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About TACK TACK Book How to Use What is Tacit Knowledge?
The different ‘places’ where one discusses or presents work, and the particular quality of the environment where these take place. These spatial metaphors range in character from being in-progress, pedagogical or informal to communicative, informational or archival.
The variety of media and formats in which research outputs can take shape, engaging different forms of communication, reaching particular audiences and accomplishing specific purposes.
The different ways in which one person ‘knows more than she can tell’ depending on the character and origin of the knowledge. These different forms of tacit knowing describe its specificity: pointing out whether something is implicit because it is unconscious, unrecognized, unsaid, uncodified etc.
The keywords, fields and concepts that situate the particular contributions of the network within broader literature and schools of thought.
The different phases and forms of dissemination that research and academic outputs can take, indicating the kind of publication, the progress of the work or the forum where they are presented.
The idioms that reflect the multinational character and vocalize the conversations of the TACK network and its outputs.
The members, contributors, facilitators, communities and organizations that build up, around and underneath the TACK Network and participate, in one way or another, in the endeavour of addressing the question of Tacit Knowledge in architecture.
Online Teaching Module

Epistemic horizons of tacit knowledge: matters of skill and craftsmanship

© Eric Crevels
Eric Crevels Klaske Havik Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Online Teaching Module

February 15, 2023

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Epistemic horizons of tacit knowledge: matters of skill and craftsmanship

Eric Crevels Klaske Havik Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
© Eric Crevels
Essay Lecture / Talk Reader Reflection Teaching Element

Conversation – Lara Schrijver, Peg Rawes and Margitta Buchert

© TACK
Conversation on Contexts, Values and Reflexivity in Tacit Knowledge, between Lara Schrijver, Margitta Buchert and Peg Rawes.
Lara Schrijver Peg Rawes Margitta Buchert
Essay Lecture / Talk Reader Reflection Teaching Element

April 28, 2022

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Conversation – Lara Schrijver, Peg Rawes and Margitta Buchert

Lara Schrijver Peg Rawes Margitta Buchert
© TACK
Conversation on Contexts, Values and Reflexivity in Tacit Knowledge, between Lara Schrijver, Margitta Buchert and Peg Rawes.
Online Teaching Module

Understanding Architectural Design Studios as ‘Communities of Tacit Knowledge’

© Hamish Lonergan
Hamish Lonergan Tom Avermaete ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture
Online Teaching Module

October 10, 2022

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Understanding Architectural Design Studios as ‘Communities of Tacit Knowledge’

Hamish Lonergan Tom Avermaete ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
© Hamish Lonergan
Paper Session VECTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

Rooms: Architectural Model-Making as Ethnographic Research

Fig. 1
ABSTRACT
Within design and architecture, scale models can create worlds of proposition, speculation and fiction. This paper situates the model as a tool for observation, documentation and engagement; a slow, durational method that manifests a deep participation in the lives of place and people marginalised by wider society. Rooms was an artistic and research project undertaken as part of the Urban Nation artistic residency in Berlin which looked at the Romanian immigrant community inhabiting the city, the spaces they occupy and appropriate, and the objects that they surround themselves with. These instances were drawn, surveyed, documented and then recreated through 1:20 paper models. Built to an extreme level of detail the models of everyday space visualise, offer new insight, and give a sense of value and recognition to the lived realities of individuals. A situated mode of research, this form of representation transforms the seemingly mundane into an object of beauty and atmosphere, encouraging access and participation from the participant, maker and the viewer. The inherently collaborative aspect of this process reveals the tacit, implicit knowledge present in everyday actions.
Ecaterina Stefanescu
Paper Session VECTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

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Rooms: Architectural Model-Making as Ethnographic Research

Ecaterina Stefanescu
Fig. 1
Fig. 2
ABSTRACT
Within design and architecture, scale models can create worlds of proposition, speculation and fiction. This paper situates the model as a tool for observation, documentation and engagement; a slow, durational method that manifests a deep participation in the lives of place and people marginalised by wider society. Rooms was an artistic and research project undertaken as part of the Urban Nation artistic residency in Berlin which looked at the Romanian immigrant community inhabiting the city, the spaces they occupy and appropriate, and the objects that they surround themselves with. These instances were drawn, surveyed, documented and then recreated through 1:20 paper models. Built to an extreme level of detail the models of everyday space visualise, offer new insight, and give a sense of value and recognition to the lived realities of individuals. A situated mode of research, this form of representation transforms the seemingly mundane into an object of beauty and atmosphere, encouraging access and participation from the participant, maker and the viewer. The inherently collaborative aspect of this process reveals the tacit, implicit knowledge present in everyday actions.
Conference Paper Open Access Publication

Explicitly Tacit: Polanyi’s “Tacit Knowledge” in the Architectural Theory of Charney and Rowe

ABSTRACT
The scientist and philosopher Michael Polanyi coined the term “tacit knowledge” in 1958 to describe a type of unconscious, embodied and social knowledge that could not be explicitly taught through rules or rote-learning. He argued, instead, that some knowledge relied on practice, critique, socialisation and personal biography. In this sense, something like tacit knowledge has long played an important role in architectural education — where skill is acquired through (re)drawing, writing and model-making, reviewed by teachers and peers — even before Polanyi named it. Yet, for all the affinities between design education and tacit knowledge, Polanyi’s epistemology has rarely been directly addressed in architectural theory. This paper considers two exceptions in the writing and pedagogy of Melvin Charney and Colin Rowe in the 1970s. Both figures used Polanyi’s philosophy to propose alternatives to the “ultra” positions of Modernism. Charney argued that Quebecois vernacular architecture reflected a tacit, collective building culture that was inseparable from the embodied construction practices of craftspeople. This could not be made explicit in construction manuals or histories; students had to discover it through drawing and building themselves. Meanwhile, Rowe credited Polanyi’s Beyond Nihilism (1960) in the gestation of Collage City (1978, with Fred Koetter). Polanyi’s essay argued that individual freedom was important in making new discoveries, but that individuals still had a responsibility to go beyond themselves by conforming to collective norms and standards. This, too, found a parallel in Rowe and Koetter’s rejection of Modernist utopianism. At the same time, a close reading of these minor encounters reveals certain continuities and misalignments between Rowe and Charney’s interpretation and Polanyi’s own position as a prominent anti-Communist and contributor to early neoliberalism. Ultimately, this paper aims to clarify the role of tacit knowledge in the theory of these two architect/educators and, in doing so, simultaneously clarify the relationship between tacit knowledge and architectural pedagogy more broadly.
Hamish Lonergan
Conference Paper Open Access Publication

