Call for Workshops

We are looking for workshop tutors with proposals to actively engage, through design, with a thought-provoking timely topic in a common adventure with an interdisciplinary group of 15 to 18 master students, for one week.

You can download the full call below, or scroll through this webpage to discover more about the theme of the International Design Workshop week and what we are looking for. 

Re-ACT by Design

Re-ACT by Design is the theme of an annual series of international workshop weeks for master students architecture, interior architecture, product development, heritage studies, urbanism and spatial planning of the Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp as well as for master students of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of the AP University College.

“It might be said that what is offered in research and education should be determined by the challenges that are being articulated in the lines of fracture of society itself" 1

1 Simons, M. (2006). ‘Education Through Research’ at European Universities: Notes on the Orientation of Academic Research. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 40(1), 31-50.

​The aim of the international workshop weeks is to explore the power and capacity of design to tackle those lines of fracture and socially engage by design. Beyond re-search by design, students and tutors re-act by design.

How can design education not only address students, but also address those lines of fracture, and induce debates, provoke questions, and set an agenda?

The workshop is open to radical pedagogical experiences, which open the eyes, widen thinking and foster new encounters. It stimulates crossing disciplinary boundaries. It provides a forum for international exchange and it is an informal platform for discussing arts and design education and their agency. 

IDW2022 will be the third edition in a row that focusses on what is seen as the most epic construction project of Antwerp in the XXI century: the capping of the ring road. If the ring road is seen as, an almost literal, line of fracture, how then can the capping of the road be seen as sealing the fracture, and setting an agenda towards a better world?

Capping of the ring road and fractures of society: designing the meantime

The capping of the Antwerp ring road creates new opportunities. On the one hand it offers an answer to the supralocal problem of traffic flow around and through Antwerp, on the other hand, at local level it offers the adjacent neighborhoods a new place for urban live. For both levels, the supralocal and the local, conceptual design proposals have been made. What has not or insufficiently been done yet, is to develop ideas about the quality of urban live during the time of construction, which can be estimated at 10 to 15 years – the duration in which a child becomes a youngster and a youngster adult. How can this timespan become a meaningful given in the creation of a better future for this area and its inhabitants?

The central design-action question: How can the long term of the construction works become a period of meaningful transition and empowerment, rather than a temporary, but one decade long, nuisance and burden?

​IDW Luchtbal considers the timespan of the construction works as a unique opportunity for the city and the involved neighborhoods to gradually rearrange and transform this area into a fair and vibrant piece of Antwerp. The area of Luchtbal has a remarkable history and a diverse and complicated population today. Although it might be known as a “difficult urban area”, its tangible and intangible heritage, its vast open space and young population provide rich grounds for getting such process of transition started. IDW Luchtbal aims at identifying and revealing “what lives among people” – particularly young people – and providing help in giving it a proper “place”.

In IDW the “D” of design is understood as a process of identifying available resources, actors and ideas, and bringing them into a new constellation, in order to reveal something better then could be expected so far. Design is always meant to be owned by someone else (a product developer conceives a new product but is not the user; an (interior)architect designs a house but is not the one who will inhabit it; the artist realizes a work of art in order to be experienced by others; ….). IDW believes that making design ideas more tangible during fun events, design sessions and building campaigns not only involves and engages residents that usually don’t attend participation events, but also increases the awareness of the residents about the issues at stake. Moreover it is a chance to highlight communities’ existence, their needs and potentials. We believe that design is able to trigger parties, to provoke interactions between actors that have not been identified before, and inspire for solutions that have not yet been thought of.

IDW2020 looked upon the capping of ring road as the creation of a new urban common. It focused on the Northern part of the ring road, more particularly the connection between Luchtbal and Lambrechtshoeken, and aimed at giving voice to those groups and communities that are not reached by regular participatory approaches and at revealing qualities of places that were overlooked. It was an edition in which the whole area and connection between both neighborhoods were explored. 

IDW2021 continued this endeavor, in spite of rigid COVID restrictions. It focused on culture - culture as an emanation of what was and what is, but also as a space where future is made. Culture is performative. Cultural “performance" gives exposure to both "what lives among people" and "how the world could become". Next to local groups, communities and individuals, the edition specifically targeted youngsters of Luchtbal. 

