The three authors of the papers are related to the research group Spatial Capacity Building at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of the Hasselt University (BE). The Spatial Capacity Building research group critically debates and researches the public and political character of everyday spatial infrastructures. In order to research these questions we advance, explore and experiment with the concept, process and methods of participatory design and participatory planning. We use and develop different approaches to understand, connect, reflect and act on these questions. In these processes we pay great attention to people’s collective capabilities to engage in these – often complex – discussions and processes. Our research processes have long-term aims and involve long-term engagements in the daily context of communities. However, they are driven by short term projects with clear design outcomes to allow diverse groups to relate to processes in tangible, understandable ways.
Lieve Custers is an architect and spatial planner. In July 2018 she started her four year PHD-trajectory. Her research focuses on the collective definition of values by introducing an experiential evaluation in relational / post-structivistic planning processes in transformative neighbourhoods in Flanders.
Oswald Devisch is associate Professor in Urban Design and coordinator of the research group. He explores themes such as collective learning, casual participation, autonomous transformation processes and the gamification of participation.
Liesbeth Huybrechts is Associate Professor and works in the areas of participatory design, design anthropology and spatial transformation processes. She has developed a research interest in the politics of collective city and region-making which she explores in several research and educational projects.
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