Doctoral Grant (100%) PhD Project Office Interiors in Post-War Belgium: Genealogy of a Modern Sociotoop KU Leuven, Department of Architecture, Research Unit Architecture and Society Belgium


(Ref. BAP-2017-558)

Employment: Full time

Duration: Certain duration extendable

Place: Brussels / Ghent

Apply until: 31/10/2017


The Leuven Group of Science and Technology, Department of Architecture, Research Unit Architecture and Society, seeks an assistant to strengthen her research group Architecture Interiority Inhabitation (A2I) at the campus of Saint Lucia Ghent and Brussels. The candidate is expected to obtain a doctorate.




The Department of Architecture is responsible for the research on architecture, interior architecture, urban planning and spatial planning carried out in the Faculty of Engineering (Leuven campus) and in the Faculty of Architecture (Brussels and Ghent campus). The department acts as an international expertise center in these domains and has about sixty international PhD candidates. URL: 
The Faculty of Architecture groups the academic architecture courses (interior architecture, architecture, architecture, urban planning and spatial planning) of the campuses of Sint-Lucas Brussels / Ghent. The faculty is responsible for education-related matters. URL: 

The research group Architecture, Interiority, Inhabitation (A2I) - founded by professors Hilde Heynen and Fredie Floré - explores the interaction between architecture as a discipline, the building space as a construction and the way it is experienced by the user. The group studies (interior) architecture as a field of practice and as a field of historical and theoretical reflection. Starting point is a fundamental interest in public, collective and private spaces, in their objects, and in the way both (interior) architects and users contribute to their cultural, social or political significance. Concepts such as modernity, interiority, power, gender and colonialism form theoretical guidance in the research. Because these themes touch a multitude of spatial practices, histories and theories, the approach of this research group is by definition multidisciplinary. It relies on knowledge from various domains: history and theory of architecture and interior architecture, design studies and design history, the ethnographic study of space and the study of material culture.




Many European cities, including Brussels and Antwerp, are struggling today with the development of a future path for long-term vacant office buildings, a significant part of which dates back to the second half of the 20th century. The current debate focuses mainly on urban or architectural aspects of these issues. A third perspective is often marginalized or disregarded: the office interior and its various appearance and conceptualizations. Yet, this perspective is crucial for a good understanding not only of these conceptualizations, but also of the issue of vacancy and the redevelopment of office buildings. After all, the design of offices is sent from within, through bureaucratic mechanisms and socioeconomic and political factors.


Recent literature in the field of interior architecture defines two dominant models of office organization and design in the second half of the 20th century: the hierarchical Taylorian office - with Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Building (1904) as an example - and the social democratic office that emerged after World War II and explicit commitment to human interaction and community formation. Although these transnational categories are well-suited to the development of a broad historical overview, the varied palette of locally anchored business cultures and their material interpretations - buildings and establishments - asks for a more detailed and detailed reference framework. It is the ambition of this project to develop such a framework of reference, based on historical research and taking into consideration the diversified national and transnational discourse and the various design practices that have fed the development of the modern business office as bureaucratic, socioeconomic and cultural space. In this way, the project will make a fundamental contribution to the knowledge and interpretation of one of the fastest changing collective areas in our society.





We are looking for an outstanding, driven and communicative researcher (m / f) with a master's degree architect, engineer architect, interior architect, art sciences, history or equivalent degree. The candidate obtained at least distinction for this master or has differentiated himself in his or her academic education or professional life.


The candidate should be strongly interested in conducting scientific research in the field of architecture and the history of architecture and interior design.


The candidate is expected:

  • have a clear interest in and knowledge of the research theme, based on education, work or research experience;
  • be able to work both independently and in a multidisciplinary team;
  • adopt a proactive attitude and present the necessary scientific integrity;
  • Being fluent in English, Dutch and French and having excellent communication skills, both verbally and in writing;
  • to provide support within education in the Architecture and Interior Architecture;
  • to be published in international scientific journals (with peer review) and to present research results at international conferences.




We offer a full-time (100%) 1 year renewable job as a doctoral student in a creative workplace, dynamic team and challenging assignments. Remuneration is according to barema 43 (assistant).

As a researcher, your research should lead to a doctorate in architecture, led by a promoter belonging to the Faculty of Architecture.

A doctorate in Architecture, if the doctorate is successfully completed.





Further information is available from Prof. Fredie Floré, tel .: +32 9 398 63 42, mail: or Prof. Dominique Bauer, tel .: +32 9 398 63 41, mail:



Application for this vacancy can take place until 31/10/2017 via our 

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