November 10, 2021

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Explicitly Tacit: Polanyi’s “Tacit Knowledge” in the Architectural Theory of Charney and Rowe

Hamish Lonergan
ABSTRACT
The scientist and philosopher Michael Polanyi coined the term “tacit knowledge” in 1958 to describe a type of unconscious, embodied and social knowledge that could not be explicitly taught through rules or rote-learning. He argued, instead, that some knowledge relied on practice, critique, socialisation and personal biography. In this sense, something like tacit knowledge has long played an important role in architectural education — where skill is acquired through (re)drawing, writing and model-making, reviewed by teachers and peers — even before Polanyi named it. Yet, for all the affinities between design education and tacit knowledge, Polanyi’s epistemology has rarely been directly addressed in architectural theory. This paper considers two exceptions in the writing and pedagogy of Melvin Charney and Colin Rowe in the 1970s. Both figures used Polanyi’s philosophy to propose alternatives to the “ultra” positions of Modernism. Charney argued that Quebecois vernacular architecture reflected a tacit, collective building culture that was inseparable from the embodied construction practices of craftspeople. This could not be made explicit in construction manuals or histories; students had to discover it through drawing and building themselves. Meanwhile, Rowe credited Polanyi’s Beyond Nihilism (1960) in the gestation of Collage City (1978, with Fred Koetter). Polanyi’s essay argued that individual freedom was important in making new discoveries, but that individuals still had a responsibility to go beyond themselves by conforming to collective norms and standards. This, too, found a parallel in Rowe and Koetter’s rejection of Modernist utopianism. At the same time, a close reading of these minor encounters reveals certain continuities and misalignments between Rowe and Charney’s interpretation and Polanyi’s own position as a prominent anti-Communist and contributor to early neoliberalism. Ultimately, this paper aims to clarify the role of tacit knowledge in the theory of these two architect/educators and, in doing so, simultaneously clarify the relationship between tacit knowledge and architectural pedagogy more broadly.
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

Forêt DesCartes

Christian Kieckens, Forêt DesCartes, postcards stand prototype, 1995
This curious object evokes Kieckens’ habits and practices: the collection of images and their arrangement in space, travel as a form of disciplinary exchange with a community of practice, and the teaching of architecture by means of references. Forêt DesCartes is an experimental spatial device for handling, transmitting, and producing tacit visual knowledge.
Filippo Cattapan
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

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Forêt DesCartes

Filippo Cattapan
Christian Kieckens, Forêt DesCartes, postcards stand prototype, 1995
© TACK
This curious object evokes Kieckens’ habits and practices: the collection of images and their arrangement in space, travel as a form of disciplinary exchange with a community of practice, and the teaching of architecture by means of references. Forêt DesCartes is an experimental spatial device for handling, transmitting, and producing tacit visual knowledge.
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

Tactiles

Tactiles are relational objects that foster interactive approaches of un-learning restrictive spatial codes, re-learning through encounters of intimacy, embodiment and connectedness, and co-learning through shared performative experiences.
Katharina Kasinger
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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Tactiles

Katharina Kasinger
© TACK
Tactiles are relational objects that foster interactive approaches of un-learning restrictive spatial codes, re-learning through encounters of intimacy, embodiment and connectedness, and co-learning through shared performative experiences.
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

A Studio for Orbanism – Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office

The house of Luc Deleu, the founder of T.O.P. office, in the city of Antwerp (Belgium), is not only a design studio and home for the architect but, above all, it is a space of accumulated knowledge: a kaleidoscope of collected references and an archive of drawings and models produced over more than fifty years.
Sofie de Caigny Tine Poot Vlaams Architectuurinstituut (VAi)
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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A Studio for Orbanism – Luc Deleu & T.O.P. office

Sofie de Caigny Tine Poot Vlaams Architectuurinstituut (VAi)
© TACK
The house of Luc Deleu, the founder of T.O.P. office, in the city of Antwerp (Belgium), is not only a design studio and home for the architect but, above all, it is a space of accumulated knowledge: a kaleidoscope of collected references and an archive of drawings and models produced over more than fifty years.
Book chapter Essay

Introduction to “Entwerfen Erforschen: Der performative turn in der Architekturlehre” (2016)

© Angelika Schnell
This is the introduction to the book "Angelika Schnell, Eva Sommeregger, Waltraud Indrist (Hrsg.), Entwerfen Erforschen: Der performative turn in der Architekturlehre, Birkhäuser Publishers, Basel/Berlin/Boston 2016".
Angelika Schnell
Book chapter Essay

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Introduction to “Entwerfen Erforschen: Der performative turn in der Architekturlehre” (2016)

Angelika Schnell
© Angelika Schnell
This is the introduction to the book "Angelika Schnell, Eva Sommeregger, Waltraud Indrist (Hrsg.), Entwerfen Erforschen: Der performative turn in der Architekturlehre, Birkhäuser Publishers, Basel/Berlin/Boston 2016".
Online Teaching Module

Engaging with Tacit Knowing: Reflexive dimensions as triggers for innovative design and research

© Caendia Wijnbelt
Caendia Wijnbelt Margitta Buchert Leibniz Universität Hannover, Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences
Online Teaching Module

February 1, 2023

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Engaging with Tacit Knowing: Reflexive dimensions as triggers for innovative design and research

Caendia Wijnbelt Margitta Buchert Leibniz Universität Hannover, Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences
© Caendia Wijnbelt
© Caendia Wijnbelt
© Caendia Wijnbelt
© Caendia Wijnbelt
© Caendia Wijnbelt
© Caendia Wijnbelt
Drawing Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

Eilfried Huth’s Bauhütte

The Austrian architect Eilfried Huth, a pioneer of participatory housing, used this notion to express his reliance on the embodied knowledge of future inhabitants who gathered as an advocacy group to design a new housing estate called Eschensiedlung,1972-1990 in Deutschlandsberg, Styria.
Monika Platzer Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW)
Drawing Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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Eilfried Huth’s Bauhütte

Monika Platzer Architekturzentrum Wien (AzW)
© TACK
The Austrian architect Eilfried Huth, a pioneer of participatory housing, used this notion to express his reliance on the embodied knowledge of future inhabitants who gathered as an advocacy group to design a new housing estate called Eschensiedlung,1972-1990 in Deutschlandsberg, Styria.
Drawing TACK Exhibition Object

