Research Teams

There are currently ten teams carrying out research at the LAB institute.

Architecture & Climat

Architecture & Climat’s mission is to recommend and develop solutions promoting resilience and innovation at the scale of the built environment in response to the crises and challenges of today and tomorrow. Based on a human-centred vision, these solutions sit at the intersection of the different disciplines and themes that can support the transition towards a more resilient and sustainable architecture through its entire life-cycle.

CREAT - Centre de Recherches et d’Études pour l’Action Territoriale

The CREAT develops hypotheses, deepens knowledge, and builds methodologies to understand and act on territories at international, national, regional, municipal, and local levels. The results of its research are not only published in scientific journals and books, but also disseminated through data repositories, reports, and communications. These contributions allow the accumulation of know-how to be put at the service of territorial development. These results also contribute to teaching and training activities and to raising awareness among students, professionals, and other stakeholders.


Laboratoire Analyse Architecture (laa) brings together researchers active in the field of architectural theory. In constant dialogue with a long theoretical tradition as well as with anthropology, linguistics, art history, psychoanalysis, and philosophy, the members of laa explore the hypotheses on which contemporary theories of architecture can be based. The members of laa define architecture not as a discipline, but rather as a skill specific to human beings, comparable to language, society, and law. So defined, architecture goes beyond the limits imposed by the current division among professions of the built environment – developersurban planners, engineers, architects, decorators, etc. – to include any production of artefacts intended for living, including landscapes, cities, buildings, rooms, and interiors.


The tsa-lab studies the design processes of architectural projects. To this end, tsa-lab members conduct historical, critical, and methodological research in architectural design, architectural theory, and systems theory.


The LoCiLoCal research team, based in Tournai and anchored within a vast cross-border territory, in a city, and in an residential district, aims to federate network initiatives and answer questions at different spatial and social scales. The specificity of the LoCi_LoCal project is the desire to connect university research to society and its territories.


This team’s objective is to produce a chronological dictionary of architectural elements to be made available online for free starting in 2024 at This dictionary is designed to clarify vocabulary for the various partners of a restoration project: architects, archaeologists, craftsmen and contractors, engineers, civil servants in charge of heritage, project owners, and students of architecture and archaeology interested in heritage.


Structures & Technologies lab

This team focuses on research in the field of structural design and its methods (e.g., concrete and wood); the procedures and tools for analysing old masonry structures; the application of graphic and geometric methods (from analogue to contemporary engineering); the rules of good practice for wood construction; and the study of the work of Swiss engineer Robert Maillart.


SUPER-POSITIONS is a research laboratory which operates within the complexity between architecture, the city, and the territory. The laboratory adopts history and analysis as the basis for research and design by combining theoretical knowledge with technical know-how. From reading to writing, it critically crosses the design cultures that have shaped, and will continue to shape, the contemporary city. SUPER refers to projection towards the future, towards the beyond. POSITIONS refers to the multiplicity of views, articulating their interactions, complementarities, contradictions.

Urban Metabolism

The Urban Metabolism Lab is an interdisciplinary research group gathering research expertise in landscape and urban design, civil and environmental engineering, architecture, data science, industrial and urban ecology, geography, philosophy of science, environmental and resource management. The Lab’s research is an inquiry into the potential of urban metabolism theory and models to advance evidence-based understanding of the relations that urban communities establish with natural resources. The lab’s work positions itself distinctively in the urban metabolism scientific landscape by operating along two novel lines of research. The first provides a critical revision of the “urban metabolism” paradigm through more robust interdisciplinary methods that favour an “agentic understanding” of metabolic processes and deeper descriptions of society-nature relations in cities. The second line operationalises the first by establishing more comprehensive metabolic knowledge frameworks to analyse the links between the biophysical foundations of socioeconomic development, natural capital, and human wellbeing via “ecosystem service” and “green infrastructure” perspectives. Both lines of research involve a set of pilot projects on the co-design of new urban metabolism models and decision support systems involving public and industry stakeholders.


The Uses&Spaces research team is interested in the practices of and spaces for living. The team brings together researchers from spatial design disciplines (architecture, urban planning, etc.) and human sciences (anthropology, sociology, etc.). Building on the fruitful encounters between these disciplinary fields to investigate the complexity of our contemporary realities, Uses&Spaces researchers work at their methodological, epistemological, and operational intersections.