Lien De Saegher graduated last academic year from the Faculty of Architecture’s Master’s program in Urbanism and Spatial Planning. On December 16th 2020, she won the Klasse Award, a partial prize of the Flemish Thesis Prize. The editors of Klasse, the multimedia communication platform for education in Flanders, want to raise more attention to valuable theses with a subject related to education, in the broadest sense of the word.
The title of Liens master’s thesis is: “Spatial education. Broadening societal support for the compact city discourse through education”. Lien has assessed how the issues of housing, space and mobility are approached in the teaching materials (world orientation, mathematics, Dutch, religion) for primary schools. More than half of the dwellings shown in the hand books are detached and this housing typology is often put forward as an ideal. In addition, the authors often take a pejorative stand towards living in the city. It will not enthuse children to join in a discourse of more compact living. This has also been discussed with teachers. In addition, the pupils themselves (11-12 year olds) were asked about their living wishes and expectations. A comparison was made between children from the city (Sint-Niklaas) and children from a village (Sint-Pauwels). Most of the children have the villa as an ambition. Finally, a one-off experiment, in which the two classes were given a spatial education initiation class designed by Lien, led to a slight shift in their housing expectations.
Supervisor and co-supervisor of Lien’s master dissertation were Hans Leinfelder and Jana Verstraete. (Limo-link to the thesis)