Dirk Kesseler Awarded 2024 Residency at the Academia Belgica in Rome
Following a call for applications for the Research and Creative Residency for Architects, Architectural Researchers, Illustrators and Authors at the Academia Belgica in Rome, 2024, 6 proposals were received. At a meeting on 13 October, the jury commended the range, focus and quality of the projects submitted. The jury members were César Reyes Nájera (University of Luxembourg, Master in Architecture), Karine Bouton (neimënster) and Nathalie Kerschen (Resident 2023).
The jury unanimously decided to award the residency to Dirk Kesseler for his proposal ‘Research into architecture in illustration’.
The jury was impressed by Dirk Kesseler’s multidisciplinary approach and his clear and frank proposal. It was also won over by his sensitive and extremely personal approach to architecture—which has gradually become the central focus of his work and modus operandi—and the sound presentation of his arguments.
The jury also felt that the practical research Dirk Kesseler proposed to conduct in Rome, a city that is representative of antiquity and thus a stark contrast to the city where he lives, would undoubtedly be an excellent opportunity for him to develop his practice and offer an interesting challenge.
The (extract from the application file)
“Exterior and interior architectural structures, became centerpieces of my compositions, functioning as visual frames, set pieces and integral parts of my storytelling. I spent more time noticing subtle details in the structural and decorative parts of my surroundings, analysing changes in material and how it affects light and shadows.
But my artistic ambition is not to display built structures in a photographic view, but to rearrange their most recognisable shapes into interesting graphical compositions: expanding and stretching spaces to deliver unusual viewpoints, provoking a range of feelings from excitement to the unease – sometimes even bordering on the surreal, not adhering to the traditional modes of perspective drawing, but manipulating space for the desired effect and many times not even using the architectural spaces as set pieces for human narratives, but letting them become the characters themselves, devoid of human interaction.”
About Dirk Kesseler
Dirk Kesseler (1995) is Luxemburgish illustrator, animator and graphic designer based in Berlin.
He graduated with a degree in illustration from the Design Akademie Berlin (now called the Berlin School of Design and Communication) in 2019 and completed a Masters at the Universität der Künste Berlin in 2023.
He uses both traditional and digital drawing techniques to connvey his naive sense of humour and absurd dreams. His works spans several disciplines, including comic books, editorials, posters and product design.
Dirk Kesseler has presented his work at several international events, such as Negotiation Matters: Berlin, Tel Aviv (2018) and Neurotitan (2020) and Tabook Festival (2021).
He received a Luxembourg Music Award in the category Best Upcoming Artwork Designer (2018), the Shimon-Peres Prize for the collective project Negotiation Matters (2021), and a Merit Award during 3×3 Annual No. 19 (2022).