – a performative study trip in which we execute a deep dive into the real-world manifestations of our scanned surface. Field trip becomes safari becomes rabbit hole. We are expeditioners, both gathering and becoming evidence. We will decide the trip location and time together, based on the work.
Previous trips took the architects without qualities to Milan, London’s Apple and Aesop stores, Rotterdam’s vape shops, Frankfurt’s data centers and the Thüringer Forest mineral mines.

We use the trip’s after-shock to initiate PROVOCATIONS and a COLLECTIVE. The first provocation is designing our studio team itself, its modus operandi, for the production of counterhegemonic knowledge can only be comradely and collaborative! In our collective, we will learn to operate behind a mask, not to hide, but affording ourselves the flexibility of a persona, to explicitly explore alternative moods and attitudes for becoming architects. The collective is divided into three divisions: Tech, Hype & Bling. These division names stem from the music industry, and loosely refer to the audio engineers, the managers and the producers. Each division invests in a selective field of operations, to boost collective, accelerated productivity. Divisions also serve as auto-critical entities: meta-engineers, meta-managers and meta-producers. The questions that arise from their work will provide triggers for self-imposed studio briefs.


The end result of the studio is your collective, which you establish by means of your Speed Trips, provocations and projects. These projects may entail the ecologic, societal, political, technologic and economic role of architects, beyond a responsibility and relevance to the built environment. We will work towards a final act of the collective, which will be executed in public. Online, IRL, hybrid, tapping into the networks of students, guests and tutors.


The studio is organized by Pieterjan Ginckels and is embedded in Paradigm Weekly: an international network of practitioners, research projects, artistic performances and publications. As Architects without Qualities you will benefit from exchanges, guest appearances, and engage in or initiate parallel events and projects.

Previous guests include Oana Stanescu, Laura Linsi, Cédric Libert, Andrew Kovacs, Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou, Loraine Furter, Miriam Rohde, Lars Fischer.


Paradigm Weekly publishes a Cool-Critical journal: MISANTHROPOZINE. Our studio work may incite the future MISANTHROPOZINE ‘problem’, or the final public appearance may be produced and published as a separate issue.


PW Studio coincides with the Masters in Art & Architecture elective TUNING, its sister from another mother. Both share strategies and convictions, and combined could supercharge your semester.

#postmillennialstudio #performance #fashion #aesthetics #misanthropocene #radicalsaturation #speedtrip #questionsnotanswers #dondaism

Image credit: performance still, MOSS collective = Luay Al Ganim, Jascha Lenz, Kilian Paterson, Klara Schmidt, Hassaan Tariq, Mumtaaz Viaene and Abdul Wehbe, January 2022


You will participate in the learning environment of the Master of Architecture organised over the Faculty’s two campuses: Brussels and Ghent. Based on a highly interdisciplinary learning process of integrated research and ‘research by design’, students are expected to determine a theoretical stance on current issues with emphasis on facilitating, making and imagining, leading to relevant spatial interventions.
The PARADIGM WEEKLY learning environment responds to, and helps deepen the engagement of our Faculty with matters of Mediating Tactics: ‘Mediating Tactics’ is a critical reflection on and handling with architecture and its social, cultural or environmental role. This engagement explores ways in which architecture is an enabler and reactant in the complex reality of the contemporary use of space. ‘Mediating Tactics’ is critical towards the discipline of practice and reflects on the actual and pertinent role of the architect in contemporary society. As Sean Griffiths comments on the recent Venice Biennale: ”Privatisation, design-and-build contracts, framework agreements and other products of the neoliberal economy have ensured that control over the creation of today’s built environment is now in the hands of those for whom architectural quality is not high on the list of priorities.”

More in the pdf!

FONDAZIONE NADA space by FW20 Architects Without Qualities studio

NADA collective = Ahlem Rebai, Atdhe Hogoshti, Cansu Koçdemir, Evi Hellebaut, Gustave Curtil, Itır Çelikkale, Justin Dirkx, Rita Roznár, Sarah Thorisaen, Thomas Rasker, Timmothy Sermon, Xueyan Feng  


MOSS by Fall/Winter 2021-2022 studio

MOSS collective = Luay Al Ganim, Jascha Lenz, Kilian Paterson, Klara Schmidt, Hassaan Tariq, Mumtaaz Viaene and Abdul Wehbe.   THE PICKNICK program of the Faculty of Architecture without Qualities is a presentation of investigations, speculations, samples and imaginations highlighting selected supercultures and proto-issues. Investigations are made within each of the Engagements: Data Gravity, Mediating […]