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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.

50 Objects

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 Book chapter

The Tacit Dimension [Excerpt]

The book “The Tacit Dimension” by Michael Polanyi was published firstly in 1966 at The University of Chicago Press. The following is an excerpt from the chapter “Tacit Knowing” (p. 4-13). I shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell. This fact seems obvious enough; but it is not easy to say exactly what it means. Take an example. We know a person’s face, and can recognize it among a thousand, indeed among a million. Yet we usually cannot tell how we recognize a face we know. So most of this knowledge cannot be put into words. But the police have recently introduced a method by which we can communicate much of this knowledge. They have made a large collection of pictures showing a variety of noses, mouths, and other features. From these the witness selects the particulars of the face he knows, and the pieces can then be put together to form a reasonably good likeness of the face. This may suggest that we can communicate, after all, our knowledge of a physiognomy, provided we are given adequate means for expressing ourselves. But the application of the police method does not change the fact that previous to it we did know more than we could tell at the time. Moreover, we can use the police method only by knowing how to match the features we remember with those in the collection, and we cannot tell how we do this. This very act of communication displays a knowledge that we cannot tell.
Michael Polanyi
Book Book chapter

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The Tacit Dimension [Excerpt]

Michael Polanyi
The book “The Tacit Dimension” by Michael Polanyi was published firstly in 1966 at The University of Chicago Press. The following is an excerpt from the chapter “Tacit Knowing” (p. 4-13). I shall reconsider human knowledge by starting from the fact that we can know more than we can tell. This fact seems obvious enough; but it is not easy to say exactly what it means. Take an example. We know a person’s face, and can recognize it among a thousand, indeed among a million. Yet we usually cannot tell how we recognize a face we know. So most of this knowledge cannot be put into words. But the police have recently introduced a method by which we can communicate much of this knowledge. They have made a large collection of pictures showing a variety of noses, mouths, and other features. From these the witness selects the particulars of the face he knows, and the pieces can then be put together to form a reasonably good likeness of the face. This may suggest that we can communicate, after all, our knowledge of a physiognomy, provided we are given adequate means for expressing ourselves. But the application of the police method does not change the fact that previous to it we did know more than we could tell at the time. Moreover, we can use the police method only by knowing how to match the features we remember with those in the collection, and we cannot tell how we do this. This very act of communication displays a knowledge that we cannot tell.
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

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.
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

Carpenter Chair

© Sarah Vecchio
Carpenter Chair is an icon of construction and a eulogy to the exploration of the ordinary. It is a low, comfortable, and flexible lounge chair inspired by the aesthetics of the construction site.
Sarah Becchio Paolo Borghino
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

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Carpenter Chair

Sarah Becchio Paolo Borghino
© Sarah Vecchio
© TACK
Carpenter Chair is an icon of construction and a eulogy to the exploration of the ordinary. It is a low, comfortable, and flexible lounge chair inspired by the aesthetics of the construction site.
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.
Model TACK Exhibition Object

Four Square Levels

Complete perspective of the empty object.Carabanchel, Madrid, 2021. Photo: Samuel H. Ramírez.
For the past three years, I have been researching assembly methods that can join together different post-consumer objects found in the street without the use of glue or screws.  
Samuel H. Ramirez
Model TACK Exhibition Object

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Four Square Levels

Samuel H. Ramirez
Complete perspective of the empty object.Carabanchel, Madrid, 2021. Photo: Samuel H. Ramírez.
© TACK
For the past three years, I have been researching assembly methods that can join together different post-consumer objects found in the street without the use of glue or screws.  
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
Book chapter Case Study Conference Paper Paper

