Ce qu’habiter veut dire

Exhibition from 10 March to 15 April

The exhibition Ce qu'habiter veut dire, organised by the Institut Culturel d'Architecture Wallonie-Bruxelles (ICA), brings together architectural stories around the question : What does "living" mean to you? Through models, interviews, collages and reflections of all kinds, numerous architects try to answer this central question. Among them architectural firms and designers such as V+, Rotor, Paola Vigano, Maxime Delvaux, L'Escaut and Bas Smets.

Living is not just living, it is also being aware of a landscape and an area. It is thinking about what to do with what already exists, what has already been built and developed. It is participating in the elaboration of one's living environment and the culture that flourishes around it. Finally, it is above all dreaming of a different living environment, one conducive to better well-being. With this in mind, the architectural collective Modlocq presents several reflections on a potential communal space within a block of houses, a kind of in-between space between the scale of the neighbourhood and that of the home.

The members of TERRE, an association of artists, urban planners and landscape architects, tell a fictional story anchored in the Cité Parc in Marcinelle, near Charleroi. This utopian future for social housing aims to spark our imagination to better prepare us for future environmental and social changes. The architectural firm Baumans-Deffet and the firm TER propose a large fresco that is a synthesis of six months of strategic urban planning studies for the four major steel sites of the Liège metropolis. The project consists of designing a network of parks and pedestrian and cycling routes that extend around the Meuse and delineate the landscape with a series of industrial symbols.

Installations, models, frescoes, testimonies, videos, photographs, sketches and collages illustrate in this exhibition the diverse approaches of those who reflect on our living environment. The result of encounters between residents, architects, photographers, urban planners, landscape designers and artists, this production gives rise to new perspectives. It offers rich visions, sometimes conceived, sometimes sketched, sometimes anchored in reality, sometimes utopian. Each subject in this anthology is delicately composed, to let the architecture inspire each visitor.

The architect and photographer François Lichtlé illustrates different types of housing characteristic of the Belgian landscape. Visitors can question the diversity of housing, more specifically lifestyles. For his part, the photographer Xavier Delory challenges the audience through photomontages in which he shares his views on lifestyles and architectural culture in Wallonia and Brussels. 

In addition, some 20 contemporary architectural projects from the last 30 years in Wallonia and Brussels are shown in the form of models, cross-sections and graphic documents. Combined with a series of photographs, the ensemble forms a sensitive interpretation of the current built and unbuilt environment of French-speaking Belgium. The exhibition Ce qu'habiter veut dire also inspired ICA to publish a book of the same name that completes the content of the exhibition. A way to broaden the experience of the exhibition and take home a souvenir of the works on display.

List of designers participating in the exhibition: Agence TER, Arcadus, Artau, Aya Akbib, Baumans-Deffet, Baukunst, Binario, Pierre Blondel, François Brix, Maurizio Cohen, Xavier Delory, Maxime Delvaux, Jean-Luc Deru, Dessin & Construction, Barbara Dits, Hugues Dorzée, Nicolas Duerinck, L’Escaut, False Mirror office, Jean-François Flamey, Olivier Fourneau, HE architectes, Pierre Hebbelinck, Holoffe & Vermeersch, Dominique Houcmant/Goldo, Alain Janssens, Philippe Koeune, Gaspar Lambé, Georges-Eric Lantair, Mathilde Lasserre, François Lichtlé, Linto, LRArchitectes, Daryna Lysytska, Matador, Mamout, Charlotte Marchal, Martiat+Durnez, Modlocq, MSA, Nord, Virginie Pigeon, Reservoir A, Rotor, Fabian Rouwette, Victor Selle, Bas Smets, Vianney Soulard, Specimen, Terre, Alexander Topilin, Henri Uijtterhaegen, Urban echoes, V+, Charles Vandenhove, Cécile Vandernoot, Paola Viganò, Marc Wendelski.

Practical information

10 March - 15 April : Ce qu'habiter veut dire

The exhibition takes place at MAD Brussels: Nieuwe Graanmarkt 10, 1000 Brussels. The exhibition is open to the public free of charge from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.

For more information or interview requests, please contact:


Press communication, MAD Brussels

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