ECEU Good Practice Award
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University of Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Campus Sint Lucas Brussels

Website - http://www.arch.kuleuven.be

The Sint-Lucas School of Architecture is the most renowned school for Architecture in Belgium. Its uniqueness stems from the combination of a long and rich tradition with a high reputation in architectural and design education. The architectural discourse in Belgium is dominated at large by Sint-Lucas alumni, subsequently, a large number of the leading Belgian architects, urbanists, and researchers, are faculty members at Sint-Lucas.

The Sint-Lucas School of Architecture has two campuses, one in Brussels (since 1887) and one in Ghent (since 1862). Ghent, a historic city has the largest student population in Belgium. Brussels is a cosmopolitan metropolis, capital of Belgium and - virtually - of Europe, decision centre of many international firms and host to a dense concentration of international organizations and foreign representations. Both cities harbor important educational and cultural institutions.

Central to all programs is the creative act of designing. Our stance is that the competence of good design is achieved through the permanent interaction and mutual cross-fertilization of research and design.

The obvious social impact of spatial design imposes the highest quality requirements on its training. Sint-Lucas School of Architecture therefore educates designers in a spirit of critical reflection and personal responsibility. Students question their limits and the limits of the discipline. Teaching and research are organized in a spirit of artistic and intellectual openness, of tolerance and inclusion. The Sint-Lucas School of Architecture is an international, dynamic, learning environment that not only responds to society's ever-changing demands but also anticipates to its future challenges. By means of design projects, research, exhibitions, publications, conferences, etc., the school actively participates in the academic debate on issues of spatial design.

Sint-Lucas school of Architecture offers the following degree programs:
Bachelor programs; Architecture (academic, 6 semesters, 180 ECTS-credits), Interior Architecture (academic, 6 semesters, 180 ECTS-credits), Interior Design (professional, 6 semesters, 180 ECTS-credits)

Master programs; Architecture (Dutch, academic, 4 semesters, 120 ECTS-credits). Accreditation upon completion: Register of Architects, Architecture, International Master (full English program, academic, 4 semesters, 120 ECTS-credits). Accreditation upon completion: Register of Architects. Interior Architecture (academic, 2 semesters, 60 ECTS-credits). Accreditation upon completion: Register of Interior Architects. Urban Design & Spatial Planning (academic, 4 semesters, 120 ECTS-credits). Accreditation upon completion: Union of Urban Planners.

Research Training; In view of the recent increase in PhD research and applications, and more specifically artistic research, since 2007, a special educational program was introduced; 'RTS' (Research Training Sessions) for academic personnel and external academic staff.

The RTS program is run in collaboration with experts from Carnegie Mellon University, RMIT School of Architecture + Design, Melbourne, Sheffield Hallam University, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, University of Lincoln, Oslo School of Architecture & Design, School of Industrial Design - University of Montreal, Bartlett School of Architecture, Konstfack University College of Art, Craft and Design, & Royal Institute of Technology - Stockholm, University of Kassel - Germany, Chalmers University of Technology- Goteborg and the Istanbul Technical University - Istanbul.

Professional Training
Apart from a variety of specialized course for professionals, the school recently introduced a training program for professionals and administrators, 'PYBLIK' in collaboration with the architecture school of 'La Cambre' in Brussels, raising awareness on the (public) quality of good design in the wider field of planners, sociologist, decision-makers and so forth.

Facts & Figures
Student population: the Department of Architecture encompasses approximately 1700 students, of which around 50%-50% female/male with a growing number of international students, mainly concentrated within the Master of Architecture. The School of Architecture employs 231 staff members (199 are teaching staff and 32 are administrative staff), or the equivalent of 122 full time staff.

Administrative Support & Language Programs
Though relative in view of its number of students, each year incoming foreign students and researchers make up about half of all MA1 students at campus Brussels. In addition many faculty exchanges take place every academic year. Within this context, the international office, coordinated by Ms. Nele DEMEYERE has acquired an efficient routine and know-how to guide incoming students, faculty and researchers arriving at W&K. All administrative staff (both at the international office and all other administrative units) is fluent in English. Special effort shall be made to assists incoming students with housing facilities where W&K can now make use of improved conditions due to integration of the W&K departments into the University of Louvain association.
Incoming AUSMIP+ mobility shall be housed at facilities run by the Brussels Organization 'Quartier Latin', offerering special short or long term housing units to foreign researchers. In case of shorter stays (faculty) the W&K shall also arrange stays through the Flemish Community in Brussels, which runs a special house for academic visitors in Brussels.
All incoming researchers shall be eligible for support by the 'SOVO' (social assistance to students) helping students with personal programs, or who need any special follow-up.
A special study-visit program is organized every year, introducing students to Belgian architecture and culture. This takes place every two Wednesdays, (full day), from September to December.
Free classes of French or Dutch are available through the department's association with the Univ. of Louvain and Ghent. Given the predominantly French speaking environment of Brussels, French language courses will be available as well. AUSMIP+ researchers can choose either one of the two languages. These take place as follows:
Dutch; (level 1) semester 1 ; possibility to follow classes every day from 9 am to 12 pm, start oct. 12, end Nov 16, or from Nov. 18 to Dec. 15, from 13.30 to 16.30. Semester 2; from Jan. 6 to Feb. 2, 9 am to 12 pm, or from 13.30 to 16.30, Feb. 4 to March 10.
French; (level 1, no prior knowledge required) semester 1 only, Monday from 07:30 am to 10 am, from sep. 28 to dec 14.

