PhD Reimagining industrial landscape futures in sustainable development

Hasselt University - Hasselt, Belgium

apply before November 20, 2023

Tasks: Research

Topics: Heritage, Culture, Art, Public Space & Landscape, Urban Transformation

Type: Full-time

Experience required: Entry-level

Language: English is sufficient

The aim of the REWORLDING network is to address ecological challenges that are experienced differently by various actors, communities, and organizations, potentially leading to societal polarization and hindering necessary actions. As Participatory Design (PD) researchers, the network recognizes the need for design approaches that can bring diverse actors together to address these challenges in participatory ways, with a focus on both human and non-human actors, including plants, rivers, and insects. The goal is to develop a careful and situated PD approach that can better understand and create synergies between the different worlds in which people live and work, including their connections to the more-than-human world.

This particular PhD project within the REWORLDING network focuses on post-industrial sites undergoing sustainable transitions. The researcher will engage in participatory research to transform these sites into public meeting spaces and landscapes that address climate change and social inequalities. The project aims to develop new participatory approaches for complex socio-environmental challenges, involving various actors, including inhabitants, policymakers, businesses, and social and environmental actors.

The objectives of the project include conducting Participatory Action Research (PAR) to understand connections between human and more-than-human actors in post-industrial site transitions, documenting existing experiences and practices, and co-designing collective learning tools and scenarios to address socio-environmental challenges.

Expected results include a PAR analysis of development trajectories, PD workshops to understand site dynamics, and the co-design of a transition toolbox for planning post-industrial landscape futures.

The project involves planned secondments to Leiedal and Malmö University for research and hands-on experience in regional development and innovative design practices in landscape transformation.

To be eligible for this position, candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 36 months before the recruitment date. Additionally, they cannot already possess a doctoral degree.

REWORLDING invites applications for 11 Doctoral Candidates (DCs) to write a doctoral thesis on Participatory Design (PD) within an interdisciplinary training network across Europe. DCs will be employed by a host institution, with opportunities for secondments within the network. The network aims to address important societal questions through cross-discipline collaborations.

Candidates are expected to hold a Master’s degree in (interior) Architecture or Design (or equivalent) with excellent academic results. They should have strong analytical and communication skills, be proficient in English, and be willing to undertake secondments. Demonstrating participatory design skills and affinity with the research topic is essential. Teaching assignments may be required, and candidates of any nationality are eligible, as long as they meet MSCA criteria.

The DC for this PhD project will be hosted by Hasselt University, Faculty of Architecture and Arts, research group ArcK – Spatial Capacity Building.

For more information, candidates can visit the REWORLDING project website:

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