Urban experiments in the academic landscape: Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Cape Town

Urban experiments in the academic landscape: Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Cape Town

Output - Masterproef

Masterproef ontwikkeld in de Stadsacademie door Tereza De Cock en Nathalie Peeters (Master of Science in de ingenieurswetenschappen: architectuur).

Samenvatting masterproef: The status quo of a university as a nation bound institution where universal knowledge is taught is colliding against its boundaries. Rising complex challenges such as how to tackle climate change, superdiversity and technological innovation are testing the limits of this academic, universal, elite, knowledge production. In a world where knowledge is produced in more places than the confinement of the institution, universities must aspire to transcend physical and structural boundaries.

In this dissertation, the current positionality of four universities, the University of Antwerp, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the University of the Western Cape and Ghent University will be analysed against three different theoretical frameworks. First of all, how do these universities tackle planetary and societal challenges? Second, how do they transcend the rigid boundaries of mono-disciplinary teaching and research and third, how do they engage within their local urban context?

Four initiatives, Stadsform, Brussels Academy, Centre for Humanities Research and The Stadsacademie will be introduced as means of breaching the walls of the university through conducting context bound, transdisciplinary urban experiments. Initiatives, that, from their position and relation to their academic landscape could begin to influence the rigid system of universities.

A plea will be made for universities to widen their gaze beyond the traditional discipline-oriented methods of teaching and doing research. A plea to engage with the local urban environment as the ideal testing ground for planetary and societal challenges. A plea for universities to position themselves in this changing world as institutes offering a healthy balance of mono- and transdisciplinary education and research, of tackling discipline bound and discipline surpassing subjects, of tackling the global and the local landscape.

Thesis Webversie_Deel1 (91 MB)
Thesis Webversie_Deel2 (101 MB)