#1 The Humour of Collective Representation (designing the sense of humour)

by Ola-Dele Kuku

'The society is a system - a social system and we learn from the study of physics that disorder in a system always increases with time. This is evident today in our cultural evolution that reflects the current persisting global phenomenon of socio-cultural conflicts, which I have described as the contemporary conflict culture. Within the realm of how things relate, conflict emerges as a significant catalyst that usually instigates the dynamics of change and reform, rather than the means to stability or reunion. Therefore, conflicts can be manifested as a familiar interdependent relationship involving constraints relative obligations or the balance between wishes and fulfilments. Hence, the affiliation to the built environment by the individual is manifested by means of subjective analytic translation of experiences, actions and endeavour which in turn reveals a behavioural response and attitude towards that environment'.

This cultural transformation is being sustained by an amazing development in technology that has been produced due to the conflict phenomenon (particularly in armed conflict) via design application, applied architecture and applied social engineering. It is a projection of the new application era where design thinking today has become a prominent application rather than a product!

The workshop exercise will use this platform to investigate 'Humour' (which is perhaps the most neglected of the senses) as a design application that focuses on socio-cultural constraints, communication and behavioural response for an urban intervention – with reference to divisions in society and diversity within the community. The intervention will be based on use of words, symbols, sound as media that appeal to the senses and tools for generating a collective representation.

(extract from 'Out of Nothing' - 2020 / Question Architecture, UK)

#2 L.G.P. / Luchtbal Gentrification Project

by Bert Danckaert

Central to this intensive workshop is the fictional urban development agency LUCHTBAL GENTRIFICATION PROJECT (L.G.P.). This office was set up with the aim of making Luchtbal the most prestigious housing project in order to put a definitive end to the deprivation in the neighbourhood. The utopian social philosophy of this unique modernist district will be brought up to date with the reality and needs of the 21st century. (Irony and staging are the starting point of this project)

Output of the workshop is a website with the general L.G.P.-plan by means of design sketches, photos, promotional information...

The participants of the workshop present themselves as 'real' project developers with the aim of transforming the Luchtbal into an exclusive gentrification project. Urban renewal with an up-to-date view on ecology, mobility, safety... is central.

The aim of the workshop is to raise political awareness among the participants and to critically approach ethical issues of society (through magnification).

The workshop aims to analyse and ironically interpret perceptions of urban development and gentrification.

Candidates have skills or interest in one or more of the following topics:

  • History of social housing and utopian projects from the 50-60s (e.g. Brasilia)
  • Designing a monument
  • Webdesign of the fictional urban development agency
  • Making (fictitious) video interviews
  • Photography
  • Architectural and urban design sketches
  • Performance, irony​

#3 Meisjesstemmen - towards a female-inclusive Public Space

by Annelies Vaneycken

How can the public space of the Luchtbal neighbourhood become more enjoyable for local teenage girls? How can design activate their currently absent voices on this matter? These are the main questions driving the workshop Meisjesstemmen (Flemish for Girls’ voices).

In this workshop, we will work on these questions by conducting ethnographic fieldwork with a group of teenage girls from the Luchtbal neighbourhood in Antwerp. The design aspect of the workshop is twofold. Firstly, we will carefully craft subjective narratives that represent the teenage girls their perceptions, ideas, opinions, doubts, and questions regarding their presence in their local public space. Secondly, we will work on the activation of those subjective narratives by exploring and performing different ways of individual and collective oral speech in public space.

The Meisjesstemmen workshop is oriented towards students who have an interest in dealing with socio-political matters in design, freedom of speech, human rights, ethnographic fieldwork, mapping, writing, walking, creating design interventions in public space, and experimenting with different forms of oral speech (and minimal forms of performance).

This workshop is conceived and facilitated by Annelies Vaneycken (www.anneliesvaneycken.be) and happens in cooperation with JES.

