PhD Scholarship in Intellectual History of Architectural Theory and Philosophy
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Architecture

The Department of Architecture, Sint-Lucas Campus and the Institute of Philosophy at KU Leuven welcome applicants for a fully-funded two-year PhD scholarship position, in Intellectual History of Architectural Theory and Philosophy (20th century). The PhD fellow will work in the context of the research group ARP (Architectural Cultures of the Recent Past at KU Leuven's Department of Architecture: and the Centre for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Culture at KU Leuven's Institute of Philosophy (


The PhD project aims to develop an analysis of how the postwar world engaged with the notion of space. To tackle this question, the PhD fellow may focus on exchanges between émigré intellectuals, philosophers, and architects, the initiation and adaptation of concepts of space in diverse didactic contexts (architectural laboratories, classrooms, lectures), and/or the interaction between different artistic media (architecture, cinema, painting, installations).

The project situates itself at the intersection of intellectual/art history, philosophy and architecture. It has both a historiographical and a conceptual aim. The scholarship is part of the larger project “Architectural Space Thought and Taught. Trading Zones of the Concept of Space, 1945-1980”, funded by the Research Fund KU Leuven (BOF). The successful applicant will write a PhD dissertation within the overarching theme of the historical development of spatial aesthetics and architectural theory. The project is chaired by Prof. Rajesh Heynickx, Prof. Stéphane Symons and Prof. Filip Mattens.


We are looking for a candidate with the following qualifications:

  • The motivation to pursue creative work in the history of spatial aesthetics, architectural theory, or philosophy of space and architecture;
  • An explicit interest in developing the following research question: how and why was the concept of space set in motion, shaped and modified in the confusing “interregnum” between modernism and postmodernism?
  • An MA degree (or equivalent) in Architecture, Philosophy, Art History, Intellectual History or Cultural History and academic distinction (or obtaining an MA degree by October 2021). Experience with archival research is a plus.
  • The ambition to present research results at international conferences, and to publish in peer-reviewed journals.
  • The ability to play an active, collaborative role in the research group ARP (including its seminars and conferences);
  • An excellent command of English; proficiency in French and/or German is a plus.


We offer a full-time (100%) employment for1 year (extendable up to 4 years in total after a positive evaluation) as a researcher in a creative work environment and with challenging assignments. As a doctoral fellow, you will follow the doctoral programme in Architecture, at the Faculty of Architecture. The diploma ‘Doctor of Architecture’ will be offered when the PhD requirements are successfully fulfilled.

The successful candidate will be required to carry out minor educational responsibilities and provide research assistance to the supervisors. S/he will become part of a dynamic and young group of scholars examining architecture and its relation to conceptual discourses, materiality and artistic representations in the recent past.

The working language is English. The recipient of the scholarship is expected to live in Brussels or its immediate vicinity (Leuven, Antwerp, Ghent) and to work from the office in Brussels (KU Leuven, Sint Lucas Campus:


Enthusiastic and cooperative candidates meeting these criteria are kindly invited to apply online according to the instructions given at Include a cover letter, a CV, the names of two referees whom we might approach prior to appointment, and a sample piece of writing not exceeding 12.000 words (e.g. an MA thesis chapter). The deadline for applications is April 1st. We will hold interviews with selected candidates soon thereafter. In preparation of the interview selected candidates will be given a short research assignment to assess their research skills.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Rajesh Heynickx, mail: or Prof. dr. Filip Mattens, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than April 01, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Brussel/Gent
  • Apply before: April 1, 2021
  • Tags: Architectuur

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