#1 Office for Phantasmatic Displacements

by Franziska Hederer and Max Höfler
room F1.7

Design is some sort of a technique to organize things and processes in an efficient and smooth way. In order to create just a beautiful surface it often ignores crucial questions on social and environmental impacts. With our approach we directly focus on these questions using what we call phantasmatic displacements as a tool, which opens up discontinuities, controversies and spaces of reflexion in public sphere. In order to architecture and questions of urban planning it means to create a site-specific fiction which reacts subversive on the surrounding context.

For our workshop we use phantasmatic displacements in the form of construction sign building-blackboards, which have to be designed by the students. The aim is to generate a phantasma which transforms common patterns of perception, creates areas of involvement and penetrates social conditions. Installing these construction sign building-blackboards on selected places in the city the students have to promote their architectural vision to the passerby. By performative interactions they generate together with the passerby a shifted perspective on the symbolic order of the city. So these sitespecific fictions have the potential to induce unexpected shifts in everyday life.

#2 A Room Displaced

by Michel Melenhorst and Eric de Leeuw
room H2.7

To understand the fundamental element of (a) space, we reduce it to its (arbitrary) elementary, essential characteristics and then displace it from its original context. In the reduction and displacement we grasp, know and feel a space.

Three steps

  1. The displacement starts through the isolation and mimesis of an interior space. A new space is created when we get to the essential qualities of a space and recreate it with minimised means and elements. How to decide and why? What´s a window when what´s behind it, is unknown, is it essential? Do you replace it? And how does this affect the space?
  2. The space is loose from its context and will be (dis)placed in a new ´social´ spatial context in the public domain. What techniques do you use in defining it´s new location: Drawing, 1:1 test trial and error? Can you deduce directions from the spatial intrinsic values of the space?
  3. In a new context the space will be adapted to a point that is regathers the same spatial qualities as it had before step 1 .

To describe, evaluate and valuate these steps we will use the terminology as developed by architect Hans van der Laan: Spatial cell, court and domain.

Central and permanent to our spatial experiences is our body; the one constant factor in all our encounters in changing contexts. Therefore, the workshops start with an exercise in displacement of the body using basic Aikido techniques.

#3 Positive displacement experiences

by Mathijs Provoost
room H2.5

When people are displaced, they experience a lack of something. What if we focus our design processes more on the experiential level than the practical and material needs of people? Starting by focusing on happiness? How can we design for these positive experiences when people live in displacement? Could this actually lead them in not feeling displaced anymore and make them feel less alienated estranged or deprived from others/places/belongings? How can this even be celebrated or being empowering to people?

Starting off with storytelling about displacement we will explore different scenarios related to displacement and possible positive experiences involved. Within these stories we focus on meaningful experiences that are engaging rather than starting from technologies. These scenarios will help us to build simple prototypes for different experiments throughout the week. The findings help us shape and reframe the scenarios and iterate and tweak the prototypes. This process is done to get validations on an experiential level, so what positive experiences can be involved in displacement.


by Gro Rødne and Nina K. Haarsaker
room F1.9

By making performative and architectural interventions in the city, we will explore ways of inviting. We will make places to meet, which forces us to interact differently. We will invite the students to play and will prepare a set of game rules, which aims to challenge conventional thinking and prevailing design habits (‘design fixations’ or ‘Einstellung effects’), in order to reveal new possibilities for how to make architecture.

The rules could be:

  • Invite to communicate but not by talking or listening
  • To see but not to be seen

The students will work in teams, on themes concerning word pairs like:

When do we roll out the red carpet and when do we set up barbed wire fences?

The themes are to be translated into architectural interventions. We will use the bricolage as a technique through which we combine found objects and some prepared materials.The students should bring their own props. A prop could be a nice, weird or inspiring thing. Something that is alien in the city, perhaps, or a thing that represents a different country or culture, a thing that is available in huge amounts. Something beautiful or ugly… Who decides? What is inappropriate, weird or strange?

In this workshop, we will cherish the strange things that tickle the eyes.

