Xaveer de Geyter: A Rational Approach to the Public Realm

The Dirt

The University of Virginia (UVA) School of Architecture kicked off its third annual all-school design workshop with a lecture by visiting critic Xaveer de Geyter, founding principal of Brussels-based practice XDGA urban design and landscape architecture. De Geyter acted as a critic for 300 undergraduate and graduate students throughout the week of “The Vortex” competition, titled “Route 29: After the Sprawl.” His presentation revealed a methodological approach to design in the public realm. “We make no difference between architecture and urbanism,” the architect explained. “For us, they are not two different disciplines. Both are about dealing with different scales at the same time.”

Speaking to an audience about to embark on a week-long charrette, de Geyter brought with him an expertise in competitions. His office submits entries for about ten a year. “When we are lucky, we win two of them,” he said. In Europe, the best way…

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