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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.
Conference Paper Paper Session ACTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

On Twists and Turns. Architecture: Design and Judgment

Herman Hertzberger, Sketch Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, The Hague, The Netherlands, August 1984
ABSTRACT
Architects design in different ways, but rarely in the form of waiting for a singular hunch. Most often, instead, designing is hard work, reassessing material again and again, until the moment the various facets come together convincingly. In this paper, I use Hannah Arendt’s discussion of judgment in order to understand the process of design. Arendt borrows her understanding from Immanuel Kant, but draws it out of his aesthetic perspective and reassesses it into a political context. She emphasizes how a community is a necessary prerequisite for every judgment made. It is not enough to simply hear what others say, but one need to be able to think from that particular situation, in order to judge the validity of that perspective. I see a parallel here with design, though architects operate in different communities. The main challenge of design then is to connect these communities through the design and to understand what kind of information and knowledge can be gained within the different communities. By drawing the parallel, I will discuss the different knowledge communities wherein architects operate, and how 'judgment' offers a model of activating various knowledge systems.
Hans Teerds
Conference Paper Paper Session ACTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

July 4, 2023

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On Twists and Turns. Architecture: Design and Judgment

Hans Teerds
Herman Hertzberger, Sketch Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid, The Hague, The Netherlands, August 1984
Herman Hertzberger, Sketch Chassé Theatre, Breda, The Netherlands, March 14, 1992
© TACK
ABSTRACT
Architects design in different ways, but rarely in the form of waiting for a singular hunch. Most often, instead, designing is hard work, reassessing material again and again, until the moment the various facets come together convincingly. In this paper, I use Hannah Arendt’s discussion of judgment in order to understand the process of design. Arendt borrows her understanding from Immanuel Kant, but draws it out of his aesthetic perspective and reassesses it into a political context. She emphasizes how a community is a necessary prerequisite for every judgment made. It is not enough to simply hear what others say, but one need to be able to think from that particular situation, in order to judge the validity of that perspective. I see a parallel here with design, though architects operate in different communities. The main challenge of design then is to connect these communities through the design and to understand what kind of information and knowledge can be gained within the different communities. By drawing the parallel, I will discuss the different knowledge communities wherein architects operate, and how 'judgment' offers a model of activating various knowledge systems.
Essay Paper

The Royal National Theatre from Architectural Review to TikTok

@whoresonlybathroom, ‘Brutalist architecture needs to die’, TikTok screenshot, 17 December 2019, © Hamish Lonergan
ABSTRACT
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.
Hamish Lonergan
Essay Paper

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The Royal National Theatre from Architectural Review to TikTok

Hamish Lonergan
@whoresonlybathroom, ‘Brutalist architecture needs to die’, TikTok screenshot, 17 December 2019, © Hamish Lonergan
© Patrick Mackie
ABSTRACT
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.
Drawing Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

Ulrich Mahler’s Exkursionszettel Wagbachniederung

Ulrich Mahler’s Exkursionszettel exemplifies the importance of embodied tacit knowledge in the management of constructed landscapes.
Johanna Just
Drawing Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

May 29, 2022

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Ulrich Mahler’s Exkursionszettel Wagbachniederung

Johanna Just
© TACK
Ulrich Mahler’s Exkursionszettel exemplifies the importance of embodied tacit knowledge in the management of constructed landscapes.
Essay Journal Article Open Access Publication

Pools, Carparks and Ball-Pits: Or why the Notre Dame restoration competition is a meme

