JOB by:KU Leuven,September 27, 2019

Professorship in the epistemology of design driven research

atKU Leuven,Departement Architectuur

App deadline:September 30, 2019
In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture of KU Leuven, there is a full-time academic position (ZAP) available in the area of Design Driven Research. The successful candidate has a critically engaged research practice that combines proficiency in theory, interdisciplinary research methodologies and strong design sensibilities. We are looking for a candidate with an extensive and demonstrable academic experience in Design Driven Research. Design Driven Research encompasses different forms of research in which (architectural and artistic) design processes and the results thereof, are implemented as means to generate and disseminate new knowledge. This includes contemporary alternative formulations of the field, like: Artistic Research, Research by Design, Practice Based/Led Research, Creative Practice Research. S/he has a strong theoretical profile concerning the specific types of knowledge that are produced in this type of research, and how these might be brought into productive dialogue with other types of knowledge. We welcome applications from those with international standing and documented leadership in these areas, who are committed to developing the distinctive research culture at the Department of Architecture, Sint-Lucas Campus, which, for over a decade, has pushed the development and support of a variety of Design Driven Research approaches to the forefront of its research agenda. You will be part of a university that is systematically highly ranked for research and education quality by independent accreditation committees. The structure of KU Leuven combines faculties and research departments in a multi-campus model. The Faculty of Architecture consists of the academic architecture programmes (interior architecture, architecture, and spatial design and urban planning) on the Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent campuses. The faculty is responsible for the organization of educational activities ( The Department of Architecture is responsible for the research in architecture, interior architecture, urbanism and spatial planning at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences (Leuven campus) and the Faculty of Architecture (Brussels and Ghent campuses). The department is an international expertise centre in these domains and the research is led by numerous professors and research groups with around 150 (international) PhD students ( The research is performed across the campuses.


The candidate is expected to continue his/her current research within the department and embed the research through creative production, experimentation, collaboration, exhibition and/or publication, supervising doctoral students and applying for project funding. This all in close collaboration with other researchers at the department and the research domain Design Driven Research. The candidate should have a proven record in attracting external funding, ideally at EU level, and have a strong network to support further applications.
It should also be noted that the group around Design Driven Research wishes to support the development of individual skills, but also—in the context of knowledge exchange—stresses the importance of developing a research culture where the members of communities or of groups interact to achieve their personal purposes as well as the collective one of supporting each other in doing so.

You will strengthen the existing research lines and provide complementary expertise. You also actively assist in the development of the group’s future research programme at international level and supervise PhDs at international level. You are capable of acquiring competitive funding for research and will provide output at an international level. The candidate will strive for interaction between the design studios and design-based research in the Department of Architecture. You support national and international collaborations of the research group and help promote and further develop these. The candidate aims to achieve excellence and contributes as such to the further development of the department and faculty.


The candidate is expected to provide high quality education with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. An extended experience in education in architecture and urbanism is compulsory. You will be responsible for leading design studios as well as providing lectures and seminars. You develop your teachings in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalisation offered by the faculty and the university. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty through the supervision of master theses and as a supervisor of PhD students.Your role in education will be determined based on your specific profile and can consist of both profile specific as well as basic courses. The teaching assignments are in Dutch and English.


Successful candidates will have the opportunity to help build the Design Driven Research domain into a new research center which supports a high degree of freedom for exploration and encourages research in expanding the limits of spatial practice with a keen interest in moving the boundaries of the design discipline. We wish to develop an architectural research practice of creative and imaginative speculation integrating various types of knowledge, with an emphasis on sophisticated thinking and advanced design methodologies and techniques. In this light, we welcome unconventional proposals for approaches that address the issue of interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and establishing a productive dialogue between architecture and the associated Faculty of the Arts (LUCA school of Arts,, RAAK, and the Science, Engineering and Technology Group (

The candidate will co-lead the development of a departmental platform for interdisciplinary knowledge exchange through publications, exhibitions, showcases, seminars or conferences, of international significance. The candidate will play an important role in academic management and the further development of the different disciplines (architecture, interior architecture, urban planning).

The candidate is committed to take the lead in the academic management,  will participate in the further development of the architecture programmes and is also willing to take up a role in scientific and societal engagement. Moreover, the candidate will play an active role in the visibility and outreach of the department and faculty for new students and the broader professional field. This can be achieved through participation in public performances, open days, introduction sessions and so on.


You have a PhD and have relevant research and educational experience evidenced through internationally significant output. Our department values accomplished researchers with interests in advancing the field of Design Driven Research and who embrace creative research questions on how artistically and technologically mediated design action can inform a future-oriented architectural discipline. Candidates must have a well-developed research agenda that will inform and advance current trends in the field, demonstrated via a 5-year plan that showcases their vision on research and education.

Candidates have demonstrable skills in management and leadership and should have a strong interest in collaborative work as well as experience in, or acommittment to, working with diverse student populations in a culturally diverse environment. In the context of the envisioned interdisciplinary Knowledge Exchange the candidate must express an eagerness to collaborate with the faculty and department, as well as across the different disciplines of the university, in particular the Arts, Science & Technology.
It is considered a plus if the candidate, besides having supervised and reflected upon Design Driven Research of others, has also her/himself actively participated in an innovative research practice that was driven by design-related processes.

A successful candidate has an open mind and works towards a diverse, dynamic department, one that is responsive to developments in architecture, the arts and technology as well as the design disciplines more broadly. S/he is also an excellent, future-oriented pedagogue, a bridge-builder between practice, education and research and between departments, organisations and communities.

A good command of English is required. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not understand it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch to the required standard.


We are offering a full-time employment. It is possible to negotiate a deviation to a 70% mandate, if an external creative practice is aspired to.

KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. It is highly inter- and multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard, it actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad. It provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research. Its internationally renowned research and educational programmes cause it to consistently rank among the best 50 universities worldwide.

The Faculty of Architecture is committed to practice-oriented academic teaching in a university setting. Its inspiration is artistic, leading to critical, innovative and path-breaking thinking. There is room for dialogue and debate, and the international dimension is ever present. The candidate will work on the Sint-Lucas campuses in Brussels and Ghent. The Department of Architecture is active on the campuses in Brussels, Ghent and Leuven.

Depending on your background and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. Candidates with a senior profile who qualify for a full professorship (hoogleraar or gewoon hoogleraar) will be given priority.

KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, …
To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.”


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:
• Prof. Dag Boutsen, Dean Faculty of Architecture, tel. +32 93 98 64 84 or +32 2 447 19 00, e-mail:
• Prof. dr. Arnaud Hendrickx, Head Research Unit Architecture and Art, e-mail:
• Prof. dr. Krista De Jonge, Chair Department of Architecture, tel.  +32 16 32 13 79, e-mail:
• Prof. dr. Yves Schoonjans, Vice-chair Department of Architecture, e-mail:

Please explain your vision on research and education in your application (max. 4 pages). If relevant, we encourage you to submit a portfolio.
If you have problems submitting your application online, please contact
You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2019 via the online application tool.
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
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