Call Workshop New York, Coney Island


International Workshop New York, July 14th-25th 2014
part of “Common Streetscapes , the Low Lands & New York”, an integrated project of seminars, workshops, round tables, publications and events during 2014 as an international exchange project between Flanders/Netherlands and USA, New York.

Coney Island Revisited

Since Rem Koolhaas described Coney Island’s historic role and context, many new challenges appeared. Starting from the increasing number of storms attacking the area’s waterfront, the ongoing rise of the sea level, the aftermath of the financial crisis and its effect on investments and real estate projects in the area, till the changing immigration waves or new patterns of the way urban space is consumed, Coney Island has definitely changed a lot during the last decades. This set of multiple challenges is the starting point of a research and design project, focusing on the meaning and role of streetscapes, that is used as a conceptual framework for this international workshop. Many actors will be involved in this workshop, from the inhabitants till local real estate promoters, policy makers, design and planning professionals and academics. A selected group of participants will use this theme and selected area to explore, define and develop an urban or architectural intervention in the area, dealing with the multiple dimensions that define this area’s future. Coherence, sustainability and feasibility will be important criteria for discussion and reflection.
There are two selected study areas, both situated at the interior part of the island and characterized by a fragile connection with the mainland and with the waterfront: Coney Island Creek at the West side and Sheepshead Bay at the East side. Both areas embody an enormous potential as to their transforming industrial activity, some new commercial and leisure activities, the immediate access to nature and its metropolitan connectivity. Both areas include as well a wide range of territorial scenarios to align research and proposal approaches: from gated communities, privatization of beaches and public space, pockets of collective spaces, map New York Coney Island


Coney Island, multi-layered:
-a multiple context: area in full transformation, relation to other parts of the borough/city
-a neighborhood (with housing, leisure and commercial activities, offices…)
-an infrastructure (harbor/boardwalk, highway, metro-line, ferry…)
-climate change (rising sea level, hurricanes, snow blizzards…)
Depth Configurations: focus on multiplicity and simultaneity
-collective space (updating Nolli)
-models of proximity
-depth variations, as a structural understanding: permeability
-physical, cultural and territorial boundaries
Urban project (operative at different scales simultaneously): Critical Sustainability
Social networks: engagement with different stakeholders, neighbors and visitors

site 1site 2


(all activities in groups of 3-4 students, totally max. 50 international students, a studio space will be available exclusively for this international workshop) A daily program of visits, interviews, presentations or round table discussions will be organised with local and international professionals and academics.

Monday July 14th: pre-workshop event: presentation of the master dissertation projects by KU Leuven Architecture students
Tuesday July 15th: meeting and introduction, input sessions, site visit
     Wednesday July 16th: site visits, interviews with local stakeholders and neighbors
  Thursday July 17th: site visits, interviews with local stakeholders and neighbors, working session
Friday July 18th: site visits, interviews with local stakeholders and neighbors, working session
Saturday July 19th: working session, first presentation of group work
Sunday July 20th: free day
Monday July 21st: working session, development of proposal
Tuesday July 22nd: working session, development of proposal
Wednesday July 23th: working session, development of proposal
Thursday July 24th: working session, preparation presentation
Friday July 25th: working session, final presentations and conclusions

Participating institutions/universities

(input, desk crits, visits, reviews, hosting, parallel activities…)
KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Brussels/Ghent
Pratt Institute New York
City College New York
Flanders House New York
Institute for Urban Design, New York
U Antwerpen, Faculteit Ontwerpwetenschappen, Antwerp
TU Delft, OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies
Van Alen Institute, New York
Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York
International professionals/specialists/experts/consultants

Participation: call

Call for participation: January 6th, 2014

Deadline for application by submitting motivation letter*: February 28th, 2014

Selection and notification of acceptance: March 1st, 2014

Registration payment deadline: April 1st, 2014 (only for non-KU Leuven participants)

Deadline confirmation travel arrangements: April 15th, 2014 (for all participants)

Selection criteria and organisation

1. Eligible for participation are all (International) Master students in Programs of (Interior) Architecture, Urban Design or Urban Planning (including Erasmus or exchange students), as well as recently graduated Architects, Urban Designers or Urban Planners (graduated between 2011 and 2013) and young researchers in these fields.
2. Participation of students enrolled in Master Programs at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, campus Sint-Lucas, is without charge, selection based on motivation letter* .
3. Participation of students/professionals not enrolled in Programs at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, is at charge of 195.00EUR, to be paid via international bank transfer on the Faculty account before April 1st, 2014 (details for payment will be given after selection procedure, final acceptance of participation will be given after having confirmed travel arrangements and having paid registration), selection based on motivation letter*.
4. Availability: max. 25 KU Leuven students, max 25 non-KU Leuven students/participants (other universities or young professionals).
5. All participants book and pay the needed travel and accommodation costs and agree to be present on July 14th, 2014 on the previously communicated meeting point (late arrivals or early leave will not be accepted).
6. All participants are personally responsible to obtain all legal documents and permits to travel and stay in USA, KU Leuven does not have responsibility in this matter.
7. All participants arrange travel modes and insurances individually for the whole stay, KU Leuven does not have responsibility in this matter.
8. After completion, all participants will receive an official certificate of participation at the International Workshop, no study credits can be granted for participation.

For more information: email to

Check out as well the posts of last year’s workshop on this blog!

*submission of a motivation letter (convince us why we would select you and describe your international experiences), max.500 words, in English, included max. 3 images 150 dpi, adding short cv of max.200 words, included ID photo, all in one pdf file (max 2MB totally) to be sent to

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