October 2020


archiweek Curators launch open call for activations

This call is part of the urban archiweek 2020 FUNDAMENTAL ACTS in Brussels, that advocates for pro-urban living in post-pandemic times, by exposing, reimagining and activating a city beyond productivity.

How about a rooftop haircut? A concert in a carpark? An amphitheater on an empty ground floor? A furniture designer workshop in a lobby? A pet shop in an office window? By re-inventing the spaces we already have, we make them more diverse and resilient and adapt them to the changing rituals of urban life.

This open call for activations seeks people with strong projects, no matter their development stage, for urban programmes accessible to the public. They can take the form of cultural functions (exhibition, botanical garden, performance...), social or welfare initiatives (soupe populaire, emergency accommodation, language classes…) as well as private uses (a freelancer, wood workshop, café)... or any other kind of programme. The aim is to “activate” the city through unexpected, generous or intriguing spaces. Be creative!

At the end of this open call, selected programmes will be paired with a designer and allocated an unoccupied space somewhere in Brussels. Together, they form an activation. In close conversation with the person bearing the programme, the designer’s role will be to conceive a spatial arrangement adapted to this programme in the allocated space and make it visible, attractive and accessible to the public during the 2020 archiweek, 5-13 October.

The current covid-19 pandemic has led to a form of urban life in which our daily activities and rituals - connected to living, learning, celebrating, caring, and mourning - have fundamentally shifted, and so have the ways in which we use our everyday spaces.

Can we use this particular moment to test other forms of living in a post-pandemic city, in which we are not trying to go back to ‘normal’ - to processes, schedules and spatial arrangements that are optimized for productivity - but in which we instead prioritize fundamental rituals and human needs? To enforce forms of care and solidarity, and to encourage a diverse and hybrid use of urban spaces of production? How to reimagine the built environment in post-pandemic times, and how to bring a sense of belonging to urban life, even in a 1m50-society?

Applicants are invited to submit their idea connected to one of the five fundamental acts:

LIFE - spaces of domestic life and supporting structures
EDUCATION - spaces of learning and transmission
CEREMONY - spaces for shared rituals and celebration
LOVE - spaces of care and solidarity
DEATH - spaces for mourning and memory

In preparation of the archiweek, selected programmes will be expected to state their requirements clearly and simply and collaborate with the appointed designer. During the archiweek, they will be expected to activate the space, occupying it and welcoming the public.

The budget of archiweek covers the designer fees and the making of the spatial installation. Any additional costs incurred by the programme, as well as any specific equipment, must be borne by the applicant.

Applicants are invited to submit a 200 word description of their idea, and the name of a person who will bear the programme during archiweek, in English, Dutch or French via this application form. The curatorial team will select one idea for each of the five fundamental acts, and will assign a design team, as well as a space in Brussels, for each activation.

The activations should be able to be visited during the archiweek as part of guided tours or independently, taking into account Covid-19 measures. If need be, the activations can start before or can continue after the archiweek depending on availability of the spaces and will of the users. The projects will be documented and will circulate online in the form of a documentary video, and as part of the online platform that will be launched in parallel to archiweek.

Deadline for applications is September 4th.

For any questions or doubts, feel free to reach out to us at

archiweek 2020 FUNDAMENTAL ACTS exposes, reimagines and activates urban spaces of production in Brussels during archiweek 2020. Through thematic tours and a series of activated spaces, the project aims to stimulate diverse and hybrid programs for the city. To test new scenographies beyond productivity, that give priority to the fundamental acts of life, education, ceremony, love and death. How to rethink and reshape the city to accommodate essential rituals? Over the course of a week, FUNDAMENTAL ACTS invites visitors to explore hybrid workspaces, spaces of care, landscape projects, home-offices and urban facilities, offering ambitious visions for living together in a post-pandemic city.

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