On creating opportunities out of scarcity


On Tuesday 16 April, Archipel and the Bruges Triennial co-present a dialogue between Shingo Masuda (JP) and Richard Venlet (AU). The Japanese architect and visual artist will discuss the richness of scarcity.

Date & time
20:00 – 22:00
Crematorium Polderbos (Grintweg 120, 8400 Oostende)
In co-production with
Archipel vzw
Schaarste rijkdom 53660889530 o

On creating opportunities out of scarcity

Both designers approach this apparent contradiction from a different angle. Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects, whose work can be found in St. John’s Hospital park as part of the Bruges Triennial 2024: Spaces of Possibility, look at each new design question from the proposition “Is it truly necessary”? As architects, should we keep adding to what already exists, or can we adopt a more intelligent approach? Through subtle interventions, they enhance the quality of a place and how it is experienced by users and passers-by. As is the case with their work for the Triennial, empty drop, a geometric brick-built sculpture that contrasts with the functional city and subtracts from the historic orchard’s surface area.

The work of Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects resonates with that of artist Richard Venlet. With each new project, he visually recreates space as an invitation to reflect, exhibit or inspire others. Present or absent? A dialogue about creating possibilities out of scarcity, starting from what is already there and looking for what is truly needed.

About Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects

Shingo Masuda (b. 1982, Tokyo, JP) and Katsuhisa Otsubo (b. 1983, Saitama, JP) founded their eponymous architectural practice with the credo: “is it truly necessary?”

Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects (2007, Tokyo, JP) focus mainly on the subtle interventions that, starting from a contextual analysis, reveal the characteristics of a location. By incorporating these observations into their projects or paying attention to what would otherwise go unnoticed, the architects challenge the known and thus give (new) meaning and structure to a place. A gesture in which interior and exterior merge into an architectural landscape that feels both monumental and ephemeral, familiar and surprising to all those who occupy or walk past it.

Although the firm has been working mainly in Japan for the past 15 years, the duo has enjoyed a great deal of international interest. For instance, Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects were the winners of the AR Emerging Architecture Award 2014 and received the prestigious Yoshioka Prize (Japan Architect) in 2015.

Read more about Shingo Masuda + Katsuhisa Otsubo Architects and their work for the Bruges Triennial 2024: Spaces of Possibility here.

About Richard Venlet

Richard Venlet always makes his art into an invitation. He wants spaces to be reinterpreted, used, played or exhibited in, and discussed by other people. His Open Room (2006), for the non-profit organisation Monnikenheide, is an open stage for an audience of trees, through the door you look in a mirror, step into or out of a world. Museum for a Small City (2013), commissioned by S.M.A.K., rethinks the possibilities of exhibiting. It is a room within a room that recreates the museum within the museum and provides space to display changing selections of other artworks from the collection. The exhibition architecture as a work of art in its own right.

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Archipel vzw