Kunsthaus Glarus II, Drawing as a Synthesis, 2019

Kunsthaus Glarus II, Drawing as a Synthesis, 2019 Conen Sigl Architekt:innen, Zürich
The drawing as a synthesis is made after the project is built or the competition is over. This kind of ‘drawing made afterwards’ is about bringing all the principal ideas and responses that now already exist into a drawing. It is a synthesis, and like a poem it reduces or condenses the new reality of the project and describes it all at once very precisely.
Conen Sigl Architekt:innen, Zürich
Drawing TACK Exhibition Object

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Kunsthaus Glarus II, Drawing as a Synthesis, 2019

Conen Sigl Architekt:innen, Zürich
Kunsthaus Glarus II, Drawing as a Synthesis, 2019 Conen Sigl Architekt:innen, Zürich
© TACK
The drawing as a synthesis is made after the project is built or the competition is over. This kind of ‘drawing made afterwards’ is about bringing all the principal ideas and responses that now already exist into a drawing. It is a synthesis, and like a poem it reduces or condenses the new reality of the project and describes it all at once very precisely.
Drawing Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

The Yield of the Land

This vector drawing is the outcome of an elective course led by Wan and Joris at Ghent University that explored a fragment of the fast-changing landscape of Nanhai District in the Pearl River Delta, Wan’s ancestral home.
Joris Kerremans Hong Wan Chan
Drawing Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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The Yield of the Land

Joris Kerremans Hong Wan Chan
© TACK
This vector drawing is the outcome of an elective course led by Wan and Joris at Ghent University that explored a fragment of the fast-changing landscape of Nanhai District in the Pearl River Delta, Wan’s ancestral home.
Lecture / Talk Video

6 December 2021

TACK Talks #3: Narratives of Tacit Knowledge

Janina Gosseye Klaske Havik Angelika Schnell Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
Lecture / Talk Video

6 December 2021

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TACK Talks #3: Narratives of Tacit Knowledge

Janina Gosseye Klaske Havik Angelika Schnell Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
© TACK
A still from TACK TALKS #3 – an online lecture by Prof. Dr. Klaske Havik and Prof. Dr. Janina Gosseye, © TACK
A slide from Dr. Klaske Havik’s lecture "Investigating Practices through Narrative" , © Prof. Klaske Havik
A slide from Dr. Klaske Havik’s lecture "Investigating Practices through Narrative" , © Prof. Klaske Havik
A slide from Dr. Klaske Havik’s lecture "Investigating Practices through Narrative"
A slide from Dr. Janina Gosseye’s lecture "Narratives of Tacit Knowledge", © Dr. Janina Gosseye
A slide from Dr. Janina Gosseye’s lecture "Narratives of Tacit Knowledge", © Dr. Janina Gosseye
A slide from Dr. Janina Gosseye’s lecture "Narratives of Tacit Knowledge", © Dr. Janina Gosseye
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

Invisible Elastic Structure

Behaviour rather than form: nature as a worldview. Nature as technique, posture, and condition. A perpetual ongoing construction, nature is meant as an 'artifice' appearing in the encounter between thought and the world: both in the project and the leaf, a minimal resistant force, and a maximum space potential cohabit in a tensional condition. Architecture is a continuous experience of the world.
Francesca Berni
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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Invisible Elastic Structure

Francesca Berni
© TACK
Behaviour rather than form: nature as a worldview. Nature as technique, posture, and condition. A perpetual ongoing construction, nature is meant as an 'artifice' appearing in the encounter between thought and the world: both in the project and the leaf, a minimal resistant force, and a maximum space potential cohabit in a tensional condition. Architecture is a continuous experience of the world.
Essay Open Access Publication

Domestic Italy After WWII: Collecting Stories from Middle-Class Houses

In their essay entitled, “Domestic Italy After WWII: Collecting Stories from Middle-Class Houses” published in Candide. Journal of Archtiectural Knowledge in 2015, Gaia Caramellino and Filippo De Pieri address a series of methodological challenges raised by the inquiry on ordinary residential environment and the diverse forms of communicating and transferring knowledge between the different cultures of the communities of practices engaged in its production.
Gaia Caramellino
Essay Open Access Publication

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Domestic Italy After WWII: Collecting Stories from Middle-Class Houses

Gaia Caramellino
In their essay entitled, “Domestic Italy After WWII: Collecting Stories from Middle-Class Houses” published in Candide. Journal of Archtiectural Knowledge in 2015, Gaia Caramellino and Filippo De Pieri address a series of methodological challenges raised by the inquiry on ordinary residential environment and the diverse forms of communicating and transferring knowledge between the different cultures of the communities of practices engaged in its production.
Online Teaching Module

Understanding Situated Tacit Knowledge through Southern Urbanist architectural practice approaches

© Jhono Bennett
Jhono Bennett Peg Rawes University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture
Online Teaching Module

February 15, 2023

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Understanding Situated Tacit Knowledge through Southern Urbanist architectural practice approaches

Jhono Bennett Peg Rawes University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture
© Jhono Bennett
© Jhono Bennett
© Jhono Bennett
© Jhono Bennett
© Jhono Bennett
© Jhono Bennett
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

Post CIAM

At the last CIAM conference held in Otterlo in 1959, members of Team 10, including Alison and Peter Smithson, Aldo van Eyck, Daniel van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco, and John Voelcker, enacted an ironic funeral procession, presumably carrying CIAM to its grave. It was captured on film by Jaap Bakema. After the demise of CIAM, Bakema initiated a newsletter to keep the network updated. Between 1959 and 1981 he compiled 18 such newsletters, which comprised a summary of contributions he received from around the world.
Dirk van den Heuvel Nieuwe Instituut (HNI)
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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Post CIAM

Dirk van den Heuvel Nieuwe Instituut (HNI)
© TACK
At the last CIAM conference held in Otterlo in 1959, members of Team 10, including Alison and Peter Smithson, Aldo van Eyck, Daniel van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco, and John Voelcker, enacted an ironic funeral procession, presumably carrying CIAM to its grave. It was captured on film by Jaap Bakema. After the demise of CIAM, Bakema initiated a newsletter to keep the network updated. Between 1959 and 1981 he compiled 18 such newsletters, which comprised a summary of contributions he received from around the world.
Book chapter Open Access Publication

2021

Teaching Design in a Post-Rainbow Nation A South African Reflection on the Limits and Opportunities of Design Praxis