#5 The ambiguity of IN-BETWEEN

by Hedvig Skjerdingstad and Karoline Jacobsen Sørum
room F1.6

The space of in-between possesses an enigmatic dimension of uncertainty. When being in-between, on the move from ‘here’ to ‘there’, we inhabit a (non-) place of constantly changing conditions - spaces are simultaneously connected and separated, created and dissolved. Through constant negotiation, spaces of transition - psychological as well as physical - bridge the past with the present, the perceptual reality with the conceptual, our ‘inside’ with our ‘outside’.

In the workshop we will explore the possibilities and barriers of in-between conditions, and investigate spatial and temporal movements. By giving form to the in-between, we will activate our memory and imagination and encourage an openness towards the strange and unexpected. We will combine personal expressions with collective thoughts, and alternately work with an intuitive approach and analytical reflections. Throughout the week we will search for spatial ‘interruptions’ and gaps, and demonstrate an alternative attitude towards built space.


by Charlotte Truwant and Dries Rodet
room F1.12

If we consider displacement as being removed from our sense of place, one could say that thinking about displacement cannot happen without reflecting on the notion of place and as a consequence of space. To better understand this relationship, it helps to reinterpret the definition of space and place. The origin of space, the latin spatium and extensio, could be translated as a distance between points, a stretch of time, an extent, or a room1. It reveals the relationship of space to void. Space is a reflection of an architectural idea, without answering functional or technical constraints. Space is abstract, homogeneous, regular, uniform and universal. Those conditions have been reproduced in a generic process of modern urbanization, dissolving the historic city in an endless open and universal space. This bred a resistance against the predicament of displacement, and argued for the importance of place2.

The origin of place comes from the Greek topos and chora. Chora is the idea of an abstract place as a locus of meaning, memory and identity. In this sense place as opposed to space has a character, a nature and is therefor qualitative3. Topos can be defined in relation to a limit or a surface. It is associated to a space/location.
The idea of the limit or the boundary is especially relevant in architecture, because it mediates the relationship between inside and outside, space and place, ascribing a meaning to the elements that define the threshold4.

Confronted with the issue of displacement, the threshold could become the pre-condition of dwelling giving form to the relationship between the abstract and the specific, where space and place are considered together.
This workshop will focus on thresholds, a topography of our contemporary condition. Topography as the detailed description of a place.

The proposed workshop emerges from the 2 concepts: space & place, and will try to describe by design diverse forms of thresholds.  The starting point of the workshop will be a list of spatial ideas, for example: covering, center, proportion, view, oasis, vastness, fissure, machine. This given will be the underlying theme of their topography. The student will pick one of these spatial ideas and confront it with a context, for example: a slope, suburban, infrastructure, no man’s land, dense fabric, city outskirt, bridge...
The students will have to experiment through the use of models with the juxtaposition, overlay, superimposition, ... of concepts and conditions to create a topography. The result of the workshop will be a set of triptychs, illustrating the different possible ideas around the threshold.

1 space. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/space (accessed: October 20, 2016).
2 Kenneth Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points for an architecture of resistance”, in “Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture.” Seattle: Bay Press, 1983
3 Jeff Malpas, “Thinking Topographically: Place, Space, and Geography”
4 Building Dwelling Thinking by Martin Heidegger from Poetry, Language, Thought, translated by Albert Hofstadter, Harper Colophon Books, New York, 1971.

#7 Rinse & repeat

by Yalenka Mariën
room F1.4

In this 5-day design incubator we will tackle the challenge of designing services for refugees in Belgium. The problematic is obvious and ever so present, but can design really impact such a daunting task? This workshop drives ideation, trying to find out how far we can go.

Each day we will follow the same four steps, highlighting a different theme. In the morning, we’ll get inspired by the theme of that day. Next we’ll explore the theme by implementing a series of design thinking and doing exercises focused on radically different concepts. In the afternoon, small teams will own an idea and use rapid prototyping to make it come to life, testing it out in the real world. All teams share their experiment at the end of the day before we’ll go home, rinse our minds and repeat the same steps the next day.

At the end of the week, we can showcase a diary using all the video material that has been collected throughout the week. It will showcase what you as a creative can achieve in just one day, when you are given the opportunity to create without boundaries.

#8 The Good Home

by Alexandra Deschamps Sonsino and Dries De Roeck
room K1.18

For this workshop, we invite students of University of Antwerp to explore and respond to cross-generational challenges of modern home living whether that is because people are too close or too far.

