Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I’m an architect and designer from Ghent, living in Brussels for about five years now. I cofounded FELT, a design studio focusing on architecture in 2014, with a particular interest in public interiors and scenography.
How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?
It’s hard to tell and yet, I have no doubt it did. Brussels is by far the most inspiring place I’ve lived in up until now: it’s so diverse that it seems like it doesn’t belong to anybody, and therefore paradoxically belongs to everybody alike. It’s this metropolitan quality that sets it apart from other Belgian cities.
What do you like the most about Brussels?
I like Brussels because it’s imperfect in so many different ways – but I also get frustrated for the very same reason. This is particularly true in relation to mobility, and more specifically cycling. Biking in Brussels is still too much of an adventure; there’s definitely a whole lot that needs to be improved. That being said, I have to admit that there has been a change in recent years. It seems like politicians finally found the courage to go against conservative ideas that still advocate for car-centred mobility. This will – hopefully – prelude a real mental shift over time.
Which deciding factors converted you to bicycle use?
- The pace: fast enough to get around quickly yet slow enough to be fully aware of your surroundings.
- The physical effort: lately I go biking a lot simply for the exercise.
List three of your favourite bike routes in Brussels.
- The Sonian Forest, because I can get lost in its endless greenery and breathe fresh forest air.
- The canal path, going straight along the waterway, sometimes all the way to Halle.
- From Forest/Vorst to Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis and the centre, cruising down the hill on a Villo from Albert to downtown without a plan.