PhD Scholarship: Speculative Architecture and Postdigital Media Ecologies

Updated: 27 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 20 Jun 2024

24 May 2024
Job Information

KU Leuven
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

20 Jun 2024 - 00:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

38 hours/week
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The field of media ecologies examines the interrelationships between different media and their entanglement in social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental systems. Digital technologies play an important role in this interconnected layered environment: Our collective understanding of these interlinked systems is enabled through computational technologies and digital media. The awareness of the multitude of ecological, social and economic crisis, cannot be unentangled from the emergence of technologies such as earth observation, satellite imagery, cloud computing, computational modelling, as well as social media, video and images sharing platforms. Simultaneously digital technologies contribute to the contemporary complexity and crises, not just in content and interaction thy mediate,  but also through the vast hardware infrastructure and energy infrastructures needed to support their operation. Digital technologies are inextricably interwoven in the very fabric of our environments, and permeate our visual cultures. The term media ecologies reflects this active role of media and communication technologies in constituting environments. The discourse on media ecologies has emancipated from its human-centred origins, to include more-than-human agencies and materialist perspectives. Through recent developments in the fields of media theory, media archaeology, media ecologies can be described as material formations, in addition to technological and cultural constructions. In this extended understanding, media ecologies operate on time frames ranging from the instant to deep time, and span across scales from the microscopic to the planetary. 

The PhD research project Speculative Architecture and Postdigital Media Ecologies questions how architecture might respond by the saturation of our environments with digital technologies and the increasing production and consumption of images and resulting visual cultures. Starting from a materialist understanding of digital technologies it explores the media ecologies, the networked graph of interlinked data as an expanded field for architectural culture. This is framed in an significant shift in the role of design media in architectural practice, the shift from representation to simulation, from drawing to image. The project aims to expanding the architectural image production with time-based, narrative, computational and synthetic media. Through design driven research, the project aims to develop speculative architectural design propositions that engage with the postdigital condition and contemporary visual cultures. Within this framework and in close collabor... For more information see

Research Field
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent


Additional Information

We offer an appointment as a full-time PhD researcher (net wage equals net wage scale 43). You will be appointed for the duration of 1 year, extendable to a maximum of 4 years in total (depending on positive interim evaluations, and a research submission to at least one external funding agency). You will be based at the Faculty of Architecture, campus Sint-Lucas Ghent, and possibly campus Sint-Lucas Brussels. KU Leuven opts for hybrid working, where a combination of on campus and working from home is possible. Other benefits include: eco vouchers, end of year bonus and holiday pay (for scholarship holders subject to full social security), hospital insurance, reimbursement of commuting costs... 


The starting date of the position is envisioned in October/November 2024. 


Within this position, you will be part of KU Leuven, a university where 13,000 colleagues together make top-level teaching and 

research possible. This includes an exciting work environment that offers opportunities to build your experience and develop your skills. In addition, various initiatives are taken, locally and centrally, to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of colleagues in this work environment. 


Eligibility criteria

Speculative Architecture and Post-Digital Media Ecologies requires an outstanding candidate that is passionate about architecture in contemporary visual culture, digital design tools, critical making, narrative and computational media, driven by strong design and artistic sensibilities combined with an eagerness to learn hands on and critical understanding of digital media.  You might be the ideal candidate if you: 

  • have obtained a master’s degree with proof of a design skills in digital media via a portfolio that demonstrates a design-led research attitude in architecture, arts, design, or related topics; 
  • are a high achiever during your studies, academic career or professional life, which is demonstrated by distinctions, achievement, awards, or endorsements; 
  • have excellent English writing skills, and desk top publishing graphic/visual skills that are demonstrated in a published article, book chapter, master’s thesis, or portfolio. N.B. Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete a drawing and writing test before final selection; 
  • have relevant or promising provisional experience in (design-led or artistic) research; 
  • are able to publicly present your work and engage in discussions with peers and participants; 
  • participate in international debates on regenerative architecture, craftsmanship, design and nature-based projects; 
  • are proactive, and enjoy taking an initiative using a strategic, rigorous, iterative and experimental approach in your investigations; 
  • work with a high level of autonomy and can function (occasionally) under pressure; 
  • work well as an individual but are also a good team-player and collaborator; 
  • have an excellent command of spoken English. Knowledge of Dutch is an asset, but is not a fundamental requirement. (Other language skills relevant to the research are a plus.) 
  • are willing to move to Belgium for the duration of the position

Selection process

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Corneel Cannaerts ([email protected] ) or Ms. Evita Piscador ([email protected] ).

Candidates are invited to apply online no later than June 20, 2024. 

Please include in your application file (in English): 

- a cover letter with a clear motivation (2 pages max); 

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
KU Leuven
Brussels Hoofdstedelijk gewest
Postal Code

Where to apply



Brussels Hoofdstedelijk gewest

Postal Code


[email protected]


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