proposals

proposals

to propose a class for something you would like to take, or teach, or see happen you can make a post on facebook, click ‘make proposals’ on thepublicschool.org website, or email a proposal to info@psfa-bxl.org.

current proposals

facades of governance: the inherently unaccountable, opaque and unrepresentative nature of global governance produce very specific mechanisms that cannot be conceptualised any more with the bound between power, territory and representation which was dominated for so long by nation states.

does global governance require an entirely different way of thinking about power and representation? what could we learn from brussels as a case study of global governance in order to rethink the bound between power, territory and representation? what do the façades in the quartier leopold show or hide?

architecture and power: border/grens/grenze/frontière/gräns/الحدود/…: what is the meaning of the border? how can borders be manipulated or be adapted so their context changes? can we apply more positive associations to the meaning of border?

architecture and power: user experiences: not a talk on a topic, but on a design method. the overarching theme is power and architecture, where the interventions of the architect determine a user’s experience. these experiences are the power.

three powers will be discussed: the experience of limits / of the opening / of memory.

architecture and power: facade as representation of power: i am currently working on power and representation, specifically with a focus on the façade as a representation of power. a symbol that has lost its function and now stands as a representation of an outdated function. the facade acquires a fictitious meaning that does not reflect the current context. it is a kind of historical artifact that again needs to be integrated. i hope to approach this problem through complexity and in the process also to criticize the manner of working. complexity is a type of exploration, not the focus of criticism but a way to express it.

the result is a new façade made up of more layers than where we began each creating a new reality. complexity creates an abstraction of reality and exposes the fictional and unreal character of the façade. the different layers allow an inquiry into the true reality that is no more. the viewer looks for and gets lost in fiction and complexity.

in this context i would like invite sarah and charles to speak about their practice as an artist duo. primarily showing their models at different scales which allow the viewer to get lost in the search for reality. they work on the fiction of reality and go so far that a distinction becomes difficult to make. through their expertise i hope to discover new perspectives that can advance the complexity within my design.

architecture and power: i go forth masked: ‘i go forth masked’: with these words does the young           – the year is 1619 and he is twenty‐three years old – mark his entrance into           . in an early text found among his papers and published under the title           he writes the following: ‘before going on stage, an actor dons a mask (persona) so as not to reveal the redness of his face. likewise as i make my appearance in the theater of the world, where i have so far been only a spectator, i also go forth masked.’

here           describes a practice that is far from his alone. when a           appears upon the stage – whether in speech or in writing – he alters his tone and projects his voice. He no longer merely speaks; he declaims, and sometimes even takes an oracular stance. He uses the mask to hide his face and body and above all to transform his voice. What we hear is the voice of               , but it is transformed, amplified, deformed by the mask behind which he hides,                                               .

architecture and power: participate, make, bake, speak, reflect and listen: within the series of architecture and power, this class will provide a more interactive introduction to the discursive subject. a self-made oven made out of a rammed earth construction will be present at the event. this oven is the representation of a basic architecture, which the user afterwards can appropriate. the oven as an instrument will invite the social activity of making bread in togetherness.

in addition to you other guests will be invited, like cultural philosopher lieven de cauter and architect koen deprez to discuss while making and baking. the intention is to organise an interactive platform where everybody is both speaker and audience at the same moment.

be welcome to participate, make, bake, speak, reflect and listen.

[psfa-bxl - outpost charleroi] shopping on film: this class proposes a series of films on shopping, screened in the passage de la bourse. the neo-classical shopping passage once filled with vibrant stores and boutiques, of which today only one remains, sits at the center of the commercial development poised to regenerate the ville basse. the films will show different ways shopping environments are conceived from the merely imagined to the fully planned and programmed and how these environments affect the users and contexts they sit in.

architecture and power: the power of: user, memory, context: user – the occupant is the one who experiences space, she uses the space. this space, the built environment was conceived by the architect, it is her ideas that formed the space.

