Post-war History of Construction and Architecture - Rika Devos

1st semester, 4 ECTS

This is an advanced history course which will expand on current tendencies, concepts and methods prevalent in the disciplines dealing with modern construction and architecture in the period 1940-1980. The course invites students to look also beyond the facts and consider critically disciplinary, socio-economic and political contexts, as well as methodological choices in the writing of recent histories. Through guest lectures, discussion, writing and reading, the course introduces students to research in these disciplines.

Ex-cathedra lectures offer both in-depth thematic analyses and general insights in relevant historical facts and actors in the fields of post-war construction and architecture, their complex relations, impact and interrelated historiographies. The fields are confronted through a focus on the broad and decisive changes instigated by the introduction of new technologies and methods in building in the period 1940-1980. A selection of these new post-war technological 'tools' will be treated in detail, confronting students with the interweaving of fields of knowledge: prefabrication, plastics, lightweight building (tensegrity, 3D frames, tensile structures), modern wood, new requirements in comfort, etc.

Students unfamiliar with the history of pre-war western modernism in architecture are required to read additional (selected) texts at the start of the course.

Theory of Architecture and Urbanism - Ahmed Z. Khan

1st semester, 4 ECTS

With the ambition of bridging the educational trajectories of architectural sciences, urbanism and design, this advanced course in the theory of architecture and urbanism aims to develop the capacity of students for critical reflections and integrative design thinking in order to comprehend the multi-scalar complexity of our built environment, and critically conceive and appraise / reflect upon future transformations (sustainable architectural and urban projects). In addition to a synthetic overview of the evolution and current state of ‘theory’, architectural ideas and urbanistic concepts underlying the spatial articulations, visions and models of the ‘Cities of the Future’ (COF, a selected set) are presented and explained in a thematic way. A particular focus is given in the course to contemporary themes (such as, sustainability, research by design, digitalization, utopianism, urbanisms, spatial quality, critical regionalism, place-making, etc.) and the link between theory and practice. Ex-cathedra lecture presentations and a selected set of key texts on these aspects are provided and discussed in the class (theory seminars). The course places a particular emphasis on taking stock of the recent proliferating efforts at imagining the future of Brussels and its sustainable regional development plan.

Architectural and Construction History - Jelena Dobbels

2nd semester, 4 ECTS

The course aims to give the students insight into the complexity and diversity of architectural production within a broader Western socio-cultural, economic and political context. The focus is on the history of architecture from the classical period until the industrial revoluton. The course starts from the specific interest of the Department of Architectural Engineering, in particular the interest in the relationship between building structures and technological developments. The lectures question the relationship between architectural knowledge, its materialization and its position within a broader social culture. Moreover, specifc reseach methodologies and practices in architectural and construction history are analysed.