Example co-developed code of engagement (Author 2017), © Jhono Bennett
ABSTRACT
There has been an intense discourse on the relationship between inter-stakeholder university engagements, or service learning, and the broader society that South African universities claim to serve over the past decade in both local and international academia. The inherent problem within these power structures, the challenges to achieving mutually beneficial project outcomes and the growing concern of vulnerable, unheard institutional and individual voices are critical factors. The recognition of these dynamics within the emerging field of design research and design-led teaching is less nuanced in these debates. Training institutions of architecture have a rich history of undertaking service-learning initiatives to create value and learning for both the students and the stakeholders of such projects. Still, in South Africa, they are only now seen through a post-rainbow nation lens. The FeesMustFall movement is primarily driving this change. Larger institutions are recognising previously marginalised voices that now find traction in learning and practice across South Africa. This chapter reflects the author’s experience with emergent views and concerns as a researcher, lecturer and spatial design practitioner in Johannesburg. This section centres on learning regarding city-making in Southern Africa, and it presents two case studies followed by a discussion of growth opportunities.
Orli Setton, Eric Wright, Claudia Morgado, Blanca Calvo, residents and leaders of Denver Informal Settlement and the UJ Professional Practice students from 2013 to 2017.
Book chapter Open Access Publication

2021

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Teaching Design in a Post-Rainbow Nation A South African Reflection on the Limits and Opportunities of Design Praxis

Orli Setton, Eric Wright, Claudia Morgado, Blanca Calvo, residents and leaders of Denver Informal Settlement and the UJ Professional Practice students from 2013 to 2017.
Example co-developed code of engagement (Author 2017), © Jhono Bennett
© Jhono Bennett
Challenging practice students engaging in the workshop debate (The author’s photos), © Jhono Bennett
Students and staff of AT working with Denver residents on the Action Research Studio (Author’s photos), © Jhono Bennett
ABSTRACT
There has been an intense discourse on the relationship between inter-stakeholder university engagements, or service learning, and the broader society that South African universities claim to serve over the past decade in both local and international academia. The inherent problem within these power structures, the challenges to achieving mutually beneficial project outcomes and the growing concern of vulnerable, unheard institutional and individual voices are critical factors. The recognition of these dynamics within the emerging field of design research and design-led teaching is less nuanced in these debates. Training institutions of architecture have a rich history of undertaking service-learning initiatives to create value and learning for both the students and the stakeholders of such projects. Still, in South Africa, they are only now seen through a post-rainbow nation lens. The FeesMustFall movement is primarily driving this change. Larger institutions are recognising previously marginalised voices that now find traction in learning and practice across South Africa. This chapter reflects the author’s experience with emergent views and concerns as a researcher, lecturer and spatial design practitioner in Johannesburg. This section centres on learning regarding city-making in Southern Africa, and it presents two case studies followed by a discussion of growth opportunities.
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

The stool called WALDE

In contrast to space, we come into direct contact with furniture. We not only see it, but we also touch it, move it, carry it around, etc. Users feel what a piece of furniture holds and what distinguishes it from another.
Irmgard Frank
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

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The stool called WALDE

Irmgard Frank
© TACK
In contrast to space, we come into direct contact with furniture. We not only see it, but we also touch it, move it, carry it around, etc. Users feel what a piece of furniture holds and what distinguishes it from another.
Essay

Designing space through motion pictures

© Eva Sommeregger
Eva Sommeregger reflects on the winter semester 2013/14 at ABKW, where animation technology was used in the HTC design studio “Play Architecture” to design spatiality.
Eva Sommeregger
Essay

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Designing space through motion pictures

Eva Sommeregger
© Eva Sommeregger
Eva Sommeregger reflects on the winter semester 2013/14 at ABKW, where animation technology was used in the HTC design studio “Play Architecture” to design spatiality.
Book chapter TACK Book

A Post-Post Positional Praxis: Locating ideas of repair in a Southern city

© TACK
ABSTRACT
Abstract The legally implemented South African Apartheid city model of the 20th Century very specifically separated urban inhabitants along strict racial spatial definitions as set out by city practitioners and mandated by the national government on top of the existing colonial state model of segregation. These societal logics and legal systems have had a wide-scale systemic phyco-spatial effect on the many generations of urban dwellers who have no reference to patterns of living and space-making outside of this city-model. More specifically, the laws and regulations that carried these ideologies have instilled largely prejudiced tacit forms of understanding of self and ‘other’ that remain deeply entrenched in the spatial practitioners who are trusted to design and make within this context. For this reason, a critically proactive engagement with these harmfully biased tacit knowledge systems is a crucial endeavour across the built-environment practice – especially so in the architectural and the related spatial design disciplines. Such a deeply interpersonal recognition of such dynamics within spatial-design practice call for approaches, methods, and techniques that operate through considered and inclusive forms of practice that are often difficult to frame within the current ‘northern’ framings of the architect or the designer. Instead, other conceptual frameworks such as Southern Urbanism offer a more situated armature to locate these questions and begin an other-wisely based inquiry through these challenges. By thinking about an architectural - or more appropriately: a spatial design practice - through values and actions that are true to the locus of the site from which they exist, on the situated terms of the context that produce them, and through the languages – spoken, gestured and visual – that they are actioned through; the research holds an the potential to reveal other forms of more connective tacit knowledge that exist in these ways of making and maintaining urban spaces. Such an inquiry holds the potential to guide these practices both within the disciplines of the architect and support those engaging with these dynamics to expand their understandings of practice and the ‘Imaginative Geographies’ of separation and difference that continue to shape the post-Apartheid and post-Colonial cities of South Africa.
Jhono Bennett
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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A Post-Post Positional Praxis: Locating ideas of repair in a Southern city

Jhono Bennett
© TACK
ABSTRACT
Abstract The legally implemented South African Apartheid city model of the 20th Century very specifically separated urban inhabitants along strict racial spatial definitions as set out by city practitioners and mandated by the national government on top of the existing colonial state model of segregation. These societal logics and legal systems have had a wide-scale systemic phyco-spatial effect on the many generations of urban dwellers who have no reference to patterns of living and space-making outside of this city-model. More specifically, the laws and regulations that carried these ideologies have instilled largely prejudiced tacit forms of understanding of self and ‘other’ that remain deeply entrenched in the spatial practitioners who are trusted to design and make within this context. For this reason, a critically proactive engagement with these harmfully biased tacit knowledge systems is a crucial endeavour across the built-environment practice – especially so in the architectural and the related spatial design disciplines. Such a deeply interpersonal recognition of such dynamics within spatial-design practice call for approaches, methods, and techniques that operate through considered and inclusive forms of practice that are often difficult to frame within the current ‘northern’ framings of the architect or the designer. Instead, other conceptual frameworks such as Southern Urbanism offer a more situated armature to locate these questions and begin an other-wisely based inquiry through these challenges. By thinking about an architectural - or more appropriately: a spatial design practice - through values and actions that are true to the locus of the site from which they exist, on the situated terms of the context that produce them, and through the languages – spoken, gestured and visual – that they are actioned through; the research holds an the potential to reveal other forms of more connective tacit knowledge that exist in these ways of making and maintaining urban spaces. Such an inquiry holds the potential to guide these practices both within the disciplines of the architect and support those engaging with these dynamics to expand their understandings of practice and the ‘Imaginative Geographies’ of separation and difference that continue to shape the post-Apartheid and post-Colonial cities of South Africa.
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

