Rotor: Reverse Architecture

Cofounder Lionel Devlieger presents the firm's work in conversation with League president Paul Lewis.

June 1, 2021

Recorded on April 20, 2021.

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Brussels-based Rotor was founded in 2006 as a research and design practice that “investigates the organization of the material environment.” In 2016, the firm launched Rotor Deconstruction, a cooperative that organizes the reuse of construction materials through the dismantling, processing, and trading of salvaged building components.

In this video, Rotor cofounder Lionel Devlieger discusses some of the firm’s recent projects:

  • Zonnige Kempen, an office interior and refurbishment with reused components for a social housing company in Westerlo, Belgium.
  • Multi, an ongoing circular consultancy for a large-scale office building renovation in the city center of Brussels.
  •, a digital platform mapping small and medium-sized enterprises in Northwestern Europe active in the refurbishing and sale of second-hand building components.

Devlieger is a researcher, designer, educator, and exhibition maker. His work focuses on the material implications of contemporary culture, especially in the realm of architecture. Devlieger has taught architecture at UC Berkeley, TU Delft, Columbia University, and London’s AA School. He has curated and designed, with Rotor, exhibitions on architecture and material culture, and in 2018 coauthored Deconstruction et reemploi, a reference textbook on building component reuse.

The lecture was followed by a conversation and Q&A moderated by Paul Lewis, partner at LTL Architects, professor and associate dean at Princeton University School of Architecture, and president of The Architectural League of New York.

This event was organized by The Architectural League of New York and co-presented with The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.


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