New Constellations

New Constellations – 
International Design Workshop Week ‘React by Design: Commons’ 2021
‘By re-interpreting what you come across, as a designer, to be able to give a new perspective on the existing and to make visible what could be, while already using, doing, acting, performing - and therefore including others.’

The workshop took an existing situation as its starting point: the ground floor space of one of the Langblokken in Luchtbal. The Langblokken are mainly striking because of their extensive length of approx. 200 meters and their ‘open’ ground floor space. This space – a long, narrow, covered corridor surrounded by two almost infinite rows of robust columns that remind of the classical colonnade typology - is ambiguous. There is no hard boundary that divides private from public, inside from outside; the threshold is almost invisible. Although this space is permeable and strongly connected to the public space, its rigidity and openness doesn’t invite to stay and perform other activities. Once designed as a continuous public space ‘for all’, it never fulfilled its original intentions and remains without any clear function, except for the entrances to the apartments, storage of bikes and shelter from the weather.

The aim of the workshop is to temporary alter the perception and the scale of this ground floor space of one of the Langblokken, by creating new constellations between the existing architectural elements. These new constellations visually and spatially compress and/or extend the space and generate new rhythms, light and color within the ground floor and its surroundings, stretching even further than the boundaries of the existing building. Opening up new ephemeral and imaginary spaces and trajectories gives the space another value and meaning, and evokes new uses.

“The real scale 1:1 allows for a more physical, real-time and in the moment experience of the given information and at at the same time, offers space for interpretation.”

We have done this by, literally, ‘drawing on-site’, a physical, performative act to interact on-site, in the scale 1:1, while tracing and marking new spatial relationships. Spatial drawings and existing context relate to each other: this spatial interweaving creates a layered image, which is to be experienced while moving through the space. New surfaces, lines and colours rearrange in space to form new compositions. In order to work on the whole length of the ground floor space, we have divided it in four zones, each zone has been appropriated by a team of students, leading ultimately to a large-scale, 200 meters site-specific, collective work/installation.

Education, on-site Workshop

Faculty of Design Sciences (UAntwerp) and Royal Academy of Fine Arts (AP College)

Antwerp, Belgium 


rotative studio

Alexandra Sonnemans, Caterina Viguera

rotative studio

Workshop students:
Emma Bal, Charlotte Bens, Chiara Cavazzini, Flora Ceulemans, Philipp Dopfer, Kato Eelen, Helen Geens, Ineke de Hondt, Lukas Meisner, Manon Minnebo, Inyas Montesinos, Lumawig Peeters, Alexander Roets, Ruben de Smet, Thibaut Vanheuckelom, Gerben van Wauwe, Haocheng Zang