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Michiel De Houwer

Michiel De Houwer

Silver Spring, MD, US

 

About 

I am Michiel De Houwer, a 24-year-old architecture student. I grew up in a village called Averbode, located in the Flemish part of Belgium. Ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about architecture. As a little boy, I would walk around my neighborhood to find construction sites and watch houses rising up from the ground. When I started my architecture degree, I did not have much knowledge of how architects design buildings. However, I found it important to have my own opinions of architecture. I discovered my own personality and sense of style during my first years of architecture school. 

Since starting architecture school, I have traveled regularly to the United States during my holidays because of strong ties I developed there. This has been a big influence on my work. It has caused me to develop my sense of style based on buildings I have studied in American cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, DC. There is a big difference between the culture I grew up in and the culture of the American cities I have visited. 

I was raised as a village kid. I had never been to any big cities before starting architecture school, my parents never liked cities, and I grew with their negative view of cities. To them, it is impossible to live a good life in a city among people with the same values as those in rural areas. Spending so much time in American cities changed my view of cities completely. Since I experienced city life, I started seeing great value and opportunities rural areas do not have. People in large American cities have a completely different lifestyle than I ever experienced. Large cities are much more lively – people go out more to restaurants for dinner and cook less at home, people enjoy nightlife, are more fashionable and much more “out and about” than in rural areas. 

I also became familiar with different types of housing through my travels. Apartments can be livable in different styles like colonial and ranch. I had always thought that newer is better, but now I see the importance of tradition and think the old should be respected, but possibly improved upon. This philosophy has resulted in my interest in adaptive reuse. In my eyes, adaptive reuse will form the basis of the future of architecture. 

Urbanism has formed an important part of my education and served as an inspiration for my master’s thesis, which questions how we can retrofit suburban landscapes using transportation strategies. The relationship between mobility, liveable cities, urbanism, and architecture has become my passion. 

I am still developing as an architect, but because of the different environments in which I have been spending my time and my studies, I am finding my personality. 

- Michiel De Houwer

Employment 

AIA | DC, Washington, DC, US, Member, Urban Design Committee

Jul 2018 - current
 

Set-Office, Antwerp, BE, Architecture Intern

Designed competition-winning library and town hall renovation in Kruibeke, Belgium
Rendered projects using V-Ray, Photoshop
Drafted plans and diagrams for projects using Vectorworks, AutoCAD, SketchUp

Sep 2015 - current
 

Education 

University of Hasselt, BE, Hasselt, BE, MArch, Architecture

Activities/Accomplishments:
Certificate, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi
Minh, Vietnam (Winter 2017)
Student council member

Thesis: A New Future For The Suburban Landscape

Sep 2016 - current
 

University of Hasselt, BE, Hasselt, BE, BArch, Architecture

Paper: Insulation in Suburban Chicago Homes

Sep 2012 - Jun 2016
 

Areas of Specialization 

Skills