Chozos, Houses of Nomadic Shepherds

Chozos in Cabeza del Buey. On the left the traditional chozo, on the right the demountable chozo that has toured to Germany and now Switzerland. Photo: Marie Kuch
The chozos are traditional huts that up until about 50 years ago were built by shepherds in rural Spain as they moved around the fields with their sheep. This chozo was constructed in September 2022 by sixteen students from the University of Stuttgart during an intense exchange with experts in southern Spain.
Alba Balmaseda Dominguez Kyra Bullert Špela Setzen Markus Vogl
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

October 5, 2022

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Chozos, Houses of Nomadic Shepherds

Alba Balmaseda Dominguez Kyra Bullert Špela Setzen Markus Vogl
Chozos in Cabeza del Buey. On the left the traditional chozo, on the right the demountable chozo that has toured to Germany and now Switzerland. Photo: Marie Kuch
© TACK
The chozos are traditional huts that up until about 50 years ago were built by shepherds in rural Spain as they moved around the fields with their sheep. This chozo was constructed in September 2022 by sixteen students from the University of Stuttgart during an intense exchange with experts in southern Spain.
Journal Article

Architectural Ethnography? Incipits, distances, horizons for research and teaching practices

Figura 1 – profili degli abitanti e nuove tipologie di stanze (ReCoDe 2019), © Gennaro Postiglione
ABSTRACT
Architectural ethnography has increasingly been a focus of attention thanks to recent studies carried out by Albena Yaneva or to practices and research carried out by Momoyo Kaijima with her Atelier Bow Wow. Starting from an interest in the specificities of ethnographical approaches if practiced by architects, or by professionals and researchers having particular attention to forms, materiality and uses of the space in the everyday, this article outlines a literature review on ethnography for designers. This review has been helpful in defining through convergences and distances a specific positioning that we are assuming in teaching and doing research for design. A path that led to further questions on the role of transcription (graphical, photographic, textual) in architectural ethnography, as well as to challenging the role of tradition and innovation in this recent stream of research. 
Gennaro Postiglione Paola Briata
Journal Article

June 18, 2022

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Architectural Ethnography? Incipits, distances, horizons for research and teaching practices

Gennaro Postiglione Paola Briata
Figura 1 – profili degli abitanti e nuove tipologie di stanze (ReCoDe 2019), © Gennaro Postiglione
Figura 3 – La mostra finale di Gratosoglio Ground Zero (2019) , © Gennaro Postiglione
Figura 4 – La vita attorno agli oggetti (QLHL 2020), © Gennaro Postiglione
ABSTRACT
Architectural ethnography has increasingly been a focus of attention thanks to recent studies carried out by Albena Yaneva or to practices and research carried out by Momoyo Kaijima with her Atelier Bow Wow. Starting from an interest in the specificities of ethnographical approaches if practiced by architects, or by professionals and researchers having particular attention to forms, materiality and uses of the space in the everyday, this article outlines a literature review on ethnography for designers. This review has been helpful in defining through convergences and distances a specific positioning that we are assuming in teaching and doing research for design. A path that led to further questions on the role of transcription (graphical, photographic, textual) in architectural ethnography, as well as to challenging the role of tradition and innovation in this recent stream of research. 
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

25 Objects of Belonging

‘Objects of belonging’ are found or ready-made objects that users adapt to redefine the conventional boundaries of a home. These objects’ tacit presence dissolves where the house begins and ends, blurring boundaries between urban and domestic spheres.
Samantha Ong Ariel Bintang
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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25 Objects of Belonging

Samantha Ong Ariel Bintang
© TACK
‘Objects of belonging’ are found or ready-made objects that users adapt to redefine the conventional boundaries of a home. These objects’ tacit presence dissolves where the house begins and ends, blurring boundaries between urban and domestic spheres.
Paper Session NATURE(S) TACK Conference Proceedings

Busy body – Living and working in urban renewal neighbourhoods 

Littie Diederen and Yvonne van den Elsen, Zoiets Maak Je Toch Niet, Ik Zeg Altijd, Dat Doen Mannen... Ervaringen van Vrouwen in de Stadsvernieuwing (Amsterdam: NCDB, 1983).
ABSTRACT
Urban renewal reinforces the isolation of working-class women. This was concluded in the 1983 publication “Zoiets maak je toch niet, ik zeg altijd, dat doen mannen…”. This booklet criticizes 1980s participatory urban renewal of the Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam and addresses the exclusion of women. Several inventive tools were developed in this neighbourhood to empower women to make their diverse, tacit, embodied knowledge heard and make design suggestions that better fitted their needs. As a result, new knowledge was brought into participatory urban renewal processes of which women were so often excluded; diversifying and expanding what was commonly perceived as the concerns of the resident. This paper brings forward various tools developed in the Staatsliedenbuurt that were used as vehicles to bring women’s voices into urban renewal processes, such as the fictiocritical character Els, a workshop on dwelling stories, and a manual. The paper contributes to histories on the collective efforts by various women’s groups in the 1980s that fought exclusion and sought to develop feminist approaches for urban design by making what is the tacitly known, explicit; making the invisible, visible.
Soscha Monteiro de Jesus
Paper Session NATURE(S) TACK Conference Proceedings

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Busy body – Living and working in urban renewal neighbourhoods 

Soscha Monteiro de Jesus
Littie Diederen and Yvonne van den Elsen, Zoiets Maak Je Toch Niet, Ik Zeg Altijd, Dat Doen Mannen... Ervaringen van Vrouwen in de Stadsvernieuwing (Amsterdam: NCDB, 1983).
ABSTRACT
Urban renewal reinforces the isolation of working-class women. This was concluded in the 1983 publication “Zoiets maak je toch niet, ik zeg altijd, dat doen mannen…”. This booklet criticizes 1980s participatory urban renewal of the Staatsliedenbuurt in Amsterdam and addresses the exclusion of women. Several inventive tools were developed in this neighbourhood to empower women to make their diverse, tacit, embodied knowledge heard and make design suggestions that better fitted their needs. As a result, new knowledge was brought into participatory urban renewal processes of which women were so often excluded; diversifying and expanding what was commonly perceived as the concerns of the resident. This paper brings forward various tools developed in the Staatsliedenbuurt that were used as vehicles to bring women’s voices into urban renewal processes, such as the fictiocritical character Els, a workshop on dwelling stories, and a manual. The paper contributes to histories on the collective efforts by various women’s groups in the 1980s that fought exclusion and sought to develop feminist approaches for urban design by making what is the tacitly known, explicit; making the invisible, visible.
Diagram Drawing Presentation Video