#4 Spacing the partition lines

by Anđelka Bnin-Bninski

The primary interest of the workshop is a construction site fence for the capping of the Antwerp ring road. Starting from the plan for a long temporary situation for the construction site and its fences (10 – 15 yrs), the workshop takes the transitory character of the fence as a polygon for experimenting the multilayered commoning processes between the Luchtbal and Lambrechtshoeken neighborhoods. Relying on the common drawing tactics and a medium of the line, the workshop approach focusses on notions of time, observation, reflection and transparency. These notions are considered in parallel as means and objectives – commoning drawing tactic will be finetuned with specific drawing techniques and drawing surfaces, and the foreseen result is a critical 1:1 model for a construction site curtain. While the accent is moving from the fencing wall to fencing curtain the real polemic is set on the critical dynamics of spatial partition in relation to cultural and micropolitical issues. In difference with fence as a limit in public space, the curtain is considered as private tissue and optional, gradual opening towards the other and different perspective on common space. The objective is to space the lines of division and closure into the potential for observation, reflection and change. Starting from the banal construction site equipment, the workshop provokes nuanced critical attitude and awareness to evolve with time and sensitivity to differences betweenthe local communities.

#5 A place in the world

by Anna Püschel

This workshop draws its energy from the notions of home, trust and connection.

Visual artist Anna Püschel invites students to collaborate with residents to create an intervention in public space that reflects the view of the inhabitants on their area. How can we bring different demographics together, how can they find a voice, and how can these voices be united in a concept that becomes part of the event horizon of the population of Luchtbal? How can we avoid ‘intervention tourism’, what steps do we need to take in order to gain the trust of the locals? How can we overcome social or language barriers, which tools do we need in order to be able to connect with everybody? The goal is to create a piece of art in the public domain that reflects the view of the Luchtbal community on their own neighbourhood. Through collecting different perspectives, we offer an opportunity to shape the living experience of the inhabitants by reflecting their presence in the public space. During this week, we will discover what home means for us, engage in interesting encounters and share an intense labour of creation and reflection. More than thriving towards a perfect result, this workshop is leaning into personal growth and opening doors. How can we share a space for one week and make sure that everyone involved gains something from this experience? Which elements of this workshop will serve the students in their further practice, and which ones will serve the neighbourhood that received us for one week? Participants should have an interest in or an openness towards exploring (a) space, social interaction, ethnographic fieldwork, psychology and visual storytelling.​

#6 No time for Leisure - Nogetiating Public Space in Luchtbal

by Pablo Calderón Salazar

The word negotiation comes from the latin negotiatio, in turn from negotium. Neg- being a negation and -otium referring to leisure: a negotiation is a serious business that has little to do with leisure or free time. But what if we were ro reclaim the practice of negotiation for claiming (public) spaces for/through leisure? How could this be encouraged and supported by design? My workshop will be focused on the identities present in the neighbourhood and how they manifest in public space. Youngsters take ownership of public spaces via their favourite activities (playing football, boxing, dancing or doing slam poetry). How can we support them in 'claiming' the spaces and building up an identity around them?

Days 1 and 2 of the workshop will be dedicated to discovering and mapping the different public spaces in Luchtbal, led by the diverse groups of youngsters from JES. In days 3 and 4 we will design and build the elements (visual and physical infrastructure) representative of each of the groups. Day 5, during the Festival of the Meantime, we will propose a performative action, by which the different groups of youngsters claim and negotiate the spaces between them and other groups of local citizens. The photographic and video documentation of the final performance will be in charge of the students, who will devise it as a piece on its own.

#7 Stories of Luchtbal

by Sofie Dieltjens

A place is defined by the people who live there and the stories that take place/found there.

We want to harvest those stories: detect them, capture them and pass them on. In this way we can experience the identity of the neighbourhood as it is today, bring it to the surface, make it tangible and share it: with the neighbourhood and its residents themselves, who can experience their collective home through these stories, and furthermore with other areas of the city, so that they too can hear and see the neighbourhood as it is, and get to know it on its own terms.

In this workshop we will explore sustainable methods to capture, document and publish these stories, in a structured way.

  1. Under which circumstances are people willing to share their story?
  2. How can we support people in telling their story?
  3. And lastly, in what way can we share these stories, holding space for both the collective and the individual?

How can these stories contribute to the identity of and love for the neighbourhood, both of its own residents as of bystanders, neighbours, passers-by...?

The workshop is given by Studio Dott in collaboration with VRT.

