Call Summerschool 2017 Addis Abeba

International Summer School Addis Abeba, Ethiopia: September 12-21 2017
Organised by Streetscape Territories, Faculty/Department of Architecture KU Leuven and AAU EiABC, Chair of Architecture and Design II


International Summer School

KU Leuven and EiABC present the opportunity to join a ten day International Summer School in Addis Abeba, hosted by the local university EiABC and part of the Streetscape Territories research and design project of KU Leuven, Belgium.
Both institutions have successfully collaborated in the past years through development projects, workshops and parallel design studio. This summer, these previous collaborations will lead to a fully joint project about architectural and urban research and design, with a focus on the Merkato area in the Ethiopian capital. This market area is in full transformation and presents many challenges for further development. This summer school will be developed with a group of local and international professionals and academics via a series of input and research/design sessions and lead to a final presentation to university community and local stakeholders. It is also the end of a six week local development project (VLIR UOS) of KU Leuven students.
Framework for International Summer School

Streetscape Territories is the name given to an international research project (KU Leuven, Department of Architecture) that focuses on the transformation of the urban fabric and considers its streetscapes the protagonists. The research deals with the way architectural artifacts, open space, the property structure and its inherent accessibility and permeability configure streetscapes and how their inhabitants can give meaning to them.
This project focuses on models of proximity within a street, neighborhood or region and starts from the assumption that urban space, from the domestic scale till the scale of the city, can be understood as a discontinuous collective space (de Solà-Morales, 1992), containing different levels of shared use that are defined by multiple physical, cultural or territorial boundaries (Scheerlinck, 2013): how do people and buildings relate to each other and how does it contribute to the local identity of the built and social environment.
The intermediate scale, that is the scale between the architectural intervention and the urbanistic plan, defines the research domain. Within this research project, collective spaces that are characterized by an “between/among” space condition are read, mapped or designed: systems of streets, squares, gardens, parks, but also patios, porches, enclaves, covered or portico spaces, courtyards and all other interstitial areas are subject of research.
The research consists out of systematic and comparative analysis of existing neighborhoods, streetscapes, public spaces, urban landscapes or complex buildings in different locations, based on research by design. It includes multiple approaches from different disciplinary fields and considers research and design simultaneous and integrated processes of developing urban projects. It consists of a group of designers and doctoral and postdoctoral researchers with international expertise in making architecture and landscape at an urban scale: instead of having a programmatic or formal approach, this group focuses on the qualities or potentials of the urban landscape, taking into account the socio-cultural impact of an intervention.
The reading and use of collective spaces, as an important part of inhabiting the urban landscape, is greatly changed due to environmental, economic and social developments: changing climate, financial crisis and balancing employment rates, political regimes causing changes in ethnic or religious dominance and new flows of migration change the meaning of urban space and by that, its proper use and appropriation. Users change their behaviors, attitudes and claims of squares, gardens, streets and parks, respondent to the incisive and profound changes of their daily reality and opportunities.
Collective space- today more than ever projected by academics, practitioners and stakeholders as multiple, flexible and open- is contradictory to the apparent increasing need and desire to secure boundaries and claim spaces explicitly, in an individual as well as in a collective way. While the need to rethink and build new types of collective spaces grows (Avermaete, 2007), more effort seems to be put into separating, delimiting and specializing urban space from the scale of the domicile to the scale of a neighborhood or the city. The Streetscape Territories research project seeks to study this balance of parallel mechanisms of space production in different contexts and test the outcomes through real life projects, considering the local neighbors stakeholders as main actors and beneficiaries.
As part of this project, various on-site workshops and seminars are organised with groups of international researchers, students, young professionals and local actors, to test the theoretical framework about depth configurations, accessibility, permeability and territorial boundaries on site.
The Addis Abeba Summer School is a collaboration between KU Leuven, Belgium and AAU EiABC, Ethiopia, taking the Streetscape Territories framework as a starting point.

