Fuel to the Urban Debate or, at Last, an End to the Brussels Trauma?


  • Isabelle Doucet




In her article Isabelle Doucet discusses the recent exhibition ‘A Vision for Brussels: Imagining the Capital of Europe’, curated by Pier Vittorio Aureli and Joachim Declerck from the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, at the BOZAR Centre of Fine Arts in Brussels. Rather than discussing the exhibition as such, she re-positions it within the broader context of recent as well as concurrent contributions to the Brussels debate. By doing so, she treats the exhibition and its accompanying publication as the departure point for a reflection on how Brussels reflects on Brussels. She relates the exhibition to some ‘brand new’ attempts to provide a strong vision for this European Capital: two new journals about ‘planning the capital’ and another Europe-in-Brussels exhibition. However, while she argues that ‘A Vision for Brussels’ aims to formulate a vision for the architectural discipline too, she questions whether ‘A Vision for Brussels’ produces a ‘vision’ for the city, a full-blown ‘project’ for Brussels and/or a ‘solution’ to the crisis of architecture and the city as well. In other words, who is leading the show in the exhibition: Brussels, Europe or the architecture and urban design disciplines?

Author Biography

Isabelle Doucet

Isabelle Doucet holds a degree in Architecture and has been a scientific researcher since 2004 within the frame of Prospective Research for Brussels (IWOIB, the Brussels Capital Region). She is linked with W&K Dep. Architectuur Sint-Lucas Brussels and - carrying out a Ph.D – with Delft Technical University (the Netherlands). She is furthermore involved in the Cosmopolis XL Network (Free University of Brussels), and has taught in several European Architecture Faculties.