Marie Nevejan is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture in Ghent. Her project, entitled ‘Space for Memory – memories of places. Urban reconstruction planning after disaster’ focuses on the reconstruction of the Westhoek after the battles of the First World War.
The urban reconstruction after the First World War defines the DNA of the Westhoek. However, the spatial transformation that is needed to meet contemporary requirements challenges this DNA. This reconstruction is often organized through the same top-down perspective, which focuses on war memory and commemoration. The main focus of this research is to define this blind spot and to better understand the position of cultural heritage within the spatial memory of residents in the process of recovery after disaster. The aim is to formulate more inclusive design strategies that support urban resilience in revival and reconstruction processes and policies.
The PhD is part of the research project ‘Restoring Broken Journeys’ with professor Gisèle Gantois as a supervisor (Research Group ‘Urban Projects, Collective Spaces and Local Identities’) and professor Rajesh Heynickx as a co-supervisor (Research Group ‘Architectural Cultures of the Recent Past’).
In 2019, Marie attended the Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden.
She obtained her Master’s degree at the KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture in 2020 with a thesis on ‘Forgotten Modernisms. Regenerating urban environments through young architectural heritage.’ Her thesis has been nominated by the university for the Van Hove Award 2020. After her graduation, Marie worked as a practicing architect at Dhooge & Meganck Architecture for two years, where she worked on different projects from small to medium scale.