PhD Reworlding social housing estates

Hasselt University - Hasselt, Belgium

apply before November 11, 2023

Tasks: Research

Topics: Community Engagement, Empower & Participate, Heritage, Culture, Art

Type: Full-time

Experience required: Entry-level

Language: English is sufficient

The REWORLDING network aims to address ecological issues experienced differently by various actors, communities, and organizations, potentially leading to societal polarization and hindering urgent actions in this regard. As Participatory Design (PD) researchers, they recognize the need for design approaches that bring diverse actors together to tackle these challenges in a participatory manner. They emphasize the importance of including both human and non-human actors (such as plants, rivers, and insects) who may remain silent in these discussions. The goal of the REWORLDING network is to develop a carefully situated PD approach that better understands and fosters synergies between the different worlds people inhabit, both human and non-human.

This specific PhD project within the REWORLDING network focuses on social housing and its potential to trigger ecological and social transition processes. The project seeks to capitalize on the ecological potential of social housing estates, such as expanding road networks, restoring water systems, and increasing biodiversity. Moreover, it aims to leverage these changes for social transition by empowering residents, NGOs, and local authorities to care for themselves and their environment. Researchers in this project will have the opportunity to develop their own research within the context of the European REWORLDING network, benefiting from international training opportunities.

The objectives of this project include conducting participatory mapping of actors involved in collective spaces in social housing estates, documenting social and ecological practices, proposing design strategies for collective spaces, and defining pathways for implementing these strategies.

The expected results encompass participatory mapping and research of socio-ecological transitions in collective spaces, the creation of a participatory atlas of spatial typologies and practices, and the redesign of strategies for social housing transitions.

The project also involves planned secondments at Architecture Workroom Brussels and the University of Limerick to gain relevant experience.

To be eligible for this position, candidates must meet MSCA eligibility criteria, including not residing in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 36 months prior to the recruitment date and not already holding a doctoral degree.

Applicants are expected to hold a Master’s degree in (interior) Architecture or Design, demonstrate strong academic performance, possess interdisciplinary research interests, have analytical and communication skills, be proficient in English, and be willing to undertake the foreseen secondments.

The selected candidate will be appointed as a PhD student and receive a PhD scholarship for two years with an intermediate evaluation. The start date for the PhD is estimated to be in June 2024. The selection process involves a preselection based on the application file, followed by interviews scheduled for the week of 27.11.2023.

For more information and to apply, candidates can visit the official website of the REWORLDING project:

This opportunity offers a chance to contribute to Participatory Design research within an international and interdisciplinary training network and to work on crucial societal questions through collaboration with fellow researchers.

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