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hortence is the Research Centre for architectural history, theory and criticism of the Faculty of Architecture La Cambre Horta of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Established in 2008, hortence counts at present more than twenty members. The personality of hortence is characterized by its members – academics, researchers, PhD students and practising architects – who all engage critically with the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture.

As such, hortence gathers distinct areas of research strength, in particular regarding
‣ heritage studies of 20th-century architecture in Belgium;
‣ the study of mediation in architecture;
‣ the history of architectural theory and criticism;
‣ the study of architectural pedagogies;
‣ research through and by architectural design;
‣ architecture and genre.

hortence also seeks as much as possible to enhance, diffuse and to question its research through the organization of workshops, conferences, colloquia, exhibitions as well as through publications. These activities of research and service to the community reflect the engagement of its members with teaching courses on the history, theory and criticism of architecture; a.o. the research seminar on research methodologies concerning architectural theory, the design studio HTC, and the study groups (“options”) HTC, Restoration and heritage DOCOMOMO and Archives.


The Archive of Disappearance: a typology

Archive of Disappearance(AOD): a typology is a proposal for a research project in-and-through practice, based on a specific body of work and presentation model that I have been experimenting with over the last 10 years. The project aims to address the activation of the architecture and the mechanisms of public appearance and disappearance of artworks in the contemporary museum. The goal of this research project is to complement, deepen, and extend the personal artistic research methods that I have worked on in order to develop the Archive of Disappearance into a scholarly and systematic research project. This project seeks – both in the realm of art and architecture – to lead to alternative typologies for presenting or ‘reading’ artworks, in which the physical space or spatial conditions are enhanced with other forms of interaction – introducing text, performance or other media.