2022

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

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

2022

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

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

ID – Integrated Processes of Reading and Creating Post Objects in Digital Design

ABSTRACT
This paper investigates a mechanism for generating a logic that describes an under-design object by its user in a digital design medium (AutoCAD by AutoDesk) through a deconstructive tracing of the design process. The mode of deduction and the research results aim to measure the by-design idiosyncratization, a subject-oriented process of understanding and reacting to a deeper structure. Creating multiple, independent, and autonomous correlations of the design language structure and its representation during the design process leads to new associations accessing the notion of Post-Object. This socially and culturally expected mode revokes a singularization process. At the same time, the User-Interface relationship provides correlations between a personal and unique selection of things and the necessary infrastructure to actualize and activate them. The process of collecting and crafting an expression is dispositive of singularization. Crafting a method of relating the design of objects to subjects and the use of language to form questions about how contemporary design is constituted and the multiple ways of conceptualizing contemporaneous subjectivities and implicitly post-industrial societies and economies.
Lina Mantikou Athanasios Farangas
TACK Conference Proceedings

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ID – Integrated Processes of Reading and Creating Post Objects in Digital Design

Lina Mantikou Athanasios Farangas
ABSTRACT
This paper investigates a mechanism for generating a logic that describes an under-design object by its user in a digital design medium (AutoCAD by AutoDesk) through a deconstructive tracing of the design process. The mode of deduction and the research results aim to measure the by-design idiosyncratization, a subject-oriented process of understanding and reacting to a deeper structure. Creating multiple, independent, and autonomous correlations of the design language structure and its representation during the design process leads to new associations accessing the notion of Post-Object. This socially and culturally expected mode revokes a singularization process. At the same time, the User-Interface relationship provides correlations between a personal and unique selection of things and the necessary infrastructure to actualize and activate them. The process of collecting and crafting an expression is dispositive of singularization. Crafting a method of relating the design of objects to subjects and the use of language to form questions about how contemporary design is constituted and the multiple ways of conceptualizing contemporaneous subjectivities and implicitly post-industrial societies and economies.
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

Concrete Column, Pirelli Learning Centre

This precast concrete column fragment from the Pirelli Learning Centre built in Milan (Italy) in 2022 is a case in point. The physicality of the column has created a strong reference to the between-war Italian architecture culture. Its material form speaks to the innovation in construction techniques that characterised the period, while its ornamentation echoes that of the neighbouring Bicocca degli Arcimboldi villa; illuminates the company’s history as well as the common culture through a series of abstract tire thread advertising graphics imprinted on the columns and façade elements.
Onsitestudio
Exhibition TACK Exhibition Object

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Concrete Column, Pirelli Learning Centre

Onsitestudio
© TACK
This precast concrete column fragment from the Pirelli Learning Centre built in Milan (Italy) in 2022 is a case in point. The physicality of the column has created a strong reference to the between-war Italian architecture culture. Its material form speaks to the innovation in construction techniques that characterised the period, while its ornamentation echoes that of the neighbouring Bicocca degli Arcimboldi villa; illuminates the company’s history as well as the common culture through a series of abstract tire thread advertising graphics imprinted on the columns and façade elements.
Book chapter TACK Book

Mouldy Smells and Tacit Noses: knowledges coming into view

© TACK
ABSTRACT
In 2016 two ‘moisture experts’ visited a small public building in Stockholm. Moisture had started to seep in, and mould started to grow in the wooden park building, the spores making the staff working there ill. The experts recorded the levels of microorganisms in the interior air and the composite building materials with scientific equipment and expert noses, identifying certain elements through technological data and odorous qualities. The expert noses registered the same smells as the staff in the buildings, but evaluated, analysed and categorised them according to their expert knowledge field.   Rather than aiming to make tacit knowledges explicit, this paper puts forward a methodological approach to tacit knowledge which unpacks and makes visible what tacit knowledges does, how it operates, and what and who it affects within architecture. By engaging with material ‘events’ (Bennett, 2010) and ‘stutters’ (Graham and Thrift, 2007), like this mould and its smell, through archival documents, scientific reports and changing building materials, the testimony of the material (Material Witness, Schuppli, 2020) makes visible the socio-economic and political value systems and decision-making processes embedded into the fabric of the building. It unpacks how things, otherwise hidden, come into view when systems, infrastructures and buildings break and fall apart, and how the various knowledge productions and value systems tied and embedded into this specific building and its mouldy materials can be unfolded and detangled through a theoretical framework of stutters, ruptures and events. Through this building, its smelly materials, and the different noses inside it, expert and non-expert, the paper unpacks how tacit knowledges operates, who or what can carry it, and what and who it affects.
Anna Livia Vørsel
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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Mouldy Smells and Tacit Noses: knowledges coming into view

