Architecture in the Making
Architecture as a Making Discipline
and Material Practice

Architecture's Provoking Instrumentality

Liekens, Johan

Project Contact:
Project Type: Doctorate
Project Period: 201004 - 201512


Architecture’s Provoking Instrumentality investigates the potential of architecture as a trigger to thought. Through the embodying experience of architectural artefacts, the relation between people and world can be questioned, brought sensibly into negotiation. Negotiation as a materially installed process becomes the fundament of this research: it disturbs and resists established and prescribing ways of thinking and acting within the world, venturing from what is considered to be known to the realm of possibilities. Architecture thus conceived goes beyond narrow definitions of itself, beyond the aesthetic, the functional and the closed concept. Not being smooth, adaptive and affirmative, it is edgy, frictionous and critical. Not being problem-solving, it problematizes: architecture as a complicating machine enabeling us to think the world anew. The research is project driven: it ventures from conceived and built architectural experiments, inside and outside an educational context, to establish a broader critical questioning design attitude, inducing the dynamics of negotiation.


Johan Liekens holds a MD in Architecture from the Ghent Sint-Lucas Department of Architecture, with a thesis in an architectural anthropological context. Besides being part of an architectural practice STUDIOLO architectuur, where architecture spanning the scales from space to detail is designed and when possible made, he is a teacher in the think!studio’s and researchstudio’s in Interiorarchitecture at the Ghent and Brussels Sint-Lucas Department of Architecture. He undertakes a PhD ‘Research By Design’ at the Chalmers School of Architecture in Gothenburg and the Sint-Lucas Department of Architecture (promoter: Prof. Dr. Fredrik Nilsson). His doctoral research is entitled ‘Architecture’s Provoking Instrumentamlity’ and focuses on the critical potential of architecture to unfold through its embodying materiality negotiation and acts of thought. Architecture as an agent provoking us to critically think the world anew.


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