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Between Old Habits and New Habitats

We are frequently confronted with vastly different changes in our society today. Yet we still often cling to old habits. Even our Western cities remain largely carved from the same stone. Despite the ongoing search for new urban habitats and the many ambitious plans that accompany them, the most successful way we have inhabited the world for centuries is coming under pressure. But what do we exactly mean by inhabitability? We know it primarily as a set of technical regulations that our home must comply with. Moreover, inhabitability seems to apply only to our private domain; no such criteria exist for public space. However, it can be argued that as city dwellers we inhabit the entire city and not just our own home.

It is time to stretch the concept of inhabitability. Not by starting from scratch, but by experimenting with the existing physical boundaries of the city of Antwerp. The dividing wall, the facade, the row house, the building block, the street profile, the ring road, ... they are all spatial elements that separate and limit us. How can we approach them differently so that they connect and enable us in the future? Possible answers to this question are modelled from clay as the research progresses. The sculptures will be presented to the city's increasingly diverse group of residents, users, and professionals. From developers to activists, the sculpting sessions provide a casual playground in which ideas, needs and doubts can be shared.