ArcK is the research group for the domains of architecture and interior architecture of Hasselt University. Domains which imply a spatial synthesis of material, cultural, aesthetic, social, urban, and societal aspects within a given situation or context. We believe that research within these domains should reflect this complexity.
As a multidisciplinary team (including designers, urbanists, art historians, engineers, psychologists, and philosophers), we address theoretical and empirical research questions in their proper context. We use a wide range of research methods and emphasize the possibilities afforded by designing as a research method. Our approach is centered on the human aspect, embodied by both the spatial designer and the user, with particular attention to an inclusive and sustainable design process and design result.
The main topics of ArcK center around five clusters, which partly overlap but also share the same ambition of generating knowledge that is useful for designers in order to create innovative visions of the future that will ultimately benefit society as a whole:
Adaptive reuse deals with theoretical and designerly questions relating to aspects of reuse, transformation, or conservation of historical, abandoned, or underused buildings or sites. Capacity building (collaborative design processes) deals with how to actively include and engage users, future users, and other stakeholders in different stages of the complex process of design practice. Designing for More (user-space interaction) centers around the following questions: How are spatial environments experienced by their users? How do they affect people on a perceptual, cognitive, and emotional level? How do they interact with diverse groups of people, and how can they increase their well-being ? Sustainability (in design product and process) deals with the question how different aspects of sustainability can be incorporated in both the design process and the resulting product, and in the way we can support designers and architects to effectively deal with these issues. FRAME, the research line in collaboration with MAD-research, focuses on artistic research methods. FRAME wants to explore unconventional forms of knowledge in order to develop new ways of thinking in/about space and image.