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Heritage and innovation: Art nouveau, a laboratory for past, present and future challenges

Take part in this course and explore the relationship between heritage and innovation through the lens of Art nouveau

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CIVIS focus area
Cities, territories and mobilities
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 4
Course dates
29 June - 8 July 2022

From the beginnings of Art nouveau to its peak, from private mansion to public building, from furniture to ornamentation, from destruction to preservation, participants will examine the relationship between heritage and innovation through the lens of Art nouveau.

The summer school will shed light on how Art nouveau blossomed in Brussels and will allow participants to discover the city in the footsteps of pioneers such as Victor Horta, Paul Hankar and Henry van de Velde. Participants will also address how the movement spread across Europe and infused society well beyond architecture. They will examine how Art Nouveau can act as a laboratory to tackle current and future challenges related to preservation and renovation, cultural heritage and tourism, as well as the role of heritage as an economic resource. With a view to foster transdisciplinary, participants will also broaden their perspectives by reflecting on the link between Art Nouveau shapes and recent outreaches in metamaterial physics, self-stable structures, and deployable structures.

Main topics addressed

  • The beginnings of Art nouveau
  • Victor Horta, a pioneer
  • Brussels Art nouveau: from Horta to van de Velde
  • From private house to public building
  • Politics and Urbanism
  • Art nouveau across Europe; study cases
  • Ornament and structure
  • Renovation, mediation, valorization

Learning outcomes

This CIVIS course offers a unique opportunity for students to gain knowledge on Art nouveau in its various dimensions and to dialogue with academics and experts such as curators, architects and practitioners involved in heritage and urban policies.

Dates: 29 June - 8 July 2022 CIVIS scholarships: 16
Format: Physical ECTS: to be confirmed
Location: Brussels, Belgium Contact hours: 48
Language: English (B2) Individual workload: 10 hours


The summer school will combine various types of learning activities:

  • Lectures including Q&A sessions; 
  • Roundtable sessions with professionals;
  • Visits in Brussels to illustrate issues discussed during lectures and to guide participants through the extensive Art Nouveau heritage in Brussels;
  • Group work in teams.


This CIVIS course is open to CIVIS students in their final year of a Bachelor's degree, as well as to Master and PhD students at the CIVIS member universities. Applications by students from various backgrounds including architecture, art, history, philosophy, cultural management, urbanism and engineering are welcome. 

The summer school is also open to a limited number of external participants.

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact

Application process

Applicants should fill in the online application form by 20 April 2022.
The selection of applicants will be based on their background and motivation.

Selected students will be notified in April 2022.

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact


Students will be assessed based on their active participation and their submission of an essay (written essay, video, drawings, etc.) in groups after the end of the programme. Please note that the recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

General Eligibility Criteria for CIVIS Courses

Applicants need to be enrolled at their home university in order to be eligible for selection and participation.  If uncertain about your status at your home university (part-time or exchange students etc) please check with your home university’s website or International Office. 

Applicants who will be receiving other Erasmus funds for the duration of the course are not entitled to funding. Participation in the course may still be possible under “zero-grant” status, but applicants should contact their home university in order to confirm this. 

A list of links and contacts for each university can be found in this Q&A.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Victor Charpentier, Aix-Marseille Université
  • Vladimir Crețulescu, University of Bucharest
  • Ecaterina Lung, University of Bucharest
  • Joël Marthelot, University of Aix-Marseille
  • Maxime Nicolas, University of Aix-Marseille
  • Mihaela Pop, University of Bucharest
  • Marcelle Rabinowicz, ULB
  • Oana Serban, University of Bucharest
  • Chantal Zheng, Aix-Marseille Université

Click here to check the programme and see the full list of lecturers and invited speakers.

A detailed version of the programme will be published soon.