Anna Livia Vørsel
© TACK
ABSTRACT
In 2016 two ‘moisture experts’ visited a small public building in Stockholm. Moisture had started to seep in, and mould started to grow in the wooden park building, the spores making the staff working there ill. The experts recorded the levels of microorganisms in the interior air and the composite building materials with scientific equipment and expert noses, identifying certain elements through technological data and odorous qualities. The expert noses registered the same smells as the staff in the buildings, but evaluated, analysed and categorised them according to their expert knowledge field.   Rather than aiming to make tacit knowledges explicit, this paper puts forward a methodological approach to tacit knowledge which unpacks and makes visible what tacit knowledges does, how it operates, and what and who it affects within architecture. By engaging with material ‘events’ (Bennett, 2010) and ‘stutters’ (Graham and Thrift, 2007), like this mould and its smell, through archival documents, scientific reports and changing building materials, the testimony of the material (Material Witness, Schuppli, 2020) makes visible the socio-economic and political value systems and decision-making processes embedded into the fabric of the building. It unpacks how things, otherwise hidden, come into view when systems, infrastructures and buildings break and fall apart, and how the various knowledge productions and value systems tied and embedded into this specific building and its mouldy materials can be unfolded and detangled through a theoretical framework of stutters, ruptures and events. Through this building, its smelly materials, and the different noses inside it, expert and non-expert, the paper unpacks how tacit knowledges operates, who or what can carry it, and what and who it affects.
Conference Paper Paper Session VECTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

Constructing Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Political Commitment and Urban Planning in Postwar Milan

Fig. 1 Cologno Monzese on a Saturday afternoon in the 1960s. From Casabella Continuità, n. 282, December 1963, p. 4
ABSTRACT
Exploring historical models of the construction of communities of tacit knowledge, this paper examines the contribution of leftist practitioners to Milanese postwar planning culture focusing on the communist architectural collective Collettivo di Architettura. During the reconstruction period, Milan underwent significant economic, social, and territorial transformations that intensified the divide between the city center and the periphery. The Milanese outskirts were left to speculation, rapid urbanization, and high migration rates without adequate planning tools and policies. In this context, leftist practitioners sought to address the problems affecting the Milanese periphery and wanted to contribute to their resolution. Among them, Collettivo di Architettura stood out for its explicit political stance and extensive contribution. Its members attributed social and political dimensions to architectural work and integrated collaborative ways of working and political militancy into their practice. During the 1950s, they provided free professional support in the Milanese periphery in addition to their architectural practice: as urbanista condotto, they assisted municipalities that lacked adequate planning tools and knowledge and initiated discussions with local authorities, institutions, and economic operators concerning urban development. As a result, procedures, strategies, and processes were collectively developed to establish effective planning methods and improve living conditions in the Milanese outskirts. By explicitly drawing from the Gramscian concept of the organic intellectual and the example of other committed practitioners of their time, the engagement of Collettivo’s members provided the basis for a shared planning culture. Thus, this case study highlights the significance of political commitment in generating collaborative communities of tacit knowledge.
Elettra Carnelli
Conference Paper Paper Session VECTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

July 19, 2023

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Constructing Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Political Commitment and Urban Planning in Postwar Milan