Re-enacting Le Corbusier’s way of sketching

Paula Strunden and Desilava Petkova (as students) are re-enacting the Le Corbusier's style to sketch.
Paula Strunden Desislava Petkova Angelika Schnell Eva Sommeregger Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
Diagram Drawing Presentation Video

November 13, 2012

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Re-enacting Le Corbusier’s way of sketching

Paula Strunden Desislava Petkova Angelika Schnell Eva Sommeregger Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
Paula Strunden and Desilava Petkova (as students) are re-enacting the Le Corbusier's style to sketch.
Book chapter TACK Book

No Body, Never Mind: The entanglement of how architects construct imagination

Figure 3.1: My Mother’s back, 1996, Elinor Carucci Source: Elinor Carucci’s private archive. US Credit: Elinor Carucci., © US Credit: Elinor Carucci
ABSTRACT
In architectural practice, one does not primarily write, one draws, models or explains with words, mostly through the visual communication of ideas. Just as architects use literacy to describe stories and connect with what touches them, material literacy is necessary to describe what architects literally touch. Material has the ability to respond to the design and even influence it at a very early stage of the process when it comes into contact with the body. As the scientist Barad rightly asked: “How did language come to be more trustworthy than matter?” (Barad, 2003). Material can create an experimental platform to trigger emotions, to go beyond norms and return to what has become schematic in the process of making architecture. This method of architectural dramaturgy, i.e., seeking a multifaceted narrative about house and home through engagement with material, could critically reveal unseen labour and unheard voices, and facilitate a connection to our surrounding.   The paper argues feelings from the inside of the body that apparent on the outside of the body offer new ways of knowledge production in architecture. Adopting the interdisciplinary approach by Finish architect and critic Juhani Pallasmaa (in his The Thinking Hand, 2009) the paper considers theatre and performance studies as examples of phenomenological aspects of kinaesthetic and multi-sensory perception of “the internal space and one’s inner mental space” (Pallasmaa, 2009, p.19). By theoretically analysing related emotions embedded in the various hands-on processes mediated through visuals (image, video, drawings) and the applicability of the materiality of the human body (voice, gesture, etc.), empathy and trust in both architectural and theatrical production are an important trajectory to enrich collective knowledge. Starting from here, the chapter advocates not only looking at visual mediation of material, but going beyond that and prompting the capability to read and listen to sound, expression and movement that come from both sides equally – humans and non-humans – to build up material literacy and achieve a sensitivity towards tacit knowledge in architecture.
Mara Trübenbach
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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No Body, Never Mind: The entanglement of how architects construct imagination

Mara Trübenbach
Figure 3.1: My Mother’s back, 1996, Elinor Carucci Source: Elinor Carucci’s private archive. US Credit: Elinor Carucci., © US Credit: Elinor Carucci
ABSTRACT
In architectural practice, one does not primarily write, one draws, models or explains with words, mostly through the visual communication of ideas. Just as architects use literacy to describe stories and connect with what touches them, material literacy is necessary to describe what architects literally touch. Material has the ability to respond to the design and even influence it at a very early stage of the process when it comes into contact with the body. As the scientist Barad rightly asked: “How did language come to be more trustworthy than matter?” (Barad, 2003). Material can create an experimental platform to trigger emotions, to go beyond norms and return to what has become schematic in the process of making architecture. This method of architectural dramaturgy, i.e., seeking a multifaceted narrative about house and home through engagement with material, could critically reveal unseen labour and unheard voices, and facilitate a connection to our surrounding.   The paper argues feelings from the inside of the body that apparent on the outside of the body offer new ways of knowledge production in architecture. Adopting the interdisciplinary approach by Finish architect and critic Juhani Pallasmaa (in his The Thinking Hand, 2009) the paper considers theatre and performance studies as examples of phenomenological aspects of kinaesthetic and multi-sensory perception of “the internal space and one’s inner mental space” (Pallasmaa, 2009, p.19). By theoretically analysing related emotions embedded in the various hands-on processes mediated through visuals (image, video, drawings) and the applicability of the materiality of the human body (voice, gesture, etc.), empathy and trust in both architectural and theatrical production are an important trajectory to enrich collective knowledge. Starting from here, the chapter advocates not only looking at visual mediation of material, but going beyond that and prompting the capability to read and listen to sound, expression and movement that come from both sides equally – humans and non-humans – to build up material literacy and achieve a sensitivity towards tacit knowledge in architecture.
Online Teaching Module

Unveiling Embodied Tacit Knowledge through the Act of Drawing

© Paula Strunden
Paula Strunden Angelika Schnell Eva Sommeregger Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
Online Teaching Module

February 20, 2023

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Unveiling Embodied Tacit Knowledge through the Act of Drawing

Paula Strunden Angelika Schnell Eva Sommeregger Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
Exhibition Image TACK Exhibition Object

Heinrich Helfenstein’s Photography

Peter Märkli, two single-family houses in Azmoos, photos from 2002. © gta Archives / ETH Zurich, Heinrich Helfenstein, © gta Archive
Swiss architectural photographer Heinrich Helfenstein (1946-2020) trained as a linguist, his approach shaped by semiology and post-structuralism.
Irina Davidovici Ziu Bruckmann
Exhibition Image TACK Exhibition Object

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Heinrich Helfenstein’s Photography

Irina Davidovici Ziu Bruckmann
Peter Märkli, two single-family houses in Azmoos, photos from 2002. © gta Archives / ETH Zurich, Heinrich Helfenstein, © gta Archive
© TACK
Swiss architectural photographer Heinrich Helfenstein (1946-2020) trained as a linguist, his approach shaped by semiology and post-structuralism.
Essay

design-based.

© ABKW
The starting point for the following descriptions, analytical reflections and meta-theoretical questions is the course “Design Project in History, Theory, Criticism”, which Angelika Schnell taught over several consecutive semesters together with Eva Sommeregger at the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Elke Krasny Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
Essay

View

design-based.