By GodefroyParis - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78090147, © By GodefroyParis - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78090147
ABSTRACT
The first restoration proposals to emerge after fire destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral’s roof and spire were jokes. The more serious schemes that followed Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s announcement of a competition – many markedly similar, recreating what was lost in glass– were collected on mainstream design media websites like Dezeen where they attracted an unusually high volume of angry comments, accusing the architects of insensitivity. Soon after, Ulf Mejergren Architects’ proposal to replace Notre Dame’s roof with a meditative pool was edited into a carpark. It sparked a series of increasingly outlandish edits – first a multi-story carpark, then a ball pit – before the French Senate declared that there would be no competition after all. This at times absurd online interest might be new for architectural competitions, but it is easily explained through meme theory, as conceived of by scholars like Limor Shifman and Ryan Milner: systems of interconnected units of cultural exchange operating on both wider cultural and specific sub-cultural levels. In this essay I contend that meme theory can be used, in reverse, to analyse reactions to, and similarities between, even the most serious Notre Dame proposals. In applying this framework, we can begin to understand how competitions operate more broadly as part of a complex network online and how they relate to traditional competition conditions.
Hamish Lonergan
Essay Journal Article Open Access Publication

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Pools, Carparks and Ball-Pits: Or why the Notre Dame restoration competition is a meme

Hamish Lonergan
By GodefroyParis - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78090147, © By GodefroyParis - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78090147
ABSTRACT
The first restoration proposals to emerge after fire destroyed Notre Dame Cathedral’s roof and spire were jokes. The more serious schemes that followed Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s announcement of a competition – many markedly similar, recreating what was lost in glass– were collected on mainstream design media websites like Dezeen where they attracted an unusually high volume of angry comments, accusing the architects of insensitivity. Soon after, Ulf Mejergren Architects’ proposal to replace Notre Dame’s roof with a meditative pool was edited into a carpark. It sparked a series of increasingly outlandish edits – first a multi-story carpark, then a ball pit – before the French Senate declared that there would be no competition after all. This at times absurd online interest might be new for architectural competitions, but it is easily explained through meme theory, as conceived of by scholars like Limor Shifman and Ryan Milner: systems of interconnected units of cultural exchange operating on both wider cultural and specific sub-cultural levels. In this essay I contend that meme theory can be used, in reverse, to analyse reactions to, and similarities between, even the most serious Notre Dame proposals. In applying this framework, we can begin to understand how competitions operate more broadly as part of a complex network online and how they relate to traditional competition conditions.
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

Tannour

This installation emphasises this reciprocal relationship between the crafted object and the architectural space it inhabits. It pushes the boundaries of the tannour from the realm of adjustment to its architectural setting into an architectural creation in its own right. The soap tower no longer merely inhabits, it becomes inhabitable.
Nadi Abusaada Wesam Al Asali
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

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Tannour

Nadi Abusaada Wesam Al Asali
© TACK
This installation emphasises this reciprocal relationship between the crafted object and the architectural space it inhabits. It pushes the boundaries of the tannour from the realm of adjustment to its architectural setting into an architectural creation in its own right. The soap tower no longer merely inhabits, it becomes inhabitable.
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.
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.
Open Access Publication Paper

Presence, Presentation & Representation Between Model Making and Mediation of Material in Architectural Practice during Covid-19

© Mara Trübenbach
ABSTRACT
This paper presents one specific action, i.e. a remote empirical research within a PhD project embedded in the international research network “TACK: Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways if Knowing”. The aim of the digital ethnography was to understand processes and dynamics in an architectural office in relation to new conceptualizations of the material. In asking questions about the subject in the current pandemic context, the question of the media of such an enquiry was implicated in the thesis developed. On the one side, this study is both about finding a platform on which to discuss the idea of material, and is a speculation about the implication of that platform for the ideas developed using it. On the other, it deals with using an opportunity provided by Covid-19 to make that research, via a remote ethnography with the implication that this might be used to research lots of other things beyond materials. The study hopes to create a platform for discussion around researching, observing and mediating material ¬– revising understanding as well as increasing material literacy – beyond Covid-19.
Mara Trübenbach
Open Access Publication Paper

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Presence, Presentation & Representation Between Model Making and Mediation of Material in Architectural Practice during Covid-19

