Maarten Geysen, architect (MSc., School of Architecture, Sint-Lucas), Urban Designer (KU Leuven /Univ. Ghent), PhD Candidate (KU Leuven)

Maarten Gheysen (1975) graduated as an architect in 1999. In 2000 he got a degree in urban design and spatial planning. During the years 2001 & 2002 he worked in the office of Xaveer Degeyter architects (B) where collaborated on After-Sprawl, a research project on the contemporary Flemish condition. Since 2002 he is a collaborator of the inter-municipal development agency Leiedal (Kortrijk, Belgium). As urban designer he is dealing with a wide range of projects including planning, European interreg-projects, policy making, urban projects and public spaces.

Since 2006 Maarten has been teaching in the architecture studios at the Faculty of Architecture KU Leuven (campus Ghent). Confronting the students with the daily-reality of the peri-urban condition and noticing the paradigm shift in the dichotomous relation between the urban and rural gave motivation to formulate a PhD-research under the supervision of prof. dr. Kris Scheerlinck and dr. Erik Van Daele.

In this research the meaning and role of collective spaces within the peri-urban condition is questioned, leading to a framework to define the notion of collective spaces in peri-urban conditions, focusing on the relation between public and private properties, models of accessibility and permeability, the level of programming and resulting adjacencies, the level of integration and spatial qualities of the peri-urban landscape. This framework is operationalized by the exploration of case studies using the method of “eclectic atlases”, focusing on the peri-urban fabric of South-West Flanders. The exploration should reveal the mechanisms of influence between the peri-urban condition and its collective spaces.

Finally, new strategies of intervention will be explored and developed, this way new insights will be added to the discourse of the peri-urban condition.