Examples of these challenges are included here:






Some themes that students may choose to respond to:

  • How does an ageing population relate to space and real estate?
  • How is healthcare integrated into home life and habits environment beyond elderly ‘surveillance’?
  • What can we learn from different cultures and family structures?
  • How do people’s changing attachments to their belongings change across generations with more digital crutches and tools?
  • How does the idea of heirloom change when family members live more and more apart?

The expected outcome of this workshop are conceptual products, services or interactions which we hope to showcase in a public setting open to the broader community.

Depending on the student’s skills or interest, this can result in scale models, prototypes, video’s or posters.

#9 Storytelling 1o1 (the "crash course")

by Stefano Mirti and Fosca Salvi
room H1.8a

Storytelling 1o1 is a journey into the world of storytelling through 101 exercises started October 3rd, 2016 (and finishing in March 2017).

What we are going to do during Re-Act by Design is concentrate the main aspects of the whole course’s into a one-week (very) intense workshop, with a special focus on the topic of displacement.

The students, during the workshop, will learn how to work within the “digital community” frame. How does a digital community work? What are the roles, the activities, the challenges and the tricks to run it in a proper way? In order to learn all these various things, the workshop participants will have to be part of the community itself.

To learn how to build your characters, locations and storylines trying to express the concept of displacement using Instagram and (its related) digital tools.

By the end of the week the students will have defined a framework to follow in order to tell their collaborative story. Each student’s story will converge into the main story which will continue to exist and develop also once the workshop is finished.

Useful links

#10 A new grammar of ornament

by Jef Driesen, Camiel Van Noten and David Schmidt
room H1.8b

Today’s globalized being together heralds the end of the idea of fixed and singular identities. We reject the idea that the blurring of cultural borders results in a bland blend. Architecture should not be deprived from ornament and motives to act as a neutral canvas for today’s multi-faced urban life. Can our age of displacement give rise to a new formal language, which doesn’t shy, but embraces the richness of today’s cultural multiplicity?

We draw inspiration from early 20th century eclecticism, where decorative motives and differing cultural styles were combined to create something new and original. Building upon a long-standing tradition of pattern design as a means for domestic place making, this cross disciplinary workshop investigates the possibility of a contemporary grammar of ornament. Through an associative and referential process students will combine, scale, offset and eventually repeat gathered imagery to create a series of patterns.

Bird & Pomegranate Wallpaper, W. Morris, 1868

In the 19th century William Morris began designing wallpaper with complex rhythms and movement, which seemed to capture the randomness of nature. By rejecting the mechanisation of the industrial revolution, his wallpapers symbolise the revival of traditional handicrafts and a return to a simpler way of life.

The Brazil pattern on linen, Josef Frank, 1943

Josef Frank reinterpreted an eclectic mix of historic and exotic influences in the fabrics and wallpapers he designed. The patterns feature surreal organic forms in vibrant colours and read as a protest against the standardization of Modernism.

Golden Age, Ai Weiwei, 2015

Golden Age is a response to widespread government surveillance programs, the limitations imposed by censorship, and the proliferation of social media and free exchange of information despite such restrictions.


by Mariano Dallago and Guido Dallago
room F1.14

The language of photography is the displacement or the ability to move people and places through time and space. But it is also a chance to see these places in different ways by changing the shooting and printing techniques. “The suitcase photographer” will contain a series of basic objects with which it will be possible to build and use several techniques about photography and printing. The idea will be to choose a part of landscape, photographed using different techniques, and to describe it in different ways. Students will be able to choose the way they prefer to tell the story of the chosen scenery. They can also take pictures with their digital cameras or phones, and reassemble the landscape in post-production or in prints, for example by using “Pogo Polaroid” or “impossible project” films with a minilab that prints directly from the phone. At the end of the workshop, we’ll be able to rebuild the landscape on a wall with several pictures portraying the same place in various ways. The various techniques of shooting, in addition to traditional photography, will be: The construction of optical chambers and pinhole-cameras with different formats and bores. At the same time the printing techniques could be cyanotype, the laptopgrafia, the traditional prints photocopies and pogo or impossible project films.

#12 Change needed

by Grainne Hassett
room F1.2

This workshop will pose a question about the change needed in architectural practice and research globally within the context of the mass displacement of people and culture.

