Racing Team
/ Pieterjan Ginckels
KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture
Paleizenstraat 65-67
1030 Brussels BE
+32 2 447 19 00
KU Leuven Architecture

Architects are surface makers. Images are our products, inhabit our mental universes, represent our theoretical landscape. The rendered image, a catch-all term for computer images, virtual models, collages and other prefigurations, is architecture’s bottom-line product, and it is a slim, thin piece of paradox: we are ever better at creating these images, but in a visually overloaded world seem ever more easily fooled by the promises that such images entail. The result is a ‘TANTRIC URBANISM,’ an effortless implosion of interior, building and city, as planned, narrated and hyped by media, developers, architects and its users.*

These images of our interiors, buildings and hoods shine so brightly that their realized versions always disappoint. We excel in consuming the rendered reality in such a way that the places in which we live seem only remnants of a lesser reality. When we collide with the limits of this delusion, face to face with drywall and concrete, we ask the question: is the realized render more real than its unrealized counterpart? Did our two-dimensional dreams really wash away our three-dimensional needs? Have we rendered or are we being rendered?

Architects Without Qualities: PIERCING THE RENDERING will investigate the fuzzy relations between the rendering, as a visual translation of the imagined into the real, and the physical world. We will study the generic urban environments in which we end up living. Reality = a series of computer images made incarnate. We will study worst cases and best practices and build up a collective archive of projects, their images and their makers. Our cases will be both local and international. On a weekly basis we will assemble Belgian instances of the realized rendering by means of site visits and safaris, and in week 4 we will make a trip to [insert hotbed of realized rendering here]** where, guided by local specialists, we will carry out performative field research to crash-land in the realized rendering.

After the trip we will continue to do weekly scalpings of construction site banners and building the archive, and we will formulate a reaction: can we accelerate the destabilization of architectural dream images? Can we produce the perfect hyperreality and make digital waves in architecture media? Can we repair or fix existing situations by hacking into representational systems, and make the unrealizable rendering – or the unrenderable reality? As we develop different positions, we may experiment with taking up different roles. You can get into character and approach the project as creative director, project developer, visual effects designer, real estate agent, or ethical hacker. Possibly you can team up to execute the projects.


W1 – W3
Following an introductory seminar on the realized rendering, we will collect worst cases and best practices. We carry out prospective research on local and international projects, their representations, their makers and stakeholders. Introduction to Calling Bullshit***, tuned to fit our program.
Format: weekly safaris; visual studies; discussions; archive assembly.

Performative field work, designed, produced and executed by the group w/ local specialists. Format: travel; action research; documentation.

Define a role (alter-ego / position, mood, attitude).
Define a project.
Format: workshop with Manou Van den Eynde.

W6 – W12
Design and activate your project.
Format: architectural/investigative project ± media.

A collective archive of realized renderings; individual but affiliated cool-critical design projects.

* = MISANTHROPOZINE 1: Tantric Urbanism (P. Ginckels, T. Holvoet, A. Kovacs, C. Libert, Eds.). 2020.
** = Most likely Berlin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
*** =

Expected output:
We will make a collective archive of realized renderings in a publication. Depending on the positions and reactions you formulate, individual design projects can be executed by means of renderings, models, movies, interventions, websites, etc.

Excursion/study trip/…? (+ timing):
Our 3-day excursion to Berlin will be organized in week 4. Together with visual artist Bernd Trasberger and architect and educator Oana Stanescu we will take a deep dive into the city’s recently realized renderings.

References/Further reading:
MISANTHROPOZINE 1: Tantric Urbanism (P. Ginckels, T. Holvoet, A. Kovacs, C. Libert, Eds.). 2020.
Ginckels, Pieterjan. RADICAL SATURATION: Untitled States of Doom. Leuven: 2018.
Mahall, Mona, and Asli Serbest. How Architecture Learned to Speculate. Stuttgart: igmade, 2009.
Young, Michael. Reality Modeled after Images : Architecture and Aesthetics after the Digital Image. New York, NY: Routledge, 2022.
Atwood, Andrew, and Ryan Roark. Not Interesting: On the Limits of Criticism in Architecture. Edited by Ryan Roark. Novato: Applied Research and Design Publishing, 2019.
Goffey, Andrew, and Isabelle Stengers. In Catastrophic Times : Resisting The Coming Barbarism. Open Humanities Press, 2015.
Fridvalszki, Mark, Zsolt Miklósvölgyi, and Márió Z. Nemes. Technologie Und Das Unheimliche. Edited by Mark Fridvalszki, Zsolt Miklósvölgyi, and Márió Z. Nemes. Leipzig: Technologie und das Unheimliche T+U, 2014.
Russell, Legacy. Glitch Feminism : a Manifesto. London: Verso, 2020.
Davis, Mike, and Robert Morrow. City of Quartz : Excavating the Future in Los Angeles. New York (N.Y.): Vintage., 1992.
and possibly many other books, films, concerts, videos, exhibitions, conversations..

Image 1: Pieterjan Ginckels, 2023
Image 2: Maria Muskova, Post-Neo-Functional Eclecticism, 2019

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Racing Team
/ Pieterjan Ginckels

KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture
Paleizenstraat 65-67
1030 Brussels BE
+32 2 447 19 00

KU Leuven Architecture