FULL-TIME SCHOLARSHIP FOR PHD PROJECT ‘RETHINKING THE LIVING UNIT IN CHANGING LABOUR CONDITIONS – MODELS OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING’
The Department of Architecture is responsible for the research on Architecture, Interior Architecture, Urbanism and Spatial Planning at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences (Leuven) and the Faculty of Architecture (campuses Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent). The department is an international expertise centre in these domains and houses some 140 (international) PhD-students. http://www.architectuur.kuleuven.be.
The Faculty of Architecture groups the academic master programmes in Architecture (Interior Architecture, Architecture, Urbanism and Spatial Planning) of the campuses Sint-Lucas Brussels/Ghent. The faculty is responsible for the teaching activities. http://www.arch.kuleuven.be.
The research group Architecture, Interiority, Inhabitation (A2I) interrogates the interaction between architecture as a discipline, built spaces as constructs and the experience of people inhabiting these spaces. It studies architecture and interior architecture as contemporary practices and as fields of historical and theoretical reflection. The point of departure is a profound interest in public, common and private spaces, in the objects that inhabit them and in the way both (interior) architects and users contribute to their cultural, social or political meaning. Theoretical questionings dealing with notions such as modernity, interiority, power, gender and colonialism are guiding the research within this group. As these topics encompass a diverse range of spatial practices, histories and theories, the research group takes a multidisciplinary approach, building on knowledge in the field of history and theory of architecture and interior architecture, in the field of design studies and design history, the ethnographic study of public-private space and material culture.
By 2030, in Flanders, about 300.000 new residential units need to be built in order to meet the demands of a changing demographic condition such as the rising population, or the increased number of single inhabitants. Under these changing conditions, it becomes crucial to ask what kind of housing should be built and how to address the needs of social groups that are excluded by the rationalityof the current housing market. In this regard, housing affordability is an important tool which aims at lowering the financial threshold to become an owner, expanding therefore the demographic of potential home-buyers. Although affordable housing is associated with ‘social housing’, which is seen as an answer for especially disadvantaged groups, the current research differs significantly in that it aims at exploring ideas and solutions directed at those increasing social groups that do not qualify for social housing but that, due to the recent economic crisis and the changing conditions of labour, are unable to access the current real-estate market. The rising number of independent workers and of precarious conditions of labour, and the erosion of the middle-classes clearly demand the development of new ideas on domestic space. Domestic space, instead of being rigidly compartmentalised into predetermined social organisation forms, must become more flexible, adjustable to the fluctuating necessities of its inhabitants, and perhaps more importantly, economically accessible. The research focuses especially on affordability by rethinking the living unit both technically and spatially, by redesigning its cost (and therefore its price) and its model of ownership.
The research will look at innovative spatial, technical and financial solutions that have been deployed to make housing more affordable. The research will be based on the thorough exploration of recent European models of affordability and on the construction of a ‘manual’ of intervention aiming at framing technical solutions and architectural ideas that would target the demands and conditions of what are considered potential sites in Flanders for affordable housing, such as peri-urban territories, urban vacancies, (infrastructural) leftovers and brownfields.
We are looking for an outstanding candidate who is passionate about architecture and research, designing and writing. The candidate has obtained a Master degree in Architecture, Engineering Sciences: Architecture, or equivalent. The candidate graduated cum laude or has distinguished him- or herself in a similar way during his or her academic career or professional life.
The candidate shows a strong interest in conducting academic research in the field of architecture. The candidate is expected to:
- show a clear interest in the research subject, based on previous teaching experience, work experience and/or research experience;
- possess both drawing and writing skills as revealed through academic and/or professional projects, research by design projects, and texts;
- show a pro-active attitude and research integrity;
- be fluent in English and possess excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
- be willing to support teaching activities in the educational programmes of architecture;
- write scientific publications;
- to present research results at international conferences and in international (peer reviewed) journals.
We are offering a doctoral fellowship (100%) for one year, extendable up to four years upon positive evaluation by the doctoral supervisory committee, with the aim of obtaining a PhD degree in Architecture (Faculty of Architecture) within four years.
• Portfolio of works (if available)
• Writing samples
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Martino Tattara, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.