Atlas of Proposals
Tutor: Arnout Van Vaerenbergh
Image: Louise Beerts
Atlas of Proposals is a new platform to reflect on possible changes in the city. Together with different stakeholders, the studio will develop a series of design proposals for the city of Leuven, with the intention to have them realized.
Since the academic year 2017-2018, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh runs the elective design studio In Situ, in which students collectively collaborate on the design and building of a project, during the course of one semester. The studio is conceived as the academic counterpart of the Gijs Van Vaerenberghs studio, also operating from their spaces in Bac Art Lab (Leuven). The In Situ studio aims to challenge the relation between academic and professional practice, fostering the experimental approach with the reality of building.
Outputs projects were two shelters for Horst Arts and Music festival (2017-2018), the installation Line Drawing for the public opening of the new Bac Art Lab building (2018-2019) and a new inflatable space, exhibiting a single tree in a parc (2019-2020).
During the 2019 2020 academic year, the studio bridged two semesters, and the focus shifted towards a permanent project in the city. Students in the first semester collectively designed a masterplan for Kolveniershof, a small historic parc in the center of Leuven. The new proposal countered the existing ‘shortcut’ function of the park with a high concentration of different gardens to make the park a shared space, instead of a fast link. In the second semester, students collaborated with the city, neighbors and other stakeholders to partly transform the park as a first phase of their masterplan.
Based on the experience of last year, we want to project this studio model to the entire city of Leuven: Atlas of Proposals. Over the course of 5 years, a public, open and transversal program will be developed. Each year, the studio will generate possible interventions around a specific (but atypical) topic, and propose these to different stakeholders, with the intention to have them realized in.
The studio is a continuation and intensification of the In Situ methodology, in which the studio will be held as a collective design practice, and the framework – both on a practical level and on a content level – will be delivered by the Gijs Van Vaerenbergh practice. Additionally, a public program of exchange moments will be held in the form of conversations, lectures and exhibitions.
The program of each year follows the academic year. In the first semester (master design studio), students participate a collective design-by-research process around a specific theme on different locations in the city of Leuven. The output of this semester is a series of proposals for the city. They for a thematic chapter in the Atlas of Proposals. The proposals will be presented to different stakeholders and to the public.
The second semester (elective studio), will elaborate one or more proposals. Students collectively develop the project to a specific ‘built’ output, which can be a built realization, an installation, a performance, an exhibition or a publication with the ambition to intervene in the city.
The studio is organized in Bac Art Lab in Leuven. On 5 evenings, there will be a lecture or conversation evening after the studio hours.
IN SITU 2020-2021: Kolveniershof
IN SITU 2019-2020: Kolveniershof