Yves Schoonjans, Head of Research Group, prof. Dr
Yves Schoonjans (1960) is a Professor in architectural history and – theory at the University of Leuven (Department of Architecture), Belgium. He recieved a master of science in architectural engineering at the University Ghent (1984). From 1985 till 1995 he had a private architectural practice with Gilles Van Bogaert. In his PhD-study (An 19th century eclectic discourse – social and architectural strategies to cope with abundance and diversity – University Ghent, Belgium) he tackles the way how the theoretical discourse on eclecticism is constructed.
The research is focused in two intermingled lines. (1) The first line researches the ‘mechanisms on theory-building’ with a special attentiveness to the relation between theory and daily practice and the development of (ideological) discourses. In the research-methodology the focus is beside pure text also on other media and expression as images, construct of journals, manuals, artefacts, … and their interrelations. Architecture is tackled as a wide cultural phenomenon and its relation to ideas, discourses and practices. (2) The second research line is closely linked to the first and brings it towards ‘modest heritage and local identities’. Heritage is seen here as what we inherit, or, the built that is constructing the city. Also here the emphasis is laid on the development of informal and local discourses. Local identities play an important part towards understanding the existing fabric and the way it is appropriated, towards the use of collective spaces and sustainable urban development, interactive regeneration and adaptive re-use. He was involved as partner and lead-coordinator in different international programs (Erasmus, Mundus and ALFA) and participated in different project, especially in Latin America.
Within the academic management he was Head of the education-section ‘History and Theory’ from 2002 to 2008, program director of the International Master of Architecture ‘Urban Cultures-Urban Project’ and the International Master of Architecture ‘Sustainable Architecture’ (2008-2010), member of the board and as such director of master-programs (2009-2013). From October 2013 he became vice-dean Internationalisation and vice-chair of the Research Department.