Title: Investigating Urban Design Workshops in Flanders: Researching Designerly Research (Een verkenning van stedenbouwkundige ontwerpworkshops in Vlaanderen: ontwerpend onderzoek onderzocht)
Other Titles: Investigating Urban Design Workshops in Flanders: Researching Designerly Research
Authors: Cox, Veerle; S0214788
Issue Date: 19-Mar-2014
Abstract: During the 1990s, urban design in Flanders was premised upon a fundamental rethinking of the discipline. As elsewhere in Europe its cause could be found in the massive disuse of urban and industrial infrastructure from the nineteenth century such as slaughterhouses, barracks, railway yards and factories that became redundant in the post-industrial age. Models for expansion and modernist master plans appeared unsuitable to initiate the transformation of these brownfields. An in-depth exploration of these sites was required and urban design proved to be an interesting instrument of exploration and prospection that replaced previous modernist norms, programmatic formulas and guidelines. The pioneering urban project of the 1990s introduced a renewed interpretation of design research, as design became a research strategy and a way of conducting research.There is however still a lot of confusion and controversy over the nature of design research. In Flanders several conferences and seminars have recently been organized by different schools of architecture. Outside academia, various urban design experiments such as the Dutch “AIR manifestations”, the French “arc en rëve” and “marchés de définition”, or the Viennese seminars on architecture serve as laboratories for exploring pressing but ill-defined urban design issues, and projecting visions for the future in a co-productive manner by involving a wide audience in the urban debate. This dissertation investigates one particular initiative: the RUA workshops which are organized since 2002 by the Research Unit Urbanism & Architecture at the University of Leuven. Through action research, namely by co-organizing and actively taking part in four urban design workshops, the research investigates the contribution of designerly research within participatory urban design practices. Approaches for more inclusive design processes are being looked for, and how design and participation could go hand in hand or even beyond their mutual scopes. The workshops test the role of designerly research as a powerful interactive tool for collective decision-making on the spatial organization and construction of places. By emphasizing involvement of different types of users and stakeholders, designerly research may strengthen its role as a principal method used by society to envision how we want to live in the future.
ISBN: 978-94-6018-809-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Architecture and Design (+)

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