Addis Ababa and the Merkato area

Addis Abeba is the captal of Ethiopia and the capital of the African Union, characterised by an increasingly growing population -currently around 3 million inhabitants registered in 2007. The metropolis is in full transformation and counts an increasing number of foreign investments, mostly related to real estate development and infrastructure. The summer school will focus on the Addis Merkato area -officially the Addis Ketema district- that is the largest open air market in Africa, employing an estimated 13,000 people in 7,100 business entities. Addis Merkato was originally instituted by segregationist policies of the Italian occupational government in the early 20th century. The Italians called this place also “Merkato Indigino” (which means market of the indigenous), as they also set up a “European equivalent”, illustrating their policy of clear segregation. The Mercato area did not have any urbanistic plan and gradually grew taking different categorical stocks called “terras”. The market combines formal as well as informal settings and includes permanent as well as ephemeral activities. It can also be understood as a place where production, consumption and storage is combined in an emergent way but representing a substantial part of the local economy.


Formal / Informal processes of urban transformation, related to:
Transport systems (from mini buses to LRT)
Housing schemes (from kebeles to grand housing schemes)
Productive cycles (from informal markets to shopping malls or logisitc centres)
Market mechanisms: logistics, users, local economies, recycling processes, local employment, social justice
Multi scalar approach: from architectural detail to regional scale
Hands-on approach: real live project: on site engagement


(all activities in groups of 3-4 students, totally max. 30 international master students from EiABC, KU Leuven or other universities or recently graduates)
a studio space will be exclusively used for this international workshop, hosted by EiABC
most part of the summer school will happen on site, with a hands-on approach

arrival before September 12th 2017
summer school September 12th-21th 2017
leaving after September 21th 2017

Streetscape Territories team: Omar Elkousy, Rasya Kumar, Siddharth Thyagarajan, Maelle Vandenbergh, Simen Lambrecht, Arnout De Schryver, Matteo Paracchini, Vincent Chukwuemeka, Yannick Sluyts, Luna Catteeuw, Pille Koppe, Kris Scheerlinck


– call for participation: March 9th, 2017
- deadline for submitting motivation letter*: May 15th, 2017
- selection and notification of acceptance: May 20th, 2017
– registration payment deadline: June 1st, 2017 (registration fee only for non-KU Leuven/non-EiABC participants)
– deadline confirmation travel arrangements by participants: June 15th, 2017 (for all participants)

– eligible for participation are all (International) Master students in Programs of Architecture, Urban Design or Urban Planning (including Erasmus or exchange students), as well as recently graduated Architects, Urban Designers or Urban Planners (graduated between 2014 and 2017)
– participation of students enrolled in Master Programs at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, campus Sint-Lucas and EiABC is without charge, selection based on motivation letter*
– participation of students/professionals not enrolled in Programs at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture or EIABC, is at charge of 195.00EUR, to be paid via international bank transfer on the KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture account before June 1st, 2017 (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*
availability: max. 30 participants
– all participants book and pay the needed travel and accommodation costs and agree to be present on September 1st, 2017 on the previously communicated meeting point in Addis Abeba (late arrivals or early leave will not be accepted)
– all participants are personally responsible to obtain all legal documents and permits to travel and stay in Ethiopia, KU Leuven/EiABC does not have responsibility in this matter
– all participants arrange travel modes and insurances individually for the whole stay, KU Leuven/EiABC does not have responsibility in this matter (some accommodation possibilities will be provided)
– after completion, all participants will receive an official certificate of participation at the International Sumer School, 5 ECTS study credits can be granted for participation when the participants enroll in the elective “Participation International Project” at KU Leuven (only for master students at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture)
for more information: email to or
KU Leuven will apply for travel funds for 15 KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture students, final confirmation of partial funding (400EUR pp) will be given mid June 2017

*submission of a motivation letter (convince us why we would select you and describe your international orientation), 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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