Elettra Carnelli
Fig. 1 Cologno Monzese on a Saturday afternoon in the 1960s. From Casabella Continuità, n. 282, December 1963, p. 4
Fig. 2 First scheme of the Intercommunal Plan of Milan’s territory, known as “modello a turbina”. Centro Studi PIM, 25 July 1963. From Urbanistica, n. 50-51, October 1967, p. 34
© TACK
ABSTRACT
Exploring historical models of the construction of communities of tacit knowledge, this paper examines the contribution of leftist practitioners to Milanese postwar planning culture focusing on the communist architectural collective Collettivo di Architettura. During the reconstruction period, Milan underwent significant economic, social, and territorial transformations that intensified the divide between the city center and the periphery. The Milanese outskirts were left to speculation, rapid urbanization, and high migration rates without adequate planning tools and policies. In this context, leftist practitioners sought to address the problems affecting the Milanese periphery and wanted to contribute to their resolution. Among them, Collettivo di Architettura stood out for its explicit political stance and extensive contribution. Its members attributed social and political dimensions to architectural work and integrated collaborative ways of working and political militancy into their practice. During the 1950s, they provided free professional support in the Milanese periphery in addition to their architectural practice: as urbanista condotto, they assisted municipalities that lacked adequate planning tools and knowledge and initiated discussions with local authorities, institutions, and economic operators concerning urban development. As a result, procedures, strategies, and processes were collectively developed to establish effective planning methods and improve living conditions in the Milanese outskirts. By explicitly drawing from the Gramscian concept of the organic intellectual and the example of other committed practitioners of their time, the engagement of Collettivo’s members provided the basis for a shared planning culture. Thus, this case study highlights the significance of political commitment in generating collaborative communities of tacit knowledge.
Fanzine Site writing

Zine

Spridd’s office, photo by author, © Anna Livia Voersel
It’s a morning in autumn 2020, and I have let myself into Spridd’s office. It is quiet and empty. The curtains are drawn and the light is off. I look at the dark computer screens and imagine all the drawings being made, emails sent, conversations had between staff members elsewhere, from their computers at home. Work being made and discussed and planned on digital platforms that I can’t see from here.
Anna Livia Vørsel Spridd
Fanzine Site writing

May 3, 2021

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Zine

Anna Livia Vørsel Spridd
Spridd’s office, photo by author, © Anna Livia Voersel
Photo from stay at Forskningsstationen by author, © Anna Livia Voersel
It’s a morning in autumn 2020, and I have let myself into Spridd’s office. It is quiet and empty. The curtains are drawn and the light is off. I look at the dark computer screens and imagine all the drawings being made, emails sent, conversations had between staff members elsewhere, from their computers at home. Work being made and discussed and planned on digital platforms that I can’t see from here.
Review

Book Corner: “Architecture: The History of Practice.” by Cana Cuff (1992)

© Dana Cuff
The book offers an in-depth analysis of the architectural practice culture –focusing specifically on the American one– as a “social construction”. It puts attention on the tacit knowledge seen as able to disentangle the substance of a professional ethos –affecting both espoused theory and theory-in-use, and it concludes that the design process is based on collective actions as the result of negotiations within a social process.
Claudia Mainardi
Review

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Book Corner: “Architecture: The History of Practice.” by Cana Cuff (1992)

Claudia Mainardi
© Dana Cuff
The book offers an in-depth analysis of the architectural practice culture –focusing specifically on the American one– as a “social construction”. It puts attention on the tacit knowledge seen as able to disentangle the substance of a professional ethos –affecting both espoused theory and theory-in-use, and it concludes that the design process is based on collective actions as the result of negotiations within a social process.
Essay Paper

COMMON GROUND. Discursive Orders in Architecture

ABSTRACT
Is it possible to characterize the relation of architecture and science, if it is not derived from established scientific conventions? This essay highlights one field of the multifaceted spectrum, which pops up in the context of this question, a field, which can be observed when expanding the focus from science to knowledge and processes of its formation and transformation. Focal point will be the question where and in which ways knowledge appears and marks a `common ground´. The investigations are revolved around the most important field of thematisation and mediation of architectural reality at the beginning of the 21st century to be found globally, the International Architecture Biennale, which takes place in Venice in a two year cycle. Furthermore special attention will be riveted on the biennale of 2012, which was dedicated to the theme `Common Ground´. The following notions are enmeshed with the consideration, that with a presentation and uncovering of knowledge and communication on it, we have here a kind of discourse in architecture that might not only process attitudes and a stabilization of the discipline, but also provides triggers for generic processes of scientific contexts and basic understandings of research and design in architecture.
Margitta Buchert
Essay Paper

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COMMON GROUND. Discursive Orders in Architecture