#8 Sounding Place

by Phoebe Brady and Sarah Doheny (Cineál)

In this workshop we will design and create a sonic intervention/interactive art piece that will give a public voice to the participative exercises and discussions of the festival of the meantime.

We will invent playful methods that capture sound and space to consider how the sonic landscape and its hidden rhythms and activities exist and can inform the new and common infrastructures of the over-the-ring project.

Through online platforms we will collaborate directly with JES, the local youth organisation and with the other workshop groups to gather sounds and stories, both ordinary and extraordinary and recreate them through a sonic recording that will be amplified in the local neighbourhood.

As well as composing a piece of sound art, the workshop will also design a sculpture(s) that act as a vessel to amplify the recording into the public ear. They may consider a performative element to the piece, for example a dance, recital, or musical act.

The installation site(s) will be specific and chosen by the students through contextual studies and alternative mapping exercises so that they activate and interact with the local environment. In time, they may also provide a platform for new conversations, festival radio or improvised performance.

As an urban study, we will explore the aural reality of public space, its impact on our shared environments and further, will bring attention to the potential that sound has to change how we understand, design and transform the public realm.

The Construction Site

by Maarten Lambrechts and Hanne Van Gils

Can the construction site become a collective spectacle? Can it nourish a bond between large-scale infrastructure and small-scale communities? Can the excitement of building evoke a positive reaction again? Ever since the Tower of Babylon, participation processes and the construction site seem to share a troubled relationship. But maybe we can try again? And the story has a happy ending?

This workshop will start with a lecture by a contractor who will explain in detail the complex organization of a large construction site. After this introduction, students will engage in a brainstorm session on site with the tutors to discuss how they can hack into the timeline of the construction site (ground work? structure? landscape? other?) and use the available logistics and materials for the benefit of the Luchtbal community.

All types of interventions are possible, from a ground works playground, to a festival during construction holiday, to infinite road block corridors, or an artistic landmark for the New Luchtbal.

The result of the workshop will be a collection of models that showcase the participatory potential of the construction site. Following the theme of the workshop, these models will be (mainly) made from reused and recycled building debris. With the help of local aspiring builders we will design and present these models at the IDW festival.

#10 Common Ground

by Traumnovelle and Barbara Salomé Felgenhauer

Earthworks are the founding blocks of collective actions of our societies, ranging from the narratives behind geoglyphs and excavated temples or troglodyte cities, all the way to large scale infrastructure and mining. On a symbolic level, the digging of foundations guarantees a strong construction, as collective works act as binders for a collectivity.

The capping of the ring road, and in particular the Canal tunnels, will excavate close to 10 million cubic meters of earth. Rather than considering these as pure waste, can they become a resource in the construction of collective landscapes? Can their use generate new landscapes which defy and define new open spaces? How can these landscapes propose forms of collective use or meaning?

Students will investigate modes of use for earth as a raw material for the creation of public spaces in Luchtbal with highly defined collective meaning. They will construct their proposal through creative writing, earth modeling, model photography and graphic design in order to communicate their collective landscapes to the people of Luchtbal.

#11 Undercommoning Design

by Menna Agha

As a part of the belief in the importance of emotional education of the Architect, this project is a praxis based experiment that relies on the notion of the undercommons and Black fugitive planning. The undercomming is a notion first proposed by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney in their 2013 book under the same name. The undercommon disrupts the construct of formality and finds room in the cracks of the system.

Consequently, we will reposition design outside the pounds of institutional impositions, we will be disruption, we will consent to disruption, and we will preserve upheaval. The Design Studio will start its investigation with the question of commoning as a practice of sharing and seek performance of undercommoning as a practice of resistance.

In simpler words, this project will be an exercise in comradery with our site and its people. We will try to generate a design that challenges existing forms of injustice. We will seek the materialization of our design with/on site. This studio will be emotional, poetic, and peculiar; it will require that we surrender to the journey and challenge it simultaneously. We will do some reading, we will chart some drawing, and we will build something.

#12 Tomorrow's thoughts today

by Maximiliaan Royakkers

This workshop will be about the future of Luchtbal. And its present. The way in which we project onto tomorrow, depends on the qualities and concerns of today. As Luchtbal is a territory in transformation, who’s tomorrow is under continuous development and change we can ask ourselves: If yesterday’s tomorrow is not today, how soon is now?

