Michael Ryckewaert is engineer-architect and urban planner. He holds a PhD in Architecture and is a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at the department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the role of urbanism in the urbanization of Belgium since 1945. He presented his dissertation ‘Working in the functional city. Planning the economic backbone of the Belgian welfare state 1945-1973” in December 2007. In December 2008, he won the three-yearly prize of Science and Technology of the Academic Foundation Leuven for his dissertation. His new book which he will discuss Building the Economic Backbone of the Belgian Welfare State: Infrastructure, planning and architecture 1945-1973 looks at the welfare state economy after 1945 which profoundly changed the Belgian territory. Government support for private home ownership resulted in widespread suburban sprawl. The book investigates the new infrastructural and business backbone that supported this suburban realm. It highlights a crucial episode of post-war urbanization and planning, and puts the Belgian case in an international perspective. It unravels a hidden logic in the seemingly chaotic nebula of construction that transformed the country since the Second World War.
Co-sponored by SDS/Parsons and The Graduate Program in International Affairs, School of Public Engagemen
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street
Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served