Margitta Buchert
Fig. 6:
ABSTRACT
Is it possible to characterize the relation of architecture and science, if it is not derived from established scientific conventions? This essay highlights one field of the multifaceted spectrum, which pops up in the context of this question, a field, which can be observed when expanding the focus from science to knowledge and processes of its formation and transformation. Focal point will be the question where and in which ways knowledge appears and marks a `common ground´. The investigations are revolved around the most important field of thematisation and mediation of architectural reality at the beginning of the 21st century to be found globally, the International Architecture Biennale, which takes place in Venice in a two year cycle. Furthermore special attention will be riveted on the biennale of 2012, which was dedicated to the theme `Common Ground´. The following notions are enmeshed with the consideration, that with a presentation and uncovering of knowledge and communication on it, we have here a kind of discourse in architecture that might not only process attitudes and a stabilization of the discipline, but also provides triggers for generic processes of scientific contexts and basic understandings of research and design in architecture.
Paper Session ACTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

Paperwork and Wordcraft: Institutionality at IAUS

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the bureaucratic management of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS) through the lens of tacit knowledge as manifest in an analysis of paperwork and wordcraft. Specifically an examination of the “little tools of knowledge”–  the self-evident and mundane administrative tools–reveals the epistemological foundations and specific character of the institute as distinct from and similar to others in the same milieu, and positions it within a larger phenomenon of similar agencies, activities, and groups. Archival documents attest to a self-aware bureaucratic and representational medium in a state of flux as IAUS attempted to accommodate multiple and often conflicting modes of work, funding, and directions in order to stake out a productive territory in a landscape of similar institutes, all of which were competing for prestige, legitimation, attention, student participants, and dollars. An examination of these documents through multiple parallel trajectories that are not strictly chronological mirrors the manner in which the institute functioned, not as a cohesive entity, but as a contradictory one, as overlapping concerns struggled to find priority during the course of its brief history. This archival analysis forms the basis of a counterhistory in which the institution itself is considered as an abstract author in the larger context of New York City and beyond, determined by anddetermining of a variety of forces beyond the individual’s control.
Alex Maymind
Paper Session ACTORS TACK Conference Proceedings

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Paperwork and Wordcraft: Institutionality at IAUS

Alex Maymind
ABSTRACT
This paper examines the bureaucratic management of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS) through the lens of tacit knowledge as manifest in an analysis of paperwork and wordcraft. Specifically an examination of the “little tools of knowledge”–  the self-evident and mundane administrative tools–reveals the epistemological foundations and specific character of the institute as distinct from and similar to others in the same milieu, and positions it within a larger phenomenon of similar agencies, activities, and groups. Archival documents attest to a self-aware bureaucratic and representational medium in a state of flux as IAUS attempted to accommodate multiple and often conflicting modes of work, funding, and directions in order to stake out a productive territory in a landscape of similar institutes, all of which were competing for prestige, legitimation, attention, student participants, and dollars. An examination of these documents through multiple parallel trajectories that are not strictly chronological mirrors the manner in which the institute functioned, not as a cohesive entity, but as a contradictory one, as overlapping concerns struggled to find priority during the course of its brief history. This archival analysis forms the basis of a counterhistory in which the institution itself is considered as an abstract author in the larger context of New York City and beyond, determined by anddetermining of a variety of forces beyond the individual’s control.
Paper Session NATURE(S) TACK Conference Proceedings

BODY OF KNOWLEDGE : KNOWING BODIES

Fig. 1. Sofia Pintzou, contribution to »Sasha Waltz & Guests’ Tanztagebuch«, 2020, interpreting choreographic material from Sasha Waltz’ »noBody«, first performed 2002 at Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, film stills from the video, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj-dVgonIT0, accessed July 25, 2023.
ABSTRACT
This contribution addresses tacit knowledge as an embodied form of knowing and traces the potential of the body to inform and explore, contain and convey, obtain and express architectural knowledge — in the experiencing, designing, creating, and living of architectural space. If, as framed by Polanyi, »we know more than we can tell«, focusing on the body and its immanent knowledge allows to access immediate forms of architectural knowledge. Experience, memory, and the capacity for anticipation are equally rooted in the body; corporeally anchored, contained in, and inscribed to the body. Respectively, creative imagination in architectural design relies upon the body. Through knowing how we experience architecture, we are eager to anticipate future perception in architectural design. Following my doctoral thesis, entitled “Impulses and Dialogues of Architecture and the Body”, I present the knowledge of the body as a contribution to the body of knowledge of architecture: Using the example of the working method and oeuvre of Sasha Waltz & Guests – which I investigate against the background of my own artistic practice, especially in in-situ and site-specific performances, as well as my attempts at the including of somatic practices into my academic teaching in the field of architecture – I exploit the body as a medium of spatial research, and as an immediate form of conveyance and expression in the discipline of architecture.
Katharina Voigt
Paper Session NATURE(S) TACK Conference Proceedings

