Architecture qui dégenre

L'architecture qui dégenre is a platform that invites you to discover the realistic utopias that are feminist architectures. Because, yes, there are as many egalitarian forms of living and habitats as there are feminisms: an infinity.L'architecture qui dégenre is a place for sharing practices and knowledge related to architectural and urban equality; a meeting place for colloquiums, conferences, feminist guided tours, exploratory walks, but also the Journées du Matrimoine (Heritage Days); a place for presenting and discovering architects, urban planners, activists, as well as feminist architecture and urban planning projects; a place for relaying articles, readings, and "cartes blanches" (white cards) on gender and the city; etc. We have been organizing Matrimony days since 2019. Our 4th edition will take place in Brussels on 23, 24 and 25 September 2022.

Who's involved in it ?

We are 4 women involved in L'architecture qui dégenre. Three architects (Apolline, Rosalie and Camille) and one journalist (Audrey). Camile is a queer woman, we're all feminists and and white people. We work all together on our different project with the help of a cultural mediation.

What’s your origin story and your motivation?

L'architecture qui dégenre was create by Apolline Vranken. Throughout her apprenticeship in architecture, feminism has been a constant companion for Apolline Vranken. Through its theories, she sought to understand, and then build, egalitarian space and habitat. It was in the same way that she ended five years of study at the La Cambre-Horta Faculty of Architecture with a thesis on feminist architecture: "From beguinages to feminist architecture. How to question and subvert gender relations materialised in the habitat?" In 2019, inspiring by the Matrimony Days of Paris, she decided to launch the belgian version. The Matrimony Days shed light on the historical Brussels matrimony – architectural, sculptural, urbanistic, social. On the other hand, the Matrimony Days are also an opportunity to discover the current heritage – artistic, political and feminist. Beyond the discovery of Brussels' matrimony, which is sometimes, and often even overshadowed, the fundamental question of access to property ownership for women and related professions is transversally raised during workshops led by female experts and throughout the visits conducted by professionals in the field. The program as a whole thus makes it possible to report on the participation of women in the many professions related to heritage.

Do you want to share a special memory with us?

February 18th, L'architecture qui dégenre made a dinner with all the collaborators. We were more or less one year after our incorporation as a non-profit organisation. It was a simple dinner, but everybody went back home with a deep sense of satisfaction. It was the first time we were brought together by people who respected each other professionally and shared values and common understanding that didn't need to be reminded over and over. A a good example of the benefits of non-mixing !

What are some of your favorite spots in Brussels?

Since our first edition, we have distributed flyers to our visitors. Each year, they list about ten places related to Brussels' heritage. Over three years, we have listed about thirty places. Here are some of them:

Maison Cauchie | Rue des Francs 5 - 1040 Etterbeek (about architecture) We had the opportunity to visit the Maison Cauchi during the 2021 matrimony days and to see this emblematic building from the perspective of women artists by showing the work of Lina Cauchie and her peers.
Café Fontainas | Rue du Marché au Charbon Kolenmarkt 91 -1000 Bruxelles (about queer) This is where the visit Queering Brussels (aslo during the 2021 matrimony days) end, it represents what can be queer without being it to everybody's eyes, and hacking in a way the hetérosexual territory of Brussels.
Tulitu | Rue de Flandre 55 - 1000 Bruxelles (about culture) One of the few feminist independent bookstores with a big collection of feminist and queer books. Tulitu welcomed in 2018, Apolline Vraken to present her book, and present how books can make people share moments while sharing words.

Where can we find you virtually and/or physically?

We do not have a fixed place where we work. We are all independent, working in each other's place. Maybe one day we will have a place where welcome all the friends of L'architecture qui dégenre !


Architecture qui dégenre, 2022

*based on queer archives