Research
To be able to offer high level education in an academic environment, research and its interaction with education are crucial. Research at Sint-Lucas has since long been developed in line with the profile of the curricula. It offers an intellectual framework and the concomitant resources which develop front-end knowledge, especially in relation to designing. A specific task is to create a research climate that both permits diversity and aims for cohesion, in open communication and with productive interactions with international research partners.
During recent years, Research by Design has been a top priority development. It is connected to the design studio and practice and is much in line with similar developments in the arts, music and product design.

Research & 'Tracks'
In Europe, the 1999 Bologna agreement spurred a structural transformation towards a common three cycle academic module, coercing Sint-Lucas to integrate research within its core-activities.
Compromised of design related departments only, the core of St.-Lucas, be it in terms of education, pedagogy or research, is formed by the design-studios, or 'ateliers', and obviously research and research output coincide as much as possible with the design-studios.
To this extent, three so called 'tracks' were developed at the Master level, each supported by research groups;

aAD, or advanced Architectural Design, focusing on the architect as a builder, is one the one hand supported by the long standing tradition of the department to engage design tutors with an outstanding professional reputation, on the other hand the research group specialized in Building Techniques, which focuses on building physics, comfort, structure, construction and materials.

eAD, or explorative Architectural Design emphasizes artistic research and design, and is supported by a loose conglomerate of researchers, engaged in a wide variety of artistic disciplines.

uAD, or urban Architectural Design, specializes in transitional urban processes, positioning the designer in between urban planning and architecture. It is supported by two research groups; History and Theory and Transition Processes in the Urban Environment.
The former targets the relationship between meaning and syntax, cultural historical synthesis and architectural theory and history. Based on the methodology of cultural hermeneutics History & Theory focuses on the reciprocal determination and collision between the built environment and its various cultural contexts.
The research group Transition Processes in the Urban Environment focuses on all types of transitions in and between spaces and the built environment. Specific attention is given to social patterns and their spatial implications, and it has since its inception become fully integrated with the Brussels' uAD international track, as part of the English language Master program.
Since 2002, the Ausmip master module has been integrated within this uAD- Transition Processes in the Urban Environment configuration.
The Ausmip master module, initially a pilot-module within the department, obliges all Ausmip students to develop their diploma-project in Japan, including a research dissertation. This unique approach not only allowed Ausmip master students to focus on the main comparative research themes addressed by the Ausmip program, but also greatly enriched education, allowing to experience and combine both the very specific Sint-Lucas 'research by design' approach, as the more scientific oriented laboratory generated research at our Japanese partners faculties. Interestingly, this combination resulted in a very high incidence of Ausmip alumni continuing their careers into research (PhD's) compared to the mainstream alumni of the department. (see also Annex VII)

AUSMIP+
Hence, for the AUSMIP+ program, priority will be given to research related to the urban Architectural Design lab, and specifically Ausmip alumni will be encouraged to apply for the program, or to link their PhD research proposals to the AUSMIP+ program. In addition, Ausmip post-docs and key uAD faculty will further deepen the Ausmip program to a next level.
In view of the upcoming integration of the faculty in the University of Leuven, similarly to the University of Tokyo, which participates to AUSMIP+ with two Graduate Schools, and four departments, it is envisioned that in the near future also students of the Faculty Engineering, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning (ASRO) will be entitled to participate. (the Sint Lucas Department recently became integrated in the new Faculty of Architecture, which will become fully incorporated in the University of Leuven in 2013, see also associated partner 'ASRO')

Integration of the AUSMIP+ partnership at W&K;

 Sint-Lucas School of Architecture & Urban Planning, Brussels& Ghent

Sint-Lucas School of Architecture & Urban Planning, Brussels& Ghent, local & program coordinator prof Bruno Peeters, bruno.peeters@ausmip.org

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