July 20, 2023

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BODY OF KNOWLEDGE : KNOWING BODIES

Katharina Voigt
Fig. 1. Sofia Pintzou, contribution to »Sasha Waltz & Guests’ Tanztagebuch«, 2020, interpreting choreographic material from Sasha Waltz’ »noBody«, first performed 2002 at Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, film stills from the video, online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj-dVgonIT0, accessed July 25, 2023.
Fig. 2. Antonia Krabusch: Embodied Gestures, Gesture of Intimacy (left) and Gesture of Public (right), initial task for the design studio “Tanzhaus München – ein Ort für zeitgenössischen Tanz”, general masters’ thesis, winter 2021/22, Chair of Architectural Design and Conception, supervised by Katharina Voigt and Prof. Uta Graff.
Fig. 3. Lukas Walcher: Embodied Gestures, Gesture of Intimacy (left) and Gesture of Public (right), initial task for the design studio “Tanzhaus München – ein Ort für zeitgenössischen Tanz”, general masters’ thesis, winter 2021/22, Chair of Architectural Design and Conception, supervised by Katharina Voigt and Prof. Uta Graff.
ABSTRACT
This contribution addresses tacit knowledge as an embodied form of knowing and traces the potential of the body to inform and explore, contain and convey, obtain and express architectural knowledge — in the experiencing, designing, creating, and living of architectural space. If, as framed by Polanyi, »we know more than we can tell«, focusing on the body and its immanent knowledge allows to access immediate forms of architectural knowledge. Experience, memory, and the capacity for anticipation are equally rooted in the body; corporeally anchored, contained in, and inscribed to the body. Respectively, creative imagination in architectural design relies upon the body. Through knowing how we experience architecture, we are eager to anticipate future perception in architectural design. Following my doctoral thesis, entitled “Impulses and Dialogues of Architecture and the Body”, I present the knowledge of the body as a contribution to the body of knowledge of architecture: Using the example of the working method and oeuvre of Sasha Waltz & Guests – which I investigate against the background of my own artistic practice, especially in in-situ and site-specific performances, as well as my attempts at the including of somatic practices into my academic teaching in the field of architecture – I exploit the body as a medium of spatial research, and as an immediate form of conveyance and expression in the discipline of architecture.
Essay Journal Article Open Access Publication

Labor, Prescription and Alienation in Architecture: Critical Notes On The Architect’s Practice

Image 01: Tower of Babel under Construction Date: 1590 Artist: unknown Source: https://www.wga.hu/html/m/master/zunk_ge/zunk_ge4/ztower_b.html, © Public Domain
ABSTRACT
The present essay seeks to point out contemporary phenomena of decreasing autonomy by the alienation of everyday skills that, together with architectural drawing, promote the architect and urbanist’s figure to that of an expert, thus immobilizing its practice in a heteronomous form. It aims the exposition, with the critiques of Ivan Illich and Sérgio Ferro, how the architect’s practice contributes to the alienation and exploitation of the construction worker’s labour in detriment of the body-skill dialectics, which would allow for a closer relation between individual and society. Opposing this alienation processes, both in consuming as in the production of architecture, with studies about technology and anthropology, it argues in favor of a politics of transformation of architectures technology based on the relation between body, skills, learning and technique.
Eric Crevels
Essay Journal Article Open Access Publication

October 16, 2022

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Labor, Prescription and Alienation in Architecture: Critical Notes On The Architect’s Practice

