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(21-22) The Double Look

Tutors: Thierry Lagrange, Dimitri Vangrunderbeek
Academic year 2021_22, semester 3, Ghent
Engagement: Craftsmanship

The Double Look: ABSTRACTION

The Double Look (a master studio running for three years) formulates the following research objective: what does ABSTRACTION mean today, in a social and cultural landscape quite often dominated by big data and superficiality? A BIG question we want to tackle, modestly, but with eager, on the scale of an Academic Design Office (ADO), run by an artist and an architect, both member of the research group The Drawing and the Space.

The expertise of the artist on the quality of the sculpture and the expertise of the architect on the architectural detail will become the main intellectual pillars of this studio. Both members will connect their practice to this studio.

What is The Double Look?

It all starts from the act of a close re-looking to (own) productions and contexts. This act introduces a multi-focality that generates new insights on the qualities of the subject. This basic activity introduced in a pedagogical context triggers the way a student looks to his world and his production in particular. Moreover the whole learning environment is dominated by what looking and re-looking means. It becomes a process of becoming conscious of the meaning of looking. We are convinced that this notion is an elementary quality an artist and architect should embody.

The past three years, The Double Look, ran as a Master studio, with success. There was a great enthusiasm among the students; the output was of high quality. The past two years we organized a doctoral seminar enriching the work of the studio. This will be organized this semester in week 7.


In this master studio we will investigate the phenomenon of abstraction. To sharpen this massive theme we choose to work on the idea of FRAMING. FRAMING can be understood in various ways, formal, optical, conceptual, spatial, technical, allegorical, physical, etc. These approaches intertwine and lead to a multi-layered exploration, observation and creation.

Some question to situate the project:

How designing with the idea of framing mechanisms resulting in space and notions of space?

What are the differences between visual and conceptual framing?

How can framing lead to the construction of abstraction? What does this mean for the notion of framing?

What is a framing of the (suburban) landscape? What does it mean for the reality of human being?

How do we relate framing to specific architectural contexts?

What is the importance of art painting (in extension art history) in this context?

Is display a framing?

In framing we find an idea to work on the phenomenon of abstraction. We will do this from a very specific point of view, that is the close collaboration of an artist and an architect. This ADO aims not to conclude with an extensive list of notions, neither a broad knowledge production on the phenomenon of abstraction. This ADO starts from the experience of two practices, two researchers, two teachers that are fascinated by the phenomenon of abstraction and that has notion from the way one can look. We believe strongly in this synergy, which must result in an original attitude towards ABSTRACTION.

We are convinced of that our expertise might lead to meaningful insights on the idea of framing as an example of abstraction.

Dimitri Vangrunderbeek has for more than 25 years a practice as an artist. His work, a broad exploration of the abstract sculpture, is related to the theme of this AOB. As a researcher he is the coach of several PhD students in design driven research projects and teacher and mentor of many master students.

Thierry Lagrange is working as an architect since 1996 (architettura, ALT architectuur). His expertise in the architecture detail is essential for this AOB. As a researcher (co-founder of the research group The Drawing and The Space, www.thedrawingandthespace.info) he is the (co)supervisor) several PhD design driven research projects and operates in master (proof) studios since 2006.


Output varies depending the process and the skills of the student. All media are possible, all formats as well (architecture project, spacious interventions and installations).

The Double Look 2021-22 impressies



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