TACK Publishing Platform

Welcome to the TACK Publishing Platform – an online archive of objects produced over the course of the project. On the platform you can explore these objects, create an print your own Album – or explore Album’s made by others.

Featured Albums

Albums are groups of objects from the Archive. They can be viewed online, or printed.

by Lizzie Malcolm
October 31, 2022, 36 pages
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by Lizzie Malcolm
January 10, 2023, 18 pages
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by Lizzie Malcolm
January 10, 2023, 21 pages
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Date A-Z
The Royal National Theatre in London (1976), designed by Denys Lasdun, has attracted an unusually high volume of critical debate. Tracing the ways that critics have disagreed over time, particularly on aesthetic grounds, reveals the fluctuating fortunes of concrete Brutalist architecture beyond the theatre. This cycle has continued to inform discussion online, on social media platforms including TikTok. Ultimately, this essay argues that the only way to make sense of these conflicting accounts is to value the theatre for its capacity to generate critical, aesthetic judgments.
@whoresonlybathroom, ‘Brutalist architecture needs to die’, TikTok screenshot, 17 December 2019 , © Hamish Lonergan
, © Patrick Mackie
As part of The Persistence of Questioning, critical reflections for the future: ‘What is architecture?’, Lara Schrijver argues that Science fiction in particular can help architecture to consider unforeseen consequences of design decisions. We thoroughly need to recognize how on the one hand the environment and society are connected, and how on the other hand the future remains difficult to predict.
Reflecting on the art installation Motion of Scales, which was temporarily installed in the city centre of Kolding, Denmark, as a part of the NORDES 2021 conference, this article explores the interrelation between body, material and its performative potential. Analysing the design process through description and observation of how it was experienced and interacted with by urban public, the design-led research aims to interrogate subjectivity, emotion and embodied knowledge in academic research and its methods. How could movement within scale open up new perspectives? Does material hold a potential to reveal new modes of thinking in design research? How and to what extent could emotion contribute to design practices?
Fig. 1: Elevation of the project proposal. , © Mara Trübenbach
Fig. 2: Installation. , © Mara Trübenbach
Fig. 8: Top view of the installation. , © Mara Trübenbach
Conference Paper Paper

And then it stuttered

Something is changing below the floorboards in a small building in a playground in southern Stockholm. Mould and dampness are creeping in from below. The building, a single-story, wooden construction from the 1960s, housed a public open preschool until 2015, when the ‘stuttering’ and changing material constituents of the building, slowly emitting microbial and chemical matter, suddenly made itself known in the lungs of the staff. This paper unpacks narrative and storytelling as methods in critical architectural history writing, interrogating how traces of socio-political and economic conditions are registered and stored in building materials, and how these can be traced through material ‘events’ (Bennett, 2010; Schuppli, 2020) and ’stutters’ (Graham and Thrift, 2007). Through the case of the stuttering materiality of this building in Stockholm, this paper questions how we, in architectural history, narrate historical and material events with blurred lines, events with no defined beginning and end. The paper interweaves the story of my engagement with this site in Stockholm, narrating my research as a method, alongside my engagement with different materials from and about the site. Newspaper articles, local municipality meeting minutes and an expert building analysis report are assembled to critically engage with the stories that have been told about the building before. How are these stories constructed? Through what elements? Anchored in which voices? Which stories do we listen to and give validity? Which ones are reacted to and acted upon? In posing these questions, the paper positions story-telling and narrative methods in critical architectural history as productive for interrogating how architec- tural stories are produced, alongside bringing otherwise untold narratives, voices, and stutters into view.
Journal Article Open Access Publication

Three Cities and a Village with Jan Morris

This essay explores the life and travel writing of Jan Morris through the places that she wrote about over her seventy-year career. It considers how individual subjectivity and biography, particularly queer identities and bodies, relates to our experience of cities. On a methodological level, the essay uses Morris’ writing to illuminate buildings (gender affirmation clinics, queer domestic spaces) and processes (decay, more-than-human relations) still often neglected by architectural history, while developing a writing approach that preserves her distinctive literary voice.

