Alive is a Brussels-based socio-spatial design agency that enables local actors to appropriate the city. Through an empathetic and collaborative approach, we aim to make public space more livable.

Our practice ranges from macro-scale urban strategies to micro-scale spatial interventions. In each project we implement a similar approach: we observe existing social and spatial situations, involve the local community and co-produce their everyday environment.

Founded in 2010, our team currently comprises architects, social designers and spatial designers that address the challenges of urban transformation in an interdisciplinary way.

Public Space 4 Her

The “Public Space 4 Her” project aimed to actively involve young women aged 12 to 17 in the co-design and co-construction of a social, aesthetic and environmentally friendly project.

The goal was to allow the young women to use comfortably and as such appropriate public space. To do so we organized 5 participatory workshops where we focussed specifically on the unique needs of the girls. As such we recognized their rights to use space in a safe, accessible and comfortable manner. The young women were also actively involved in the co-design as well as in the co-construction during a participatory construction site that took place in March and April 2024.

While Alive Architecture is responsible to co-produce an urban installation in 2023/2024, the project will continue in the Creative Europe partner cities Nicosia and Ljubljana

(Client: Co-funded by the Municipality of Brussels Cofunded by Creative Europe program of the the European Union, Where: Vieux place aux Grains, Municipality of Brussels; When: 2023-2026; Who: Alive Architecture, RED Laboratoire Paedagogic, Prostoroz, Urban Gorillas; Surface 8 m2;)

Ghandi Living Lab

Gandhi living lab’ is an urban laboratory at the foot of the Gandhi Towers, allowing the development of a participatory process with a view to experimentation and animation of public spaces.

The methodology we propose is Design Thinking – both, in the participation phase as well as and in the phase of prototyping. Our practice fully integrates the implementation of workshops allowing not only to get to know users better, but also to create or strengthen a climate of trust.

We wish this light and experimental redevelopment to be designed and built with residents based on their needs, desires, uses, etc. in order to encourage appropriation of these spaces by all residents. The establishment of co-construction and multi-actor dialogue will be fundamental for carrying out operations.

(Client: Urban Municipality of Molenbeek, Molenbeek Social Housing, Within the framework of CRU6 Simonis, Where: Ghandi Towers, Osseghem, Molenbeek, Brussels, When: 2023 – 2024, Who: Alive Architecture With the support of Move)

Place de Houf’

Our team, in collaboration with our local partners, developed the project for the activation of a public space in Schaerbeek, Brussels. To do so we organized ten workshops on the Houffalize square to observe the potential for urban transformation and to interact with the residents and other passers-by. On the base of these exchanges, we changed the negative image of the square by transforming an abandoned facade into a vertical playground for children. As the future occupation of the ground floor was foreseen as a parking for bicycles, the design as well as all materials were based on this future use. Due to the great success, the originally temporary project was extended until 2023.

(Client: Renovas (Municipality of Schaerbeek); Where: Place Houffalize, Schaerbeek (Brussels); When: 2019; Who: Alive Architecture, Feza asbl, Fabrique à bois, SameSame; Surface: 80m2;)

Published on December 8, 2022

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