The workshop will seek to situate your:

  • questions of migration
  • questions of climate justice
  • question of the appropriate vantage point/gaze/benchmarks
  • question of the construct of architectural theory/prototypes/history and precedents
  • questions of rapid apparently unplanned urbanisation and mega cities
  • questions of rapid apparently planned urbanisation and mega cities
  • the practices of propaganda, photography and architectural publication
  • the scope of architectural design in practice – for whom?
  • the question of ethical responsibility
  • the purpose of architecture
  • the purpose and value of craft
  • the question of what is good architectural detail
  • the economic cost of architectural meaning
  • the impact of architectural meaning
  • cheap building, labour conditions, the relationship of architecture to capital
  • the relationship of materials and people to capital
  • the need for authority and the question of agency and legitimacy
  • are we any use to the world?

You are asked to critically examine, research, understand and draw out the strands of conditions underlying architectural practice in the world. You will be exposed to critical thinkers and texts in these areas and you will situate a critical response in your works and projects. Your sites will primarily be sites where architects are not found. Your contexts will be contexts in need of solutions.

#13 Make value from moving people!

by Maxime Szyf and Pieter Martin
room H1.11

Benefits from displacement

Making value from moving people can be read in different ways and this exploration is the interesting process which is the starting for the workshop. Every product or service can only exist through a good business model; out of this given we also see that innovation is happening more regularly in business models and that products change very little.

On the other hand we see products which are holistic and create new markets, emotions and benefits but use old business models. To combine this - with the fact that large groups of people are in displacement (free will or forced) - we would like to think about connecting these 3 givens and look how to visioneer them.

Create a new product or product-service combination that generates an added value for or by the people in displacement.

Optional starting points:

  • When it rains, it pours: creating solutions for negatives during displacement
  • Integration through engagement; getting into a new social comfort zone.
  • A state for the state-less: not having documents do not make non-existing.
  • A mobile product/service solution: facilitate displacement for all stakeholders.
  • The ventilator: sharing stress means reducing it.
  • Active on the move: solutions for the mobile/displaced professional
  • Health and hygiene: education, monitoring and control.
  • ...

#14 "Home-less is more" - Origami for temporary habitat

by Dewi Brunet
room F1.5

With a currently estimated 65 million displaced people in the world (UN Refugee Agency, 2016), the first generation of climatic refugees, and a wide array of major crises showing no signs of abating, our societies are under great pressure to provide temporary shelter for entire populations on the move.

Where our building environment has been designed for stable, permanent and solid structures, the need for fast, cheap and transportable shelter is an issue worthy of being addressed in our day and age. The need for a roof over our head cannot be underestimated. A shelter, a home, not only satisfies the basic need for a secure place to live but also brings space for intimacy and hope.

How can the ancestral art of origami bring a new and fresh perspective in designing temporary shelters?

Paper folding offers new dynamics to address the growing displacement issue. Paper is cheap, renewable, and can be found anywhere. Folding as a construction method is a quick way to design structures that can be rapidly deployable and adapted to particular needs.

What are the homely needs of placeless people? What materials are best suited for folding cheap and lightweight structures? How will our “permanent architecture” adapt to these transportable and temporary shelters? How can one propose an upgraded design based on existing ones?


#15 Archomunication

by Daniel Modol and Pati Nuñez
room H1.12

Richard Sennett says that public space is a place that traditionally had been defined from its physical location and therefore, disquisitions on space have been linked to cities. Today, information technologies have radically altered the sense of place: now the public space is both the cyberspace and the physical place.

If the sense of place has evolved from the physical to the virtual, then architecture will emerge on different platforms such as video games. We are witnessing therefore a constant relocation of the physical reality of the city and the emergence of new scenarios of relationship between people. Reality and fiction, physical and virtual... the current concepts that are confused in the media.

We can state that the present city is largely the one we perceive through the media. Everyone lives and steps on certain part, but also have an unlived perception of the globalism or specific parts that have never visited. We want to explore whether the design and construction of communication of the city represents today a new architecture of the XXI century.

With his radio drama, War of the Worlds, Orson Welles caused a mass panic in half the country for communicating a false reality that many perceived as true. Today, the multiplicity of ways in which we receive information do not allow us contrast their authenticity.