memory – nostalgia is something personal. something that remains without it needing to be physically present, ie memory.

context – place has a power over us as the user of space. a context can impose certain behaviours on people. but it can also allow complete freedom without sacrificing spatial quality.

we would like to start with three workshops in which we work within these themes. to then later relate the results through a roundtable on architecture and power. to support us in this, we would like to invite several speakers: eg. lieven de cauter and gideon boie.

architecture and power: introduction to discourse analysis: discourse analysis focuses on uncovering the ideological elements within a particular discourse and tries to uncover the social context and the different power relations that are legitimized by the discourse. recognizing that architecture is always set within an ideological discourse, it is important that architects are aware of this and that they are able to critically assess the ideological context within which they work.

this class provides an introduction to discourse analysis in an attempt to make architects aware of the ideological discourses that affect the practice of architecture.

[psfa-bxl - outpost charleroi] mapping charleroi: this class explores the role that maps can play in how we understand the city. by using maps as a tool, the class aims to explore our various and often contradictory experiences of the city, from the abstract to the concrete, the existing to the speculative, the physical to the perceptual, the historic to the mundane, the visible to the obscured, the overlapping to the separated, the real to the imaginary, and on and on…

if i knew then what i know now: the success of a designer depends on developing the ability to reflect critically and constructively not only on one’s products, but also one’s process.

this reflection can be prompted with the simulated or live design projects of a formal education, but it is generally not until the total immersion of practice that many designers begin to deeply contextualise their learning and their process.

this workshop invites architects, designers and students of any built environment discipline to critically contextualise the learning and teaching of their formal education against the learning and teaching of their practice.

rammed earth construction, politics and society: there are many advantages to earth constructions but the two main disadvantages are: compressive strength and labor costs. i’ve demonstrated the feasibility of it’s strength in large projects (4 storeys high) using high safety factors. when it comes to labor costs, there are some interesting social aspects that might help to get around it, such as co-operative associations and participatory construction. earth constructions are not just about using a natural material, nor are they about their amazing properties (hygronometry, source abundance, embodied energy, lifecycle assessment, locality…)…. they are also about politics and society.

explorations sensibles dans la gare centrale de bruxelles: comment (re)présenter une ambiance architecturale et urbaine, et plus particulièrement celle d’un espace public souterrain ? comment le public perçoit et s’approprie les environnements souterrains?

présentation d’une enquête in situ de l’espace public urbain, à travers l’environnement sensible et le vécu de ses usagers. l’enquête est effectuée sous forme de parcours commentés, afin de pouvoir élaborer une cartographie sensible de la gare centrale. l’idée est d’élargir la discipline architecturale à d’autres champs de connaissance, notamment les sciences sociales.

l’importance dans l’art de reconstruire en relation avec la construction durable.

mediating [infra]structures – in search of new public domain: in three lectures (each of which followed by a public debate), this course would focus on these contemporary ‘shared spaces’: cultural centres, mass transport hubs and the shopping centres. these are all spaces that were ‘invented’ or popularized in the late 20th century. they are neither completely public nor entirely private, but all possess ‘mediating’ qualities. in these spaces the distinctions between the public and the private, consumption and production and the individual and the collective are blurred. as such, they contain the capacity to present a common ground for contemporary society. in this series of classes, the we thus aim to investigate if the proclaimed disappearance of the public sphere can be reassembled in these spaces or, if they could be reimagined as mediators of a new public realm?

hands-on urbanism. the right to green: ever since the modernization shock caused by industrialization, cities have been confronted with profoundly difficult challenges. it is not only contemporary crises of neoliberal urbanism, gentrification and austerity measures that leads to counteracting the accelerated uneven development. in historical terms, too, one can speak of hands-on urbanism in times of crisis that leads to appropriation of land in the city, to self-organization, redistribution, and solidarity.

the importance of functionalism in architecture: what is the relevance of the functionalism in architecture? can one speak of architecture when no function is present? or is this merely art? it would be a discussion where different perspectives can be taken.

