Racing Team
/ Pieterjan Ginckels
KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture
Paleizenstraat 65-67
1030 Brussels BE
+32 2 447 19 00
KU Leuven Architecture

International summer school, Tokyo JP

Mayu Takasugi, Johannes Berry, Pieterjan Ginckels
in collaboration with Waseda University

Course description:
SELF-BUILT RADICALS is a collaborative summer school between Waseda University and the KU Leuven, in Tokyo, from 6-10 September 2023. The objective of the summer school is to gain insight into the present relevance of self-built architecture by (re)visiting and responding to Japanese and Belgian projects from the provocative 1970s. Being in Tokyo will grant us the opportunity to visit two radical projects, and working together with Japanese students and professors will enable us to compare and contrast these projects in the light of current architectural contexts in Belgium and Japan.

Course aim:
during the workshop, we will analyze 4 radical self-built projects dating from the 1970s in Japan and Belgium that have received renewed popularity in recent years. Prior to the workshop, we will publish a reader that brings together texts and media to help establish a shared understanding of the specific contexts and complexities that led to these projects. The 4 projects will be introduced in a series of talks, which we use as a source for debate and to construct a critical survey. As the workshop aims to gain insight into the present relevance, challenges, and opportunities of self-built architecture, we will also organize two visits to contemporary Japanese self-built projects.

Target group:
students with an interest in self-built architecture, radical architecture practices, Japanese architecture. Students with an interest in the relationship between theory and practice, thinking and making, expression and construction. Students with a theoretical and/or practical interest in these topics.

preparatory reading and watching is required of the SELF-BUILT RADICALS syllabus. On the first and third day there will be presentations on 1970s self-built architecture in Japan and Belgium respectively, followed by a workshop. For the workshop students will be divided into groups along their Japanese counterparts. These groups will compare the different conditions, methodologies and outcomes of these projects, and collect ideas on their possible categorization and relevance today. These findings will be presented on the final day.

On the second and fourth day, there will be a study trip to visit examples of internationally appreciated contemporary architecture, which are self-built.

On the final day, the findings of the workshop will be presented by the groups for wider discussion. The aim of these presentations and discussion is to end with a general framework:
• to start defining this specific kind of self-built architecture.
• to identify the potential and challenges of self-built architecture.
• to investigate the present relevance of self-built architecture approaches to nurture and provoke architectural practices.

Waseda University
School of Creative Science and Engineering,
Department of Architecture.
3 Chome-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku City,
Tokyo 169-0072, Japan

Tutor team:
Norihito Nakatani (Professor, Waseda University)
Jo Ko (PhD Researcher, Waseda University)
Alice Paris (PhD Researcher, Université Libre de Bruxelles & Waseda University)
Pieterjan Ginckels (Assistant Professor, KU Leuven & visual artist)
Johannes Berry (PhD Researcher, KU Leuven & practitioner sugiberry)
Mayu Takasugi (Independent researcher & practitioner sugiberry)

Selection & eligibility:
students that will be enrolled in a masters program in 2023-2024 can apply by sending a motivation letter to before 16 April 2023. The KU Leuven FA organizing team will select the participants by 20 April. Take note that students will have to undertake a follow-up trajectory to acquire 5 study points via the elective ‘Participation in international projects’ in the Fall of 2023. Email us if you have questions.

Cost estimate:
Indicative only, and based on last year’s summer school in Kyoto, expect a cost of around €1.700 (economy flight €1.300; public transport €50; hostel accommodation €200; and daily expenses).

Fees & grants:
there is no enrollment fee, but you need to finance travel & accomodation. This summer school makes you eligible for a KU Leuven Short Mobility Grant, for which you can apply once you are selected as a participant. Grant application deadline 1 May 2023. LINK to grant info

Further study:
it is possible to advance your summer school work in the following master studios:
• the 2nd-year master studio Forage, taught by Johannes Berry and Steven Schenk. The studio focusses on the expression of construction.
• the master dissertation studio Roadside Picnic taught by Johannes Berry and Johan Nielsen. The studio focusses on the potential of a place and the expression of construction.
• the 2nd-year master studio Architects Without Qualities, taught by Pieterjan Ginckels in collaboration with Manou Van den Eynde. The studio focusses on designing post-millennial attitudes for becoming architects, learning from collectives and countercultures.
• the master dissertation studio Studio Snowflake, taught by Pieterjan Ginckels, where students experiment with character building to deep-dive visual cultures and navigate the superficial.

Racing Team
/ Pieterjan Ginckels

KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture
Paleizenstraat 65-67
1030 Brussels BE
+32 2 447 19 00

KU Leuven Architecture