Elke Krasny Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Institute for Art and Architecture
© ABKW
The starting point for the following descriptions, analytical reflections and meta-theoretical questions is the course “Design Project in History, Theory, Criticism”, which Angelika Schnell taught over several consecutive semesters together with Eva Sommeregger at the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Conference Paper Paper Session ACTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

In Quest of Meaning – Revisiting the discourse around “non-pedigreed” architecture.

ABSTRACT
In their practice, architects never refer to something as “pedigreed” to describe their work. However, during the 1960s, Bernard Rudofsky introduced the term "non-pedigreed" architecture, which he attributed to edifices not designed by formally trained architects, but for various reasons, their status exceeds that of the "mere building". As a fact, since explicit knowledge around “non-pedigreed” architecture is scarce, architects rely mostly on interpretations. This contribution revisits several of these interpretations through the perspective of its "actors," referring to the scholarly work of selected architects, and it is structured into three parts. The first section introduces the motivations behind the study of "non-pedigreed" architecture, delving into questions of aesthetics and authorship. The second part explores the fruitful contradictions arising from the first section and focuses on the relationship between vernacular architecture and the concept of Time, as well as the development of craft skills. Finally, the third part examines specific case studies where the value of vernacular architecture shifts from being merely a reference point to becoming an integral part of the architectural production process.
Vasileios Chanis
Conference Paper Paper Session ACTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

June 21, 2023

View

In Quest of Meaning – Revisiting the discourse around “non-pedigreed” architecture.

Vasileios Chanis
Figure 1 and Figure 2: Jacques Tati, Mon Oncle, 1958 (Directed and produced by Jacques Tati)
ABSTRACT
In their practice, architects never refer to something as “pedigreed” to describe their work. However, during the 1960s, Bernard Rudofsky introduced the term "non-pedigreed" architecture, which he attributed to edifices not designed by formally trained architects, but for various reasons, their status exceeds that of the "mere building". As a fact, since explicit knowledge around “non-pedigreed” architecture is scarce, architects rely mostly on interpretations. This contribution revisits several of these interpretations through the perspective of its "actors," referring to the scholarly work of selected architects, and it is structured into three parts. The first section introduces the motivations behind the study of "non-pedigreed" architecture, delving into questions of aesthetics and authorship. The second part explores the fruitful contradictions arising from the first section and focuses on the relationship between vernacular architecture and the concept of Time, as well as the development of craft skills. Finally, the third part examines specific case studies where the value of vernacular architecture shifts from being merely a reference point to becoming an integral part of the architectural production process.
Book chapter TACK Book

Hunting Tacit Knowledge: Encounters in architectural education at ILAUD and ETH

ABSTRACT
Tacit knowledge in architectural education is slippery. It encompasses a broad range of unconscious, embodied, social and otherwise hidden forms of knowing. On one hand, this means that it manifests in different ways depending on the pedagogical format or context. On the other, it resists explanation through the traditional, and largely explicit, tools of academic writing. Therefore, rather than seeking to define it, this paper proposes three approaches for locating and describing it. First, forms of tacit knowing—which we rely on, often without thinking, in our studio, school, or regional culture—become more visible in “moments of encounter” between communities. Second, discussions and negotiations of tacit knowledge often occur through architectural materials: drawings, models, texts, buildings. Third, “moments of tacit encounter” require more evocative and speculative methods of writing and representation, with different evidentiary standards. To test these approaches, this paper narrates two “moments of encounter” as case studies, encompassing different pedagogical formats, actors, writing methods, and revealing different forms of tacit knowledge.   In 2020, I arrived at ETH Zurich, where I began an autoethnographic study of tacit knowledge in discussions between critics across design studios. I was drawn to the realistic models of Studio Caruso, which I first encountered in my architectural studies in Australia. There, they represented a hitherto unimaginable departure from model abstraction. In Zurich, though, some critics were less dazzled, questioning the labor they required. Elsewhere, realistic models had been at the center of right-wing outrage over a kiosk designed by Caruso’s office in Escher-Wyss Platz in 2007. Around these models, the tacit architectural expectations of various groups seemed to reveal itself.   In 2021, I organized a summer school in Rotterdam on summer schools. Over five days, we re-enacted a charette exercise originally set for the 1986 edition of the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design (ILAUD): the summer workshops founded by Giancarlo de Carlo in Urbino. Summer schools are ephemeral in nature—intense, productive, social, life-changing, but only for a few weeks—leaving little evidence of their tacit dimension for us to study today. Re-enacting it ourselves, coming from different educational backgrounds, we started to understand something of what it must have felt like in 1986. We experienced the clashes and arguments, and overcome them through drawings or by discussing images, by talking in those informal moments on the staircase or over lunch.
Hamish Lonergan
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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Hunting Tacit Knowledge: Encounters in architectural education at ILAUD and ETH

Hamish Lonergan
ABSTRACT
Tacit knowledge in architectural education is slippery. It encompasses a broad range of unconscious, embodied, social and otherwise hidden forms of knowing. On one hand, this means that it manifests in different ways depending on the pedagogical format or context. On the other, it resists explanation through the traditional, and largely explicit, tools of academic writing. Therefore, rather than seeking to define it, this paper proposes three approaches for locating and describing it. First, forms of tacit knowing—which we rely on, often without thinking, in our studio, school, or regional culture—become more visible in “moments of encounter” between communities. Second, discussions and negotiations of tacit knowledge often occur through architectural materials: drawings, models, texts, buildings. Third, “moments of tacit encounter” require more evocative and speculative methods of writing and representation, with different evidentiary standards. To test these approaches, this paper narrates two “moments of encounter” as case studies, encompassing different pedagogical formats, actors, writing methods, and revealing different forms of tacit knowledge.   In 2020, I arrived at ETH Zurich, where I began an autoethnographic study of tacit knowledge in discussions between critics across design studios. I was drawn to the realistic models of Studio Caruso, which I first encountered in my architectural studies in Australia. There, they represented a hitherto unimaginable departure from model abstraction. In Zurich, though, some critics were less dazzled, questioning the labor they required. Elsewhere, realistic models had been at the center of right-wing outrage over a kiosk designed by Caruso’s office in Escher-Wyss Platz in 2007. Around these models, the tacit architectural expectations of various groups seemed to reveal itself.   In 2021, I organized a summer school in Rotterdam on summer schools. Over five days, we re-enacted a charette exercise originally set for the 1986 edition of the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design (ILAUD): the summer workshops founded by Giancarlo de Carlo in Urbino. Summer schools are ephemeral in nature—intense, productive, social, life-changing, but only for a few weeks—leaving little evidence of their tacit dimension for us to study today. Re-enacting it ourselves, coming from different educational backgrounds, we started to understand something of what it must have felt like in 1986. We experienced the clashes and arguments, and overcome them through drawings or by discussing images, by talking in those informal moments on the staircase or over lunch.
Conference Paper Paper

