OMG! Van God Los

This ADO approaches design not as an aim in itself but as a form of spatial agency that supports and strengthens particular cultural, physical or social dynamics. Our goal is to tackle socio-cultural challenges through a hybrid approach at the intersection of research, design and action.

This studio develops strategies with regards to the future use of the ever increasing number of (Christian) parish churches that are currently being withdrawn from service. Investigating the socially and spatially structuring capacity of this religious infrastructure will be done through a ‘lab setting’ fostering real-life experiments and interaction with real stakeholders. Moreover, the studio will build upon the output of a dedicated research seminar (ELG2 Onderzoeksseminarie architectuurgeschiedenis, B-KUL-A34384) which forms the conceptual core of this AOB and benefit from the research and design practice of the team of tutors that are all actively involved in the issue of repurposing (religious) built heritage. Thus, this studio offers an environment where, next to developing their creative capacity and research skills, students will be encouraged to take a well-founded stance in a pressing societal issue and express their views through design.

The studio will work on the basis of ‘real life’ case studies; the aim is to develop a substantiated vision on the potential of each case and maximize it through design. As output of this studio, we expect architectural designs of the highest standard that reinforce the particular social and spatial dynamics that characterize each case. We intend to organize an in-situ exhibit at the end of each run of this studio. For example, in 2016-17, the final jury took the form of an exhibit in the church of Sint-Anna in Ghent (for images click here).


Design studio: Sven Sterken, Karen Kesteloot, Nicole Fröhlich

Consultancy: Tom Callebaut, Roel De Ridder, Elise Schillebeeckx


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