Mara Trübenbach
© Mara Trübenbach
ABSTRACT
This paper presents one specific action, i.e. a remote empirical research within a PhD project embedded in the international research network “TACK: Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways if Knowing”. The aim of the digital ethnography was to understand processes and dynamics in an architectural office in relation to new conceptualizations of the material. In asking questions about the subject in the current pandemic context, the question of the media of such an enquiry was implicated in the thesis developed. On the one side, this study is both about finding a platform on which to discuss the idea of material, and is a speculation about the implication of that platform for the ideas developed using it. On the other, it deals with using an opportunity provided by Covid-19 to make that research, via a remote ethnography with the implication that this might be used to research lots of other things beyond materials. The study hopes to create a platform for discussion around researching, observing and mediating material ¬– revising understanding as well as increasing material literacy – beyond Covid-19.
Book chapter TACK Book

Coarse epistemes: Skill, craftsmanship and tacit knowledge in the grit of the world

© TACK
ABSTRACT
In the words of Dutch archaeologist Maikel Kuijpers, craft is “a way of exploring and understanding the material world”. This definition suggests that craftsmanship can be understood as a touchstone for a theory of knowledge in material productions. By exploring the role of skill in the processes of making and its epistemic correspondence, I develop the hypothesis that craftsmanship is as a perceptive-cognitive enactment within the making process, a form of attunement with production. The argument is that the material, productive side of work deploys and operates a particular epistemological regime, based on types of practical engagement deeply related to the possibilities and contingencies of objective, concrete reality. Making means implicating oneself with the material world, embedding the body in the processes of transforming matter and partaking in the flows of forces that form things. Thus, the knowledge in the making – skill – can be understood as the invention or establishment of a new mode of perception through action that is enacted by tools, movements, techniques etc. This practical perception acts as the foundational basis on which craftsmanship is performed, representing its conditions of possibility. Given the perceptual, embodied nature of craftsmanship, its transmission is rendered impossible outside the actual engagement with production. As such, this interpretation refers back to the original distinctions made by Gilbert Ryle of “knowing that” and “knowing how” that influenced Michael Polanyi in his definition of tacit knowledge. The particular epistemic rationality of crafts provides insights for understanding knowledge inside disciplines involved with creative practice, such as architecture. The epistemic coupling with production helps to understand how architects design, but it also reveals a general epistemic schism in the discipline, founded in the inconsistency between abstract designerly knowledge and the craftsmanship of construction.
Eric Crevels
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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Coarse epistemes: Skill, craftsmanship and tacit knowledge in the grit of the world

Eric Crevels
© TACK
ABSTRACT
In the words of Dutch archaeologist Maikel Kuijpers, craft is “a way of exploring and understanding the material world”. This definition suggests that craftsmanship can be understood as a touchstone for a theory of knowledge in material productions. By exploring the role of skill in the processes of making and its epistemic correspondence, I develop the hypothesis that craftsmanship is as a perceptive-cognitive enactment within the making process, a form of attunement with production. The argument is that the material, productive side of work deploys and operates a particular epistemological regime, based on types of practical engagement deeply related to the possibilities and contingencies of objective, concrete reality. Making means implicating oneself with the material world, embedding the body in the processes of transforming matter and partaking in the flows of forces that form things. Thus, the knowledge in the making – skill – can be understood as the invention or establishment of a new mode of perception through action that is enacted by tools, movements, techniques etc. This practical perception acts as the foundational basis on which craftsmanship is performed, representing its conditions of possibility. Given the perceptual, embodied nature of craftsmanship, its transmission is rendered impossible outside the actual engagement with production. As such, this interpretation refers back to the original distinctions made by Gilbert Ryle of “knowing that” and “knowing how” that influenced Michael Polanyi in his definition of tacit knowledge. The particular epistemic rationality of crafts provides insights for understanding knowledge inside disciplines involved with creative practice, such as architecture. The epistemic coupling with production helps to understand how architects design, but it also reveals a general epistemic schism in the discipline, founded in the inconsistency between abstract designerly knowledge and the craftsmanship of construction.