IDW2022 expands the scope of targeted actors, and next to local groups, communities and individuals, now particularly reaches out to schools (children of 10 -14 year old). It explores the statement that infrastructural works are not primarily a matter of engineering, but of culture. Wicked problems, such as the capping of the road, call for holistic approaches. Arts and Architecture provide the way to bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics into the realm of society and culture. From STEM to STEA²M.

STEA²M for the MEANTIME 

Digging tunnels and covering them, is a huge infrastructural work. It is a good example of how Science has given birth to Technologies, that have led to Engineering, strongly relying upon advanced application of Mathematics, the well-known STEM-unity. However, its impact is societal and – thus – cultural. Engineering is no goal in itself. While the goal of the tunneling is to have traffic swiftly pass the city, the covering of that very same tunnel becomes a new place in that city, a place that is an offer to the citizens of a fast rejuvenating city!

How can huge infrastructural works be understood from the cultural context in which they intrinsically take place, and to which they intrinsically belong? How can conceptions of such huge infrastructures primarily include cultural concerns, rather than traffic concerns. IDW states that Art and Architecture provide fruitful ways to do so. while STEM is limited and problematic STEA²M is rich and promising. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Architecture and Mathematics).

What we look for 

We are looking for workshop tutors that are eager for taking an articulated stance in co-designing “the meantime” of these construction works, in a common adventure with an interdisciplinary group of 15 to 18 master students, and possibly including local actors. Each group is composed of a fix number of students of Product Development, Architecture and Interior Architecture, and a varying number of students from Heritage Studies, Urbanism and Spatial Planning, and Fine Arts, hence representing all components for a rich STEA²M approach. The workshops will take place from the 14th until the 18th of February 2022.

Students have no other courses that week. They are expected to be fully dedicated to the workshop they are involved in. Also teachers are expected during the workshop week to be exclusively dedicated to the workshop. 

At the moment of writing the call, corona-measures for higher education are in code green, meaning that events and tutoring can take place both on-site and on-campus, possible with additional measures such as wearing a mouth-mask.

What we offer 

We offer an interdisciplinary group of 15 to 18 master students product development, architecture, interior architecture, urbanism and spatial planning, heritage studies, and fine arts.

We offer a lump sum of 500 euro to cover fee, costs of transport and meals during your stay. For duo’s we can offer a lump sum of 800 euro. However, we can only afford a limited number of duo tutored workshops. 

We offer company and network of a group of marvelous fellow tutors, and overnight accommodation. Indeed, we highly suggest to stay in Antwerp for the duration of the week, in order to keep focus and vibes. Therefore, the faculty will take care of hotel accommodation for all tutors, unless they ask us not to do so, and book a room from Sunday 13 February until Saturday 19 February 2022.

Submission 

By 24 October 2021 a description of the workshop is submitted through this link

This submission contains:

  • The title of the proposed workshop
  • A description of the topic and the workshop, in which the proposal is clear (max. 1400 characters, including spaces).
  • A short biography (max. 800 characters, including spaces).
  • Three images, representative for the topic, for your approach, for your work
  • A picture of yourself
  • Whether you are willing to give a Pecha Kucha presentation 
  • Whether you are willing to collaborate with local schools and/or neighborhood organizations (in which case we will bring you in contact with our local network)

Enquiries 

For any enquiries about submission, content organization and practicalities of the workshop, please email react-by-design@uantwerpen.be

Organization 

The international design workshop series “re-ACT-by-design” is organized by the Faculty of Design Sciences of the University of Antwerp in cooperation with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, AP University College, Antwerp.

Dean: Prof. dr. Inge Bertels 
Curatorial boardJohan De Walsche (curator), Els De bruyn (co-curator Royal Academy of Fine Arts), Marleen Goethals (co-curator Urbanism and Spatial Planning), Jo Meers (co-curator Architecture), Ilaria Rosetti (co-curator Heritage Studies), Inge Somers (co-curator Interior Architecture), Kristof Vaes (co-curator Product Development)
Administrative support: Nina De Jonghe, Nele Simons 
Communication: Sven Verheyen 
Graphic Design: Gert Van Echelpoel