Emma Bierens

Emma Bierens (° 1994, Ghent) graduated from Ghent University in 2018 as a master in engineering sciences - architecture, option urban design and architecture. With her master’s thesis ‘Research by design: the metropolitan park on the outskirts of Ghent’, in collaboration with Elke Duvillers, she investigated the eastern outskirts of Ghent using an atlas and research by design. The open space served as a starting point for responding to current social issues, such as water issues, mobility and urban metabolism. The master’s thesis was further shaped by participation in the exhibition and summer school ‘Horizontal Metropolis: a radical project’ in BOZAR, Brussels (2018), in collaboration with Studio Paola Viganò and A + Architecture in Belgium. This existing exhibition of the Venice 2016 Biennale received three Belgian case studies for its Belgian edition: Ghent, Val de Sambre and West Brussels. The maps of the master's thesis were used as the basis for the Ghent atlas in the exhibition and Emma's knowledge of field studies served as a guide for the interviews and drone images that were discussed in it.


Emma has been working at Architecture Workroom Brussels since October 2018. She supports various programmes, focuses on regional or local approaches and has a preference for projects involving water. The interest she developed during her studies for mapping and spatial research and the representation of social (climate) issues plays a major role in her work at AWB. She actively uses maps as a documentation resource and research tool in the various projects in which she is involved. This mapping is always accompanied by the search for spatial imagining, in which the various issues at play are linked. In addition, Emma focuses on the development of substantive narratives: she searches for clear storylines that bundle the acquired insights into clear structures.