speed trip — brussels parking garage dérive: psfa needs a school trip. in our time, and especially in our city, parking garages are both hated and loved, booming and going extinct. black holes, back rooms. invisible monsters and aggressively inspiring architectural artefacts. air pockets and sign systems. panoramic in oblivion.

speed trip — brussels parking garage dérive proposes a carpool daytrip around town, in which we stitch together a route via both brussels’ well-known and its more exotic parking garages. each participant suggests a specific garage or parking lot in preparation; a map will be drawn and a route calculated. participants will share cars and document the disconnected nodes along the way. usually, an entry ticket to a garage grants you a fifteen minute timeframe in which you can drive off again – not having found a decent spot to park. these free moments – and the drive soundtrack – will decide the pace of the trip.

sustainability, entropy and architecture: we can talk about sustainable development but with a different point of view, not only related with architecture but with politics, economy and sociology.

architecture and video games: the practice of architecture has become increasingly dependent on digital tools both in terms of design and representation. at the same time, the spatial experience of video games has become increasingly sophisticated and provocative. this class aims to explore the current relationship between these two fields and how they may influence each other in the future.

reading lucius burckhardt: the swiss sociologist and economist lucius burckhardt, who became renown as an architecture and planning critic, not only taught at the ulm school of design, eth zurich, university of kassel and bauhaus university in weimar. as a publicist and polymath, he wrote on politics, landscape and design, thus contributing to current debates on architecture and the urban. this class will form a reading group to critically engage with key texts by burckhardt published recently in english with regard to their continued actuality and possible applicability to the belgium context.

free schools as artistic practice- at what or who’s cost?: this proposal is copied from a class that was taught by adam kleinman at the public school for architecture new york in 2009. it should probably be updated to reflect the events/developments of the past 5 years.

adam’s original proposal: the exhibition of a lecture and events forum positioned as a “school” by various art practitioners is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of cultural production today. take for example the new museum’s night school, the bruce high quality foundation university, the class room at the new york art book fair, or even the university of trash at the sculpture center—not to mention this very program. considering that talk is thick these days about education and educational models, what better place and time than now to self-reflexively question what we are all doing here!

“global squat show:” this is a proposal to produce an exhibition on the subject of political occupations, or squatted social centers. the organization of the show i believe should stay true to the assembly, governing structure of the occupied self-organized social center, insofar as practicable. solicitations to center assemblies worldwide may garner physical and digital presentations which represent their activities. (already websites are doing this job for nearly all public occupations.) in addition, scholars and retired activists who have worked with these centers in the past can send in representations of those places which are no longer extant. institutions which were based in or started from squatting can send in representations of their histories as well.

brabantwijk — attractive for tourists: the brabantwijk, a deprived neighbourhood, characterized by prostitution, maffia, garbage, poverty, the colourfull shopping street with cheap, fake merchandise that attracts people from all over europe, is situated between the brussels north station and sint-lucas, school of arts and architecture. there are many viewpoint places, that overlook the city, places with good cheap food. the feeling of insecurity is bigger than the actual situation. despite its negative image, this neighbourhood has everything to become an attractive place for tourists, students, and locals. how can we take its diversity as a strength, develop an identity where everyone can be proud of, enjoy and gain from?

noordwijk: the neighbourhood around brussels north station is one of administrative, economic importance. the streets and pathways are mainly used as passing-by places in the daytime. in the evening and at weekends, it is desolated. can we come up with an alternative use of these quite large spaces after office hours? even during those hours, might these places mean more than just transit zones?

parking and the city: with cars in the city there comes parking in the city. however with the recent positive moves to develop car-free zones in brussels, such as the central boulevards or the place de la vaillance/dapperheidsplein in anderlecht there still comes more parking in the city in just these areas. the construction of several new underground parking garages as well as new infrastructure to access this parking is deemed necessary to make these areas car-free. this class would discuss the consequences and the alternatives of parking solutions in the city and what is at stake to public realm.