Eric Crevels
Image 01: Tower of Babel under Construction Date: 1590 Artist: unknown Source: https://www.wga.hu/html/m/master/zunk_ge/zunk_ge4/ztower_b.html, © Public Domain
Image 02: Building of Babel Date: 1882 Artist: Edmund Ollier Source: https://archive.org/details/dli.granth.77290/mode/2up , © Public Domain
Image 03: Weltchronik in Versen, Szene: Der Turmbau zu Babel Date: circa 1370 Artist: Meister der Weltenchronik Source: The Yorck Project (2002) 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei (DVD-ROM), distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH. ISBN: 3936122202., © Public Domain
ABSTRACT
The present essay seeks to point out contemporary phenomena of decreasing autonomy by the alienation of everyday skills that, together with architectural drawing, promote the architect and urbanist’s figure to that of an expert, thus immobilizing its practice in a heteronomous form. It aims the exposition, with the critiques of Ivan Illich and Sérgio Ferro, how the architect’s practice contributes to the alienation and exploitation of the construction worker’s labour in detriment of the body-skill dialectics, which would allow for a closer relation between individual and society. Opposing this alienation processes, both in consuming as in the production of architecture, with studies about technology and anthropology, it argues in favor of a politics of transformation of architectures technology based on the relation between body, skills, learning and technique.
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

Clay 3D Print of Urmein

The model displayed here, a Clay 3D Print of Urmein, a rural village in Switzerland, highlights the exploratory path that architects often take when new technologies become available. The model is based on information drawn from photogrammetry and drone footage, and has been produced by a clay printer intended for pottery – all tools that do not typically belong in the architect’s toolbox.
Martin Roesch Nicola Graf
Exhibition Model TACK Exhibition Object

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Clay 3D Print of Urmein

Martin Roesch Nicola Graf
© TACK
The model displayed here, a Clay 3D Print of Urmein, a rural village in Switzerland, highlights the exploratory path that architects often take when new technologies become available. The model is based on information drawn from photogrammetry and drone footage, and has been produced by a clay printer intended for pottery – all tools that do not typically belong in the architect’s toolbox.
Lecture / Talk

29th May 2000

Dove va la città dopo il coronavirus

© Domus
La pandemia di coronavirus ha messo a nudo questioni che erano già oggetto di riflessione con un’accelerazione senza precedenti. Per questo Domus propone di ragionare, ancora a caldo, su quale sia la città che vogliamo.
Claudia Mainardi
Lecture / Talk

29th May 2000

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Dove va la città dopo il coronavirus

Claudia Mainardi
© Domus
La pandemia di coronavirus ha messo a nudo questioni che erano già oggetto di riflessione con un’accelerazione senza precedenti. Per questo Domus propone di ragionare, ancora a caldo, su quale sia la città che vogliamo.
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.
Lecture / Talk

Stories of Houses: investigating ordinary practices in post-War Milan

In her talk Stories of Houses: investigating ordinary practices in post-War Milan (held in the framework of TACK training axis 2, module 1 “Probing Tacit Knowledge” on 26 April 2021), Gaia Caramellino questioned the practices of tacit knowledge embedded in the particular cultural network engaged in the design and construction of post-WWII Milan ordinary residential environment.
Gaia Caramellino
Lecture / Talk

April 26, 2021

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Stories of Houses: investigating ordinary practices in post-War Milan

Gaia Caramellino
In her talk Stories of Houses: investigating ordinary practices in post-War Milan (held in the framework of TACK training axis 2, module 1 “Probing Tacit Knowledge” on 26 April 2021), Gaia Caramellino questioned the practices of tacit knowledge embedded in the particular cultural network engaged in the design and construction of post-WWII Milan ordinary residential environment.
TACK Exhibition Object

Tesseln/Bâton à marques

Bâtons à marques (also called ratement,s Tesseln) are  pieces of carved carved wood used as tally sticks in the Swiss Alps. They functioned as  as records of use rights, productstaxes, products, and labour duties in relation to common resources. Tesseln in Upper-Valais and and bâton à marques in LowerBas-Valais were employed in the governance of common property and resourcesvarious forms of common property, including alpine pastures, wine, and irrigation water.
Nicole de Lalouviere
TACK Exhibition Object