This question urges us to speculate on the values and possibilities we can imagine on the future of a place. Together we will uncover the present spatial condition of Luchtbal and the northern Ringroad and re-act to its (near) future. We will look carefully at how it will change faces in the upcoming years, and pick a moment in the future to address and intervene. What could it look like? And how could it be lived? Will it tell stories? Will we play in it?

In dialogue with local youngsters we will develop speculative scenarios about a moment in the future of a space within the Luchtbal neighbourhood. In group we will develop our speculations into a series of “tableaux vivants”, living pictures, that we will perform in real time in the spaces of our speculations. Somewhere between a 1:1 scale model and a performance lies an opportunity to briefly act the future while being in the present, bridging the gap between both realities. We will question what we want to keep from the present, and what can be added to the current visions on the future.

#13 Inscribing shared memories

by Sammy Baloji

The Middelheim Museum has commissioned a sculpture in the public space of Antwerp, which will be realized in the course of the year 2021. I want to use this as a starting point for exchanges with the participants in my workshop.

The sculpture project will not be central to all the activities to be organized during the workshop. However, it seems to me that the questions inherent to the need to have a sculpture made by an artist of Congolese origin in Antwerp echo to a certain extent the challenges that IDW2021 wishes to take up by organizing the workshops and a festival in the area between Luchtbal and Lambrechtshoeken.

The Luchtbal neighborhood not only has a remarkable history, but it is also home to a diverse population that makes it a difficult urban area. In order to prevent the urban space that connects Luchtbal and Merksem from being a place of permanent tension, a set of social actions are necessary, including the assets of culture, design, architecture and art to make this space inclusive and a place favourable to meeting.

It is not about creating monuments or permanent sculptures.  But, to envisage, during the time of the workshop and the festival, this space as a place of meeting, of inscribing the trajectories and memories of the populations of the two municipalities with the help of design, architecture and art. To create a path of meetings and sharing of memories of the two communes.

#14 Clownscape Like in Landscape

by Micha Goldberg and Martha T'Hooft​ (part of The Land of the Confused)

17 July 1955 was the opening date of the first Disneyland park. What have the architects, urban designers and city developers learned from that event in relation to the public space and especially in relation to parks?

Not so much - maybe. Can the public space and our parks be more amusing?

In the workshop ‘Clownscape Like in Landscape’ we are gonna work in relation to that question. We will be in the park, we will read, we will play, we will draw, we will build, we will eat.


by Sadrie Alves and Stan D’Haene (part of The Land of The Confused)

How can we become accomplice in the making of the ring road in order to reveal its past to itself?If the ring road is the render then who are its ghosts? When roadies are players then what are the rules to the game? You design.

In our workshop graffiti = design = game = infraculture = scores = script. One informs the other. We apply techniques from performance art and graffiti to work with the timespan and performed cultures of our workshop context. Walking around the ring with a carrying-bag, we look for existing cultures. Which cultures exist around the ring road? What are its rituals? What do they look like when scaled up (or down)?

By meeting the multipliers of social, cultural and infrastructural action around the ring road, we may better understand its many meanings.

Workshop = culture = performance.

If culture is performed then who’s our audience? How do we perform as a group? The workshop is a mix of zooming in and out, getting up, collective collecting craze, ring run and celebration.

#16 Descend of the Pleiadians - Catalogue of the non-existent // Near. Far. Wherever you are.

by Benedicte Beldam and Flor Maesen (part of The Land of The Confused)

According to various speculative theories and myths, Pleiadians, also known as The Eldar > Nordic aliens, are fictional humanoid aliens that come from the stellar systems surrounding the Pleiades stars in the 5th dimension of love. They are concerned about Earth and our future.

A word or image found in an encyclopedia is created within its own universe and is a star in a specific constellation of stars. Thus, one word is referring to other words within that same constellation of stars. When enlightened by each other, the stars perform a profound meaning. In dialogue with descendants of the Pleiadians we will embark on a spectral journey, proposing the encyclopedia as an emerging undefined universe.

