The Brussels Archiweek of 2021 took place between 10 and 19 October 2021. Appointed as curators for this edition, we were required to select a group of architectures (contemporary or not) and a reflection theme that would bind them. Our contribution started from the notion of unlearning to review and feature architecture in the city.


  1. Proposes new ways to learn about our environment across generations and backgrounds.
  2. Puts wonder at the center of the discussion.
  3. Questions individual habits in relation to collective interests.
  4. Is a humble negotiation with inherited rules and predominant frameworks
  5. Requires seeing anew or using the beginner’s mind

Informed by the knowledge that an environmental crisis is not only ongoing but in fact accelerated, changes in the way we inhabit the planet are afoot. How can contemporary architecture support these changes and make them meaningful, even joyful? And which habits in the practice of architecture itself need to be unlearned, in response to these new conditions?
Supported by a group of practitioners from Brussels and abroad, we developed a three-part structure to explore this question during the week’s program: Projects, Characters, Games. The three articulated as follows.
Projects: Architectures and environments that support and inspire their users, owners, and visitors to unlearn and change habits. We looked at a series of projects in Brussels that can lead the way, thanks to their approach to ownership, flexibility, and ability to provoke people to come together and meet.
Characters: A group of fifteen Brussels-based people, onboarded through an open call, who participated in the preparations for the Archiweek and joined the curators during a two-day workshop on August 28 and 29. The characters range from 8 to 48 years and span different ethnic and geographic backgrounds across the city. They visited a sample of the selected projects and translated their learnings in a collective installation: large model of Brussels titled “a city for me, a city for us”.
Games: A series of playful activities about architecture in the city, set up by partnering organisations. The formats are simple and engaging—walking tours, performances and activities in which everyone can participate and get to know unexpected corners of and stories about Brussels. The games took place on different locations in the city, from Saturday 9 to Sunday 17 October.
The research was presented on Wednesday 13 October around an installation at Stam Europa, with talks and performances around ‘Un-learning’.

  • Location


  • Client

    Urban Brussels

  • Program

    Curatorial Project for the Brussels Architecture Days (Archiweek) edition of 2021

  • Curatorial Team

    Dieter Leyssen, Roxane Le Grelle, Alessandro Cugola, Chloé Nachtergael

  • 51N4E Project Team

    Milenca Persoons, Aya Akbib, Sophie Brewaeys

  • Textile Scenography

    Emma Bourguignon, Eff Libilbéhéty

  • Group of Practitioners

    Aya Akbib, Arya Arabshahi, Oscar Broeckhoven, Gianmarco Causi, Seppe De Blust, Eva De Bruyn, Flore Fockedey, Yann Gueguen, Sotiria Kornaropoulou, Giulia Massenz, Wim Menten, Mickaël Minghetti, Mathilde Pecqueur, Rohan Patankar, Freek Persyn, Sebastien Roy, Harold Vermeiren, Kevin Westerveld

  • With the Participation of

    Emma Bourguignon, Zoe Brennan, Gaia Carabillo, Diana Dede, Kalem Di Domenico, Rodrigo Garcia, Eff Libilbéhéty, Kimon Persyn, Zoë Persyn, Eva Petráková, Anastasia Shibanova, Linn Tramm, Julia Wielgus and Xabier Wins

  • Image Credits


  • Photography

    Sepideh Farvardin, Elias Knecht

  • Look Back at the Program
  • Read More

    On our Reflection Page and on Glean