WOHNEN abitare oggi/living today 2/4_BOVENBOUW Dirk Somers. Public Lecture


Academy of Architecture

Date: 21 March 2024 / 18:30 - 21:00

Public Lectures 2023/24
WOHNEN abitare oggi/living today


BOVENBOUW Dirk Somers 
everything a house 


Thursday, 21st March 2024 18:30
Teatro dell'architettura Mendrisio


Bovenbouw is a young Belgian practice, based in Antwerp, established and led by Dirk Somers, who heads a team of 20 talented European architects. The studio's work is characterised by an open and unconventional approach to design, completely free from the compulsive desire to always be avant-garde. Paradoxically, Bovenbouw does not reject the notion of style, but rather seeks to reinvent a specific style for each situation: a quest that can be understood in a truly classical sense, i.e. bringing together past and new ideas in an interesting blend of the everyday and the everlasting. Bovenbouw’s work has been shown at various exhibitions in Venice, Munich, Mendrisio, Aachen, London and Antwerp.

Since 2003 Dirk Somers has been teaching Architectural Design at the Delft University of Technology and since 2011 he has been appointed Professor of Design at the University of Ghent. In 2021 he curated the Belgian entry at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.


abitare oggi/living today

In years of a necessary overall rethinking of architectural making, can the search for archetypes and common roots offer strategies for new paradigms of living? The changed social and economic, cultural and psychological needs of populations lead to the search for innovative housing typologies and new flexibilities, associated with the experiences of shared and collaborative living, which will increasingly have to be combined with productive-entrepreneurial, commercial, and cultural dissemination activities, in addition to the essential facilities/services open to residential neighbourhoods. This is why, for example, revisiting experimental settlement patterns of the past referring to different cultures and geographical areas may once again become highly relevant. All this necessarily goes through processes that must be able to subvert established prejudices and to dismantle mental superstructures and cultural mechanisms linked to planning-administrative and economic development models that are by now obsolete and no longer pursuable, also in respect for future generations.
The lecture series intends to bring attention back to a key topic in architectural education by bringing to the Academy of Mendrisio a series of European architectural practices that in different ways have successfully addressed the issue of living.


  • 11/04/2024 MUOTO
  • 18/04/2024 LACOL 

Free entrance subject to availability.
The Lecture is also streamed live on www.arc.usi.ch