BAVO is a research collective focusing on the political dimension of art, architecture and urban planning.

BAVO operates since 2001 and was founded by Gideon Boie and Matthias Pauwels. From 2009 onward, BAVO forms an ever changing collective operating in various configurations, temporarily involving different collaborators.


(Former) collaborators are: Gideon Boie (architect and philosopher), Marine Boey (architect), Rosa Fens (architect), Paoletta Holst (artist and architectural historian), Lydia Karagiannaki (architect and researcher), Matthias Pauwels (architect and philosopher), Erro Rasker (architect), Tom Schoonjans (architect and philosopher), Vjera Sleutel (architect), Rūta Valiūnaitė‐Aleks (architect), Fie Vandamme (architect), Wim Vandendriessche (architect), Heleen Verheyden (architect and art historian)


Research subjects include the restructuring of problem districts, the imbedded role of artists and architects in urban developments, the new engagement within architecture, the hype around the creative city, the neo-liberalisation of town planning in the EU, euregional crossborder development, humane prison architecture, care architecture, dismantling of the psychiatric clinic, the architecture of the commons, the possibility of architectural activism, and more. Common thread is the critical engagement with contemporary practices and discourses in art, architecture and urban planning.


BAVO is a cultural producer, initiating projects according to its own research interests, writing about issues it deems urgent, and operating in the framework of artistic-creative services.


Outcomes are published under the Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), unless mentioned otherwise.


Recent research of BAVO is full part of the KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture (campus Brussels).

Through the years BAVO enjoyed project-based support of the Jan van Eyck Academy (Maastricht), Fonds BKVB (Amsterdam), the Netherlands Architecture Fund, the Mondriaan Foundation and the Flemish Authorities.

BAVO has been collaborating with cultural institutions (such as Flemish Architecture Institute, Architectuurwijzer and AR-TUR) and public agencies (such as FOD Justitie).

BAVO has developed research and provided advice for diverse public and private institutions, most recently a.o. Karus Psychiatric Centre (formerly known as Caritas PC), PZ Sint Annendael Diest, PZ Bethaniënhuis Zoersel, PC Gent-Sleidinge and UPC KU Leuven.


BAVO was founded in 2001 by architect-philosophers Gideon Boie (Bruges, 1975) and Matthias Pauwels (Bruges, 1975)  with the ambition to create a hybrid practice that critically researches art, architecture and urban planning from the perspective of political philosophy. Gideon Boie and Matthias Pauwels both studied architecture (KU Leuven Sint-Lucas Gent) and philosophy (Erasmus University Rotterdam). Both conducted for some years research at the Theory Department of the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Gideon Boie is doctor of architecture; he is teaching and researching at the KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture. Matthias Pauwels is a doctor of philosophy; he is postdoctoral fellow at the North-West University School of Philosophy. Over the years, BAVO has been shifting the function of critique by producing research that actively intervenes in artistic, architectural and urban practices. BAVO researches comtemporary practices (in art, architecture and planning), writes about it, exhibits the research, teaches about it, and delivers (unsollicited) advice.