October 2021

Hamish Lonergan
Book chapter

Meme, Memory or Critic: Revaluing Brutalism on Social Media

In the last decade, Brutalism has been the focus of public engagement on a level rare for architecture in our civic culture. Even more surprising is its popularity on social media accounts like FuckYeahBrutalism (FYB). Discussions of online Brutalism as nostalgic or as a meme emphasise its individualised, democratic appeal. Neither explanation is wholly convincing: most social media users lack detailed knowledge of Brutalism’s political context, while its seriousness defies meme humour. Instead, online popularity should be interpreted through the longer history of Brutalism in broad- and narrow-cast media, on television and in academic publications, associated with a series of key critics. Even on social media, figures like FYB’s Michael Abrahamson continue to act as critics online. This places brutalism within academic debates on amateur online writing and whether it can be criticism, made more pronounced on image-based social media. While this seems to undermine narratives of democracy online—with taste controlled by critics as in traditional media—what emerges is a different kind of equality. Figures like Abrahamson provide a link from education and academia to the wider architecture community and the general public. Repeated exposure to high-quality, curated images of Brutalism helps the public develop the necessary visual acuity to begin to recognise the worth and specific qualities of this architecture; a refined taste we are beginning to see reflected back into developments in academia and grassroots conservation campaigns. Underpinning this discussion is the empirical aesthetics of David Hume, and his startling notion that the greatest recommendation for a critic is their popular acclaim. It is only by recognising and following good critics that we can approach a standard of taste, and begin to make our own aesthetic judgments.


Hamish Lonergan

The American Pictures of the “Shrimps’ Vanguard”

The research addresses the idea of the “picturescape” as a form of episteme1, which tacitly and structurally influence the operative design modalities applied in both architectural theory and practice. The definition of “picturescape” is derived from the term “objectscape”, coined by the Leiden archaeologist Miguel John Versluys2. Specularly to this notion, the term refers to the new configuration of visual culture that was caused by the emergence of the technical means of images reproduction from the beginning of the Seventeenth century onwards. During the course of the following centuries, pictures differently corresponded to the historical contexts in which they were acting, producing a substantial impact in the definition of the coeval cultures and of their related ideas of architecture. Final objective of the research is the thorough understanding of such an influence at the multiple levels at which it operated.
Filippo Cattapan

TACK Summer School

During the 20th century, summer schools emerged as influential moments of encounter and collaboration between students and teachers from diverse cultural contexts. Yet despite their persistence and prominence, there has been relatively little exploration of their role in architectural culture and education. Re-enacting Tacit Knowledge, a summer school about the tacit dimension of summer schools held at Het Nieuwe Instituut in September 2021, set out to fill this gap. The event formed part of the ongoing collaboration between the institute and the Horizons 2020 Innovative Training Network: TACK / Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways of Knowing.


Journal Article Open Access Publication

A Joint of Many Worlds: Entangled Stories in Battaile en Ibens’s 78+ Construction System in Timber

This paper explores the distinct networks of technical and embodied knowledge present in the development of the 78+ construction system in timber, designed in the 1970-80s by Flemish design office Battaile Ibens. It develops the history of the knooppunt, a joint of a particular material and technical complexity that structures the system’s wooden beams and cross-shaped columns, and argues for the understanding of architecture and construction as complex constellations of different crafts and skills, including but not limited to architectural design and engineering. Design and technical decisions are traced in parallel to economic and marketing strategies, weaving together social and material phenomena that shaped the system’s history. From the initial designs and prototyping, through publicity decisions and appearances in international expositions, until its idealization in the office’s approach, the history of the knooppunt exemplifies the interplay between different stakeholders and knowledge orbiting the technological development of construction systems.


Eric Crevels
Lecture / Talk Video

6 December 2021

Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
Lecture / Talk Video

11 March 2021

Vlaams Architectuurinstituut (VAi) Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW) Ionas Sklavounos Eric Crevels Paula Strunden Mara Trübenbach
Lecture / Talk Video
Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW) Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI) Anna Livia Vørsel Hamish Lonergan Claudia Mainardi