The Flanders Architecture Institute has set the bar high with the book Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office: Future Plans 1970–2020, a unique document from an exceptionally idiosyncratic design practice. The publication not only offers a clear overview of projects from the past 50 years, it also presents archival material that has never been shown.
(available from 24.11.2020 | booklaunch on 3.12.2020)
"I never quite understood why you would first have to wait for a question before formulating an architectural answer"‐ Luc Deleu, architect
In 2020–2021 we are celebrating 50 years of unsolicited practice by Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office. To mark this anniversary, the Flanders Architecture Institute, in collaboration with CIVA, M HKA, Middelheim Museum and Argos, is launching the Future Plans project. The aim of Future Plans is to preserve, continue and disseminate the potential of T.O.P. office’s reflection on society from the perspective of design practice and design education. The project translates concretely into a book, an exhibition and a documentary. Through two additional educational and participatory projects – Studio for Orbanism and FUTURUM – we are working to activate the living archive and pass on the legacy of ideas to future generations of designers, those who imagine the future.
Since its inception, T.O.P. office has boosted architecture as an uncompromising social tool to persistently question the terrestrial scale and the delicate balance with mankind. Whichever way you turn it, Earth – the orb – is the undeniable alpha and omega for any future stance, action or intervention. An insight Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office have never failed to underscore – or challenge. Armed with an unsparing but humorous logic, a firm belief in the freedom of the individual, and a persistent commitment to ecology, T.O.P. office continues to hold up a mirror to society. Always unsolicited. Simply because they have to.
For this publication, editors Peter Swinnen and Anne Judong were given unlimited access to the archives of T.O.P. office. The title is also the filter through which to examine the living archive. Which projects – whether conceived in the 1970s or 2000s – retain the intelligent promise of a future plan? And how can they enlighten designers, architects, urban planners, ecologists, cultural workers, administrations and policymakers of today and tomorrow? A future plan in itself.
To navigate easily the rich and varied archival material, the book follows a clear chronological order. No fewer than 63 projects were selected on the basis of the question: which projects retain the intelligent promise of a future plan? The selection forms a source book, a source of commons to continue, disseminate and rediscover ideas.
The list of works is an important part of the publication. It also serves as a recalibration of the index that was included in the publication Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office: ORBAN SPACE (Amsterdam: Valiz, 2012). The new index is a baseline document that opens the door for further exploration of the physical and digital archive.
Forty-four authors reflect from a personal or professional viewpoint on one of the future plans from the list of projects. Established names from the world of art and architecture alternate with new voices. The result is a multidisciplinary and polyphonic perspective on the work of Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office.
The publication also shows the result of the first steps taken by the Flanders Architecture Institute to preserve the archive in a sustainable way, namely through digitization of the slide collection, which includes no fewer than 15,000 slides. A collection that shows a cross-section of key moments, strategies and the perspective on the world of practice of Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office.
authors: Raymond Balau, Thierry Berlemont, Flor Bex, Guillaume Bijl, Gideon Boie, Wim Cuyvers, Bart De Baere, Lieven De Boeck, Sofie De Caigny, Lieven De Cauter, Anny De Decker, Xaveer De Geyter, Lucas De Pauw, Isabelle De Smet, Luc Deleu, Filip Francis, Charlotte Geldof, Pieterjan Gijs, Pieterjan Ginckels, Wim Goossens, Arnaud Hendrickx, Hilde Heynen, Dirk Jaspaert, Anne Judong, John Körmeling, Rudi Laermans, Cédric Libert, Ulrike Lindmayr, André Loeckx, Johan Pas, Tine Poot, Paul Robbrecht, Sofie Ruysseveldt, Lara Schrijver, Peter Swinnen, Maarten Van Acker, Philippe Van Cauteren, Steven Van den Bergh, Maarten Van Den Driessche, Christophe Van Gerrewey, Hein Van Haaren, Paul Vermeulen, Bart Verschaffel, Marleen Wynants
Editors Peter Swinnen en Anne Judong, Editorial board Luc Deleu, Isabelle De Smet, Steven Van den Bergh, Laurette Gillemot and Tine Poot Design Kim Beirnaert Translation & final editing Patrick Lennon Language Engels
Flanders Architecture Institute
Made possible by
KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture | Argos