U&U – 9th International PhD Seminar

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 17.19.06U&U – 9th International PhD Seminar on Urbanism and Urbanization: ‘On Reproduction: Re-Imagining the Political Ecology of Urbanism’After successful editions in Leuven, Venice, Barcelona, Paris, Delft, Lausanne, the next edition of the PhD seminars in urbanism and urbanization will be hosted in Ghent, Belgium.

Like previous editions, the seminar seeks to bring together students writing their PhD thesis in urbanism, working within very different disciplinary traditions, combining historical research, design research and different forms of urban research. The community supporting this seminar series over the years shares an interest in work that tries to speak across the divide between urban studies and the city-making disciplines, seeking to combine the interpretation of the process of urbanization with the commitment and care for the urban condition in all its manifold manifestations, and bring together urban theory and the theoretical grounding of urbanism.

The seminar welcomes all PhD students working in this mixed field. The call for papers of each edition foregrounds a set of themes that will be given special attention. We invite students to respond to these thematic lines, however, papers addressing other themes and concerns will also be taken into consideration.


Lecture by Maria Lopez: MVRDV – from datascape to BIM

afficheMLOPEZ_1MVRDV Project Leader Maria López Calleja will give a lecture at our department on Wednesday 22 March, 17-18h.

Maria will show recent design projects at MVRDV Rotterdam. In particular, the talk will illustrate how MVRDV uses diverse digital tools, including BIM tools, in their design practice. She will illustrate how tools facilitate simulating and managing the spatial consequences of the desires of the individual parties involved in a design process. BIM has been used by the practice as the next step in the technological development of spatial design and planning, enabling architects to have an overview of project data and giving them the ability to intervene in the datascape in a more intelligent manner, in real-time collaboration with clients, advisors and experts.

Day: Wednesday 22 March
Time: 17-18h
Place: Plateau, Auditorium E


POSTER OMAR NAGATI_2203Wednesday 22 March, 18h, Prof. Omar Nagati will give a lecture at our department. Together with members of our department he participated in the international summerschool ‘After Belonging’ in Oslo as a tutor of the Cairo students.

He will talk about public space and informal dynamics in Cairo and in particular highlight mapping tools to make these processes visible. This lecture is part of the advanced topic ‘Mapping Hospital Architecture’ of Johan Lagae, Luce Beeckmans, Simon De Nys-Ketels and Laurence Heindryckx.

Lecture by Dr. Jiat-Hwee Chang


Historicizing and reframing sustainable architecture in the tropics: the politics of climate and technoscience

Lecture by Dr. Jiat-Hwee Chang, Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, 21 February 2017, 18h00, Campus Boekentoren, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Gent, aud F (introduction by prof. J. Lagae)

This event is the third lecture in a series on the theme “Architectural and Urban Sustainability in Africa. Current discourses and practices. A critical evaluation”, initiated by Johan Lagae & Michiel Dehaene, with the support of VLIR-UOS, the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (UGent) and the Ghent Africa Platform (GAP).


New Publication A&S/books: Vlad Ionescu – Applies Arts, implied Art

A&S Ionescu omslagWhat is the meaning of craftsmanship in the era of digital production? Vlad Ionescu, postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Architecture and Arts (Hasselt University) discusses in this essay the role of technology in craftsmanship and its impact on artmaking in the light of a confrontation between the art theory of Aloïs Riegl and Frank Lloyd Wright. The author proposes a contemporary interpretation of applied arts as implied art, a form of art between fine art and design that describes human life, its experiences and the occasional poverty thereof. (Published in collaboration with Hasselt University).

Applied Arts, Implied Art: Craftsmanship and Technology in the Age of Art Industry

Richard Plunz – Toward A Public Space / Social Media Interface

richard-plunz1Wednesday 14 December, 17:30, Labo S, Campus Boekentoren, J. Plateaustraat 22, Gent
Prof. Richard Plunz (Columbia University)

The social media revolution is producing a new generation of urban design and planning tools that can augment reading of urban public space and management of next generation distributed urban infrastructure. Deployment of social data analytics has the potential for real-time understanding of the occupation characteristics of public space; from real-time configurations of occupation densities to detailed understanding of diverse cognitive factors related to the users. The outcome is new predictive modeling that is more robust than any of the normative techniques now in common practice. Two case studies for New York City will be examined: an app and web-based platform for managing new storm water infrastructure, and a crowd sourced platform for defining public space usage through Twitter-based sentiment analytics. Both are in development at the Earth Institute Urban Design Lab at Columbia University.

African Urban (History) Matters


Session “African Urban (History) Matters. Collaborative Research between UGent and UWC/UNIKIN”, GAPSYM10, 8 December 2017

On 8 & 9 December 2016, the Gent Afrika Platform of Ghent University (GAP) is organizing the 10th edition of its annual symposium GAPSYM. Because of this jubilee edition, the symposium will focus primarily on the structural collaboration in teaching and research between UGent and African partner institutions.

Under the title “African Urban (History) Matters” prof. Johan Lagae and prof. Michiel Dehaene are organizing a session in which they will present results of a long lasting collaboration in the field of master dissertations, research projects and publications between the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning of UGent and two African partners: the University of Western Cape (Cape Town, South Africa) and the Université de Kinshasa (Kinshasa, DR Congo).  Participants for UWC are prof. Premesh Lalu, prof. Patricia Hayes and dr. Bradley Rink; prof. Jacob Sabakinu Kivilu will present UNIKIN. For the department, apart from the two chairs, Luce Beeckmans will also participate in the discussions.

On 8 December prof. Premesh Lalu will give a keynote lecture. The same day, at 17h00, there will be a book launch on the South African photographer Yasser Booley. On wednesday 7 December, 16h00, dr. Bradley Rink will give a guest lecture on his own research.

For more info on GAPSYM10, see:

Session: African Urban (History) Matters. Collaborative Research between UGent and UWC/UNIKIN

Architectures of mobility and enclosure: City improvement districts and cultural quarters in the South African city

Rink Lecture Image

Lecture by Dr Bradley Rink, Department of Geography, Environmental Studies & Tourism, University of the Western Cape, 7 December 2016, 16h00, Campus Boekentoren, J. Plateaustraat 22, B-9000 Gent, aud F (introduction by prof. Michiel Dehaene)

In this lecture Bradley Rink will reflect on recent empirical studies in the city of Cape Town where he interrogates architectures of enclosure in the contemporary African city.  The research undertaken investigates the role of city improvement districts (CIDs) and cultural quarters in the intervention and management of mobility within the context of the South African city as evidenced by the Groote Schuur City Improvement District (GSCID) in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID) in the northern suburbs and the urban quarter of De Waterkant in the central business district.  Across these varied contexts, he will analyse the development and operationalisation of architectures of mobility and enclosure that define contemporary urbanism in South Africa through the management of mobility and mobile subjects.  The results of the collective analysis suggests that these architectures function through the management of mobility—of humans, capital, objects, and information—applying friction or enabling flow differentially to shape the city and its citizens.

This event is the second in a lecture series on the theme “Architectural and Urban Sustainability in Africa. Current discourses and practices. A critical evaluation”, which is initiated by Johan Lagae & Michiel Dehaene, with the support of VLIR-UOS, the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (UGent) and the Ghent Africa Platform (GAP). The following lecture will take place on 21 February 2017 (Prof. Jiat Hwee Chang, University of Singapore).

Poster Lecture Bradley Rink