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Master Dissertation Studio

Master of Architecture, Brussels

Pieterjan Ginckels, Brussels, 202333

How do you work in your time to be in your time? In this master dissertation studio, we focus on the complex impact of contemporary visual and discursive cultures on working±being. We connect the so-called thorough practice of incremental conceptual work with the seemingly ominous but very pervasive culture of the (scroll)surface. What’s a Snowflake* gotta do? Towards graduation, we will detect, embrace and design post-millennial ways of enquiry and action. To work in your time, you absorb and radiate the complexities of becoming (anti-)architects, drowning in visual culture. Engaging with these visual cultures, you will actively explore their underlying strategies and adopt them for your practice. This practice may involve the ecologic, societal, political, technologic and economic role of architects, beyond a responsibility and relevance to the built environment.

Your work will be formatted according to its embedded, extra-architectural realities, and from there respond to your ‘discipline’. The outcome might therefore take the shape of a site- and time-specific building, a performance, a mixtape, a manifesto, a clothing line, a corporate identity, a prototype, or a combination of these. 

STUDIO SNOWFLAKE believes we are critical agents, and produce questions rather than answers. But we also believe this benefits from a rather cool approach. To combine these would be the core of our work: Cool Criticality.

To start the dissertations, we will assemble and design an operational landscape of cases, cultures, fears and hopes — some of which we will immerse ourselves in. To these experiences you will respond by means of building character, and by developing a walk-the-talk project. Individual projects will be executed as part of a collective provocation: throughout the semester, we aim to assemble, let surface, ferment, collide, massage different attitudes and different contexts as embodied in the work of its contributors.

As such, the eventual compilation of your developed attitudes and practices may feed into a publication: MISANTHROPOZINE is a cool-critical art and architecture journal. It fosters collective experiments with visual architectural culture, and engages the millennial and superficial sensibilities of the personae that are part of it— artists, architects, thinkers and policy makers. Each issue establishes and dissolves a fresh paradigm, a potential exit route away from disciplinary cults. The accumulated landscape of our projects may incite the future MISANTHROPOZINE ‘problem’.

STUDIO SNOWFLAKE inscribes itself in the ADO Academic Design Office titled “Architecture for Living on a Damaged Planet,” which offers you a broader pool of varied expert tutors, and engages with the eponymous dissertation studio. STUDIO SNOWFLAKE is open for 5 students, who work on individual projects in a collectively maintained culture of critical reflection, embedded in the ADO.

STUDIO SNOWFLAKE sequels Master Studio Paradigm Weekly: Architects Without Qualities. Both share strategies and convictions, and combined would supercharge your graduation year. Architects Without Qualities focusses on collective agency to pierce dream pictures of practice, but also to crack the paralysis of criticality + cynicism.

To apply, please send your motivation, including an overview of relevant work, to pieterjan.ginckels@kuleuven.be 

#postmillennialstudio #provocativepractice #damagedplanet

*= “The English dictionary defines “snowflake” as a derogatory term to describe an easily offended person, or someone who believes they are entitled to special treatment on account of their supposedly unique characteristics. Members of the so-called “snowflake generation” are typecast as emotionally weak and lacking resilience.”1 But, setting aside the negative connotations and stigmatising tactics of generalizing and labeling generations, what is possible if we reclaim exactly those characteristics as the driving qualities for agency? If any, what sort of empowering liberation might emerge from a true implosion of our bodies, minds and media?


Find the studio description as pdf here.