Job: PhD Fellowship in Intellectual History of Architectural Theory

Job: PhD Fellowship in Intellectual History of Architectural Theory

KU Leuven

The PhD-fellow will work in the research context of the research group ARP (Architectural Cultures of the Recent Past) at KU Leuven’s Department of Architecture: and the Centre for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Culture at KU Leuven’s Institute of Philosophy (


The fellowship for which funding is available aims to develop an analysis of how the post-war world engaged with the notion of space. To tackle this question the PhD-fellow will focus on the role of émigré intellectuals and architects importing ideas into the post-war American educational context. The following paths of analysis stand central: (I) the initiation and adaptation of concepts of space in varied didactic contexts (architectural laboratories, classrooms, lectures); (II) the interaction between different artistic media (architecture,cinema, painting, installations).

The fellowship situates itself at the crossroads between intellectual/art history, philosophy and architecture. It has both a historiographical and a conceptual aim. The fellowship is part of the larger project ‘Architectural Space Thought and Taught’. ‘Trading Zones of the Concept of Space, 1945-1980’, funded by the Research Fund KU Leuven (BOF). The successful applicant will write a PhD-dissertation within the overarching theme of the historical development of spatial aesthetics and architectural theory. The project is chaired by Prof. Rajesh Heynickx, Prof. Stéphane Symons and Prof. Filip Mattens.


We are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • The motivation to pursue creative work in the history of spatial aesthetics and architectural theory.
  • An explicit interest in developing the following research question: how and why was the concept of space set in motion, shaped and modified in the period 1945-1980, the confusing ‘interregnum’ between modernism and postmodernism?
  • A Master (or equivalent) in Architecture, Philosophy, Art History, Intellectual History or Cultural History and academic distinction. Experience with archival research is a plus.
  • The ability to present research results at international conferences, and to publish in peer reviewed journals.
  • The ability to play an active, collaborative role in the research group Architectural Cultures of the Recent Past, ARP (including its seminars and conferences).
  • An excellent command of English, proficiency in French and/or German, a willingness to learn Dutch is a plus.


We offer a fulltime (100%) PhD scholarship for 1 year (extendable up to 4 years in total after a positive evaluation). As a doctoral fellow, you will follow the doctoral programme in Architecture, at the Faculty of Architecture. The diploma ‘Doctor of Architecture’ will be offered when the PhD requirements are successfully fulfilled.

The successful candidate will be required to carry out minor educational responsibilities and provide research assistance to the supervisors. She/he will become part of a dynamic and young group of scholars examining architecture and its relation to conceptual discourses, materiality and artistic representations during the course of the twentieth century (1900-…).

The working language is English. The recipient of the fellowship is expected to live in Brussels or its immediate vicinity (Leuven, Antwerp, Ghent) and to work from the office in Brussels (Faculty of Architecture, Sint-Lucas Campus:

For further information please contact Prof. dr. Rajesh Heynickx at


Enthusiastic and cooperative persons meeting the criteria are kindly invited to apply online. Include a motivation letter, a CV, the names of two referees whom we might approach prior to appointment, and a sample piece of writing not exceeding 12.000 words (e.g. a MA thesis chapter). The deadline for applications is October 31. We will hold interviews with a number of selected candidates soon thereafter. In preparation of the interview, these candidates will be given a short research assignment to assess their research skills. The target start date is January 1, 2019.

You can apply via the online application tool.


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