This masterclass proposes collective reading, mapping, spectrialitiy, unexpected encounters, public space actions and creation. It encourages unrealistic worldviews and a blur between fantasy and physicality, - the birthplace of art. We create a narrative; rigging images, words, drawings onto each other, possibly resulting in an encyclopedia. Each work refers to other works created in the workshop, forming an acausal constellation as that of the Pleiadians.

#17 We make it together

by Dirk Vertongen (Hou't Hart)

Collaboration connects. Across language and culture and gender. In this way we get to know each other, in a different way than we are used to. We can let unknown talents float to the surface and we come home more.

What we need is not so much our thinking mind but our gut feeling and heart full of eagerness to take it on.

We build with recycled wood because we believe that everything is already here. There is certainly always enough wood available, people rarely realize what treasures they still have at home. But this also applies to yourself: you are completely fine as you are, the neighborhood has all the know-how in house – we have everything as a group of people working together. Do we want to see this?

By participating you also commit to really step into the project and to give your all!We also build on site so that we minimize the transport and everyone can watch.We determine together what we build: a construction that the neighborhood still will enjoy once it’s there. That is why we also communicate with the neighborhood to find out what makes sense.

Hou’t Hart facilitates, provides the tools and makes sure it’s safe.

#18 New constellations - a 200 meter long spatial installation

by rotative studio (Alexandra Sonnemans and Caterina Viguera)

“By re-interpreting what you come across, as a designer, to be able to give a new perspective on the existing and to make visible what could be, while already using, doing, acting, performing - and therefore including others.”

​The workshop takes an existing situation as its starting point: the ground floor space of one of the Langblokken in Luchtbal. The Langblokken are mainly striking because of their extensive length of approx. 200 meters and their ‘open’ ground floor space. This space – a long, narrow, covered corridor surrounded by two almost infinite rows of robust columns that remind of the classical colonnade typology - is ambiguous. There is no hard boundary that divides private from public, inside from outside; the threshold is almost invisible. Although this space is permeable and strongly connected to the public space, its rigidity and openness doesn’t invite to stay and perform other activities. Once designed as a continuous public space ‘for all’, it never fulfilled its original intentions and remains without any clear function, except for the entrances to the apartments, storage of bikes and shelter from the weather.

The aim of the workshop is to temporary alter the perception and the scale of this ground floor space of one of the Langblokken, by creating new constellations between the existing architectural elements. These new constellations will visually and spatially compress and/or extend the space and generate new rhythms within the ground floor and its surroundings, stretching even further than the boundaries of the existing building. Opening up new ephemeral and imaginary spaces and trajectories can give the space another value and meaning, and evoke new uses.

We will do this by, literally, ‘drawing on-site’, a physical, performative act to interact on-site, in the scale 1:1, while tracing and marking new spatial relationships. Spatial drawings and existing context relate to each other: this spatial interweaving creates a layered image, which is to be experienced while moving through the space. New surfaces, lines and colours rearrange in space to form new compositions.

In order to work on the whole length of the ground floor space, we will divide it in four or five zones, each zone to be appropriated by a team of students and residents, leading ultimately to a large-scale, 200 meters site-specific, collective work/installation.

1. Research and visit on-site: To identify existing elements, to understand the context and scale, and to document and create the base for research, drawing and collages. React on existing rhythms - abstraction: recognisable shapes in an abstract language: focus on specific details in the elements, such as lines and textures.

“The real scale 1:1 allows for a more physical, real-time and in the moment experience of the given information and at at the same time, offers space for interpretation.”

2. Research, drawings and performances

Performance 1: React on the existing elements of the ground floor (e.g. the columns, the ceiling and the apartment cores) and on surrounding elements, and trace new connections between them. For instance: the columns, archetypical architectural elements, can be used as markings or corners for new spatial connections.

*The students and locals will translate the lines of the drawings into real materials (such as wires, textiles, tape, mesh, objects, columns, walls), depending on the thickness of the line, the transparency, the direction (horizontal, vertical, upwards, suspended), the compression or extension.

Performance 2: Prepare different acts in the spatial installation, together with locals, for the opening of the festival of the Meantime.