POSTHUMANIST SANDBOX: THE POTENTIAL OF MULTIPLAYER – ENVIRONMENTS

ABSTRACT
This paper seeks to reveal a novel assessment of creative production in academic education, re-evaluating the conceptual and artistic potential of virtual real-time collaboration through digital media. Allowing for transcultural exchange as well as global participation, this could positively influence the development of novel artistic approaches and innovative measures for universities by contributing to a more contemporary, location-independent, and ultimately more equal form of art and knowledge production.
Eva Sommeregger Valerie Messini
Conference Paper Paper

November 4, 2021

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POSTHUMANIST SANDBOX: THE POTENTIAL OF MULTIPLAYER – ENVIRONMENTS

Eva Sommeregger Valerie Messini
© Eva Sommeregger
ABSTRACT
This paper seeks to reveal a novel assessment of creative production in academic education, re-evaluating the conceptual and artistic potential of virtual real-time collaboration through digital media. Allowing for transcultural exchange as well as global participation, this could positively influence the development of novel artistic approaches and innovative measures for universities by contributing to a more contemporary, location-independent, and ultimately more equal form of art and knowledge production.
Lecture / Talk

From Critical Spatial Practice to Site-Writing

© TACK
Prof. Dr. Jane Rendell, UCL gave a keynote talk 'From Critical Spatial Practice to Site-Writing: Approaches to Architectural Research and Pedagogy' at the 5th Intermediate Meeting of the TACK network.
University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture Jane Rendell
Lecture / Talk

June 14, 2022

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From Critical Spatial Practice to Site-Writing

University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture Jane Rendell
© TACK
© Jane Rendell
© Jane Rendell
© Jane Rendell
Prof. Dr. Jane Rendell, UCL gave a keynote talk 'From Critical Spatial Practice to Site-Writing: Approaches to Architectural Research and Pedagogy' at the 5th Intermediate Meeting of the TACK network.
Book chapter TACK Book

Forêt DesCartes: Images, fragments, and repertoires in Kieckens’s tacit knowledge

ABSTRACT
Christian Kieckens' archive at the Flemish Architecture Institute in Antwerp holds a curious object: the Foret DesCartes. It is a prototype of Kaartenstander (postcards display table stand) designed by Kieckens in 1995. The object is extremely simple: an MDF board with maple veneer on which are inserted 16 postcard holders made of bent iron rods arranged in a regular 6x4 cm grid. More than just an odd display of postcards, this small object is an operational tool for producing and transmitting architectural knowledge through the collection of images and their recomposition in space. The same cognitive mode that is represented by the Foret DesCartes can be found reflected within Christian Kieckens' key practices: the architectural trip and its communication within a Belgian and European community of practice, the use of photography as a documentation tool but also as a visual reflection on architecture, the transmission of knowledge through the medium of the illustrated book and of the exhibition, the teaching of architecture by means of examples and references. Currently underway at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal within the framework of the TACK network, the research project, ‘The Pictures on the Wall. The Composite Culture of a Contemporary Flemish Architect’, investigates Kieckens’s role as mediator between the transatlantic architectural culture of the 1980s and the local context of Flanders. The key assumption is that this process of cultural migration happened first of all at the tacit level. Kieckens’s tacit knowledge is primarily found in its fragmentary nature – as a repertoire of themes and images – as well as in its crucial relationship with a number of visual practices and media. This attitude is considered from an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates external viewpoints such as those of cultural studies, anthropology, and iconology. On this basis, Kieckens’s practices have been operatively addressed by means of a hybrid methodology, which combines bibliographic and archival studies with a series of performative approaches such as interviews and immersive ethnographic investigation, pedagogical re-enactment and experimental display, images collection and visual comparison. Within a curatorial secondment at the Flanders Architecture Institute VAi in Antwerp and a collaboration with Hasselt University, these approaches finally resulted in the exhibition, ‘Forêt DesCartes – Christian Kieckens and the Composite Culture of Architecture in Flanders’, which opened at the De Singel Centre in November 2022.
Filippo Cattapan
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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Forêt DesCartes: Images, fragments, and repertoires in Kieckens’s tacit knowledge

Filippo Cattapan
© TACK
ABSTRACT
Christian Kieckens' archive at the Flemish Architecture Institute in Antwerp holds a curious object: the Foret DesCartes. It is a prototype of Kaartenstander (postcards display table stand) designed by Kieckens in 1995. The object is extremely simple: an MDF board with maple veneer on which are inserted 16 postcard holders made of bent iron rods arranged in a regular 6x4 cm grid. More than just an odd display of postcards, this small object is an operational tool for producing and transmitting architectural knowledge through the collection of images and their recomposition in space. The same cognitive mode that is represented by the Foret DesCartes can be found reflected within Christian Kieckens' key practices: the architectural trip and its communication within a Belgian and European community of practice, the use of photography as a documentation tool but also as a visual reflection on architecture, the transmission of knowledge through the medium of the illustrated book and of the exhibition, the teaching of architecture by means of examples and references. Currently underway at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal within the framework of the TACK network, the research project, ‘The Pictures on the Wall. The Composite Culture of a Contemporary Flemish Architect’, investigates Kieckens’s role as mediator between the transatlantic architectural culture of the 1980s and the local context of Flanders. The key assumption is that this process of cultural migration happened first of all at the tacit level. Kieckens’s tacit knowledge is primarily found in its fragmentary nature – as a repertoire of themes and images – as well as in its crucial relationship with a number of visual practices and media. This attitude is considered from an interdisciplinary perspective that integrates external viewpoints such as those of cultural studies, anthropology, and iconology. On this basis, Kieckens’s practices have been operatively addressed by means of a hybrid methodology, which combines bibliographic and archival studies with a series of performative approaches such as interviews and immersive ethnographic investigation, pedagogical re-enactment and experimental display, images collection and visual comparison. Within a curatorial secondment at the Flanders Architecture Institute VAi in Antwerp and a collaboration with Hasselt University, these approaches finally resulted in the exhibition, ‘Forêt DesCartes – Christian Kieckens and the Composite Culture of Architecture in Flanders’, which opened at the De Singel Centre in November 2022.