Building in a Transforming Society: Contractors, Workers and the Belgian Post-War Construction Industry (1944-1985)

Promotors: Inge Bertels, Lara Schrijver

Funder: BOF UAntwerpen

This research project studies the evolution of medium and large post-war construction sites in an international comparative perspective. By doing so, the project aims to shift away from the traditional architectural historical research and critique, which focuses on the architectural design and the built result, monofunctional studies on materials or experts in the field. By focusing on the building process, an integrated social and cultural approach is the point of departure. This cultural approach aims to demonstrate how different actors in the field collaborated (or not) and how besides designs, also words, hands and tools constructed our built environment. By doing so, the project not only answers the recurrent contemporary need to understand the evolution of our architectural practice, but also fills a gap in the current international debate within the field of construction history. Moreover, the construction site as a locus for theoretical reflection focuses the developing discourse on architecture as material culture through the lens of its practices.

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See Jelle's personal page for more information, contact links and publications!