Michiel De Houwer

Michiel De Houwer

Chicago, IL, US



I am Michiel De Houwer, a 27-year-old architect. 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.

During my studies, I traveled regularly to the United States because of strong ties I developed there. This had a major influence on my work. It caused me to develop my sense of style based on buildings I 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 up instilled with their view that living a quality life in a city is impossible. Spending so much time in American cities changed my view of cities completely. Large cities are much livelier than the village where I was raised – 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. In my youth, I also always thought that newer is better, but now I see the importance of tradition and think the old should be respected, but 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, livable cities, urbanism, and architecture has become my passion. Through my work, I will strive to ensure that public spaces are accessible to all people. I believe all neighborhoods should have parks and green spaces, adequate bicycle lanes, decent sidewalks, and access to public transit.

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

- Michiel De Houwer


AIA | DC, Washington, DC, US, Co-Chair, Urban Design Committee

Jul 2018 - current

KGD Architecture, Washington, DC, US, Architectural Designer

Worked on multiple mixed-use projects to deliver context analysis, design proposals, yield studies, architectural design, and client presentations. (Software used: AutoCAD, Sketchup, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel)
Participated in an urban design charrette to retrofit a mall to a mixed-use development
Participated in meetings with clients, voicing advice on projects

Oct 2018 - Jun 2020

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 - Jun 2018


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

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