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Tesseln/Bâton à marques

Nicole de Lalouviere
© TACK
Bâtons à marques (also called ratement,s Tesseln) are  pieces of carved carved wood used as tally sticks in the Swiss Alps. They functioned as  as records of use rights, productstaxes, products, and labour duties in relation to common resources. Tesseln in Upper-Valais and and bâton à marques in LowerBas-Valais were employed in the governance of common property and resourcesvarious forms of common property, including alpine pastures, wine, and irrigation water.
Newsletter

Report on the Intermediate Meeting at LUH, Hanover/Germany

Workshop Thursday #2
This is a report on the TACK 6th Intermediate meeting @LUH, written by Margitta Buchert and Sarah Wehmeyer.
Margitta Buchert Sarah Wehmeyer
Newsletter

October 13, 2022

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Report on the Intermediate Meeting at LUH, Hanover/Germany

Margitta Buchert Sarah Wehmeyer
Workshop Thursday #2
Workshop Friday #5
Workshop Thursday #3
This is a report on the TACK 6th Intermediate meeting @LUH, written by Margitta Buchert and Sarah Wehmeyer.
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
Lecture / Talk Video

Beyond Virtual-Reality

This lecture explores VR’s potential beyond its visual territory and probes how it can be used to explore the multimodality of spatial experiences and atmospheres.
Paula Strunden
Lecture / Talk Video

October 12, 2020

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Beyond Virtual-Reality

Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
© Paula Strunden
This lecture explores VR’s potential beyond its visual territory and probes how it can be used to explore the multimodality of spatial experiences and atmospheres.
Book chapter TACK Book

Exploring Spatial Perception through Performative 1:1 Extended Reality Models: Preliminary insights from Infra-thin Magick

© TACK
ABSTRACT
Building on scenography, performance theory and findings from neurosciences, tacit knowing in architecture is understood here as embodied, embedded and enacted perceptual dimension of our built environment. Through art- and design-based research, tacitly knowing is examined as a form of practice and a new extended reality (XR) design tool is probed to exercise it. Since the atmospheric turn in architecture (Böhme 2017, McCormack 2014, Bille et al. 2015), it is well known that spatial perception is multi-sensory and that the interplay of our senses goes beyond the cross-fertilization of sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. Nevertheless, architectural designers may have only touched the surface of what we might be able to feel regarding our spatial environments. Apart from the sensation of our movement and whether our environment is too hot or cold, our abilities to feel space physically remain challenging to represent and communicate through conventional architectural tools. This includes i.e. our sense of balance, our ability to feel time passing, our knowledge of which of our body parts are where without having to look at them, and our sense of gravity, orientation, and illumination. Some of these “always-there-but-never-felt” sensations can be revealed and physically experienced when entering a fully immersive virtual environment for the first time. As our brain takes a split second to adjust to the novel surroundings, it is at this moment that we can suddenly sense our senses at work. The XR case study “Infra-thin Magick”, exhibited as part of Speculative Fiction at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2022, explains how such unanticipated insights can be purposefully evoked by displacing and reassembling the components constituting our multimodal and synaesthetic spatial perception. Leaning on the design theoretician Thea Brejzek and Lawrence Wallan’s understanding of the “autonomous model”, this performative real-time and -scale XR model that oscillates between physical installation and virtual reality (VR) experience is employed as an operative tool for designing and analyzing spatial experiences beyond the known sensations of our built environment. First user-testing results are presented, and the premise of the autonomous model to co-create reality and allow architects to research through active participation, first-hand experience, discovery, and play are brought to light.
Paula Strunden
Book chapter TACK Book

November 1, 2022

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Exploring Spatial Perception through Performative 1:1 Extended Reality Models: Preliminary insights from Infra-thin Magick

Paula Strunden
© TACK
ABSTRACT
Building on scenography, performance theory and findings from neurosciences, tacit knowing in architecture is understood here as embodied, embedded and enacted perceptual dimension of our built environment. Through art- and design-based research, tacitly knowing is examined as a form of practice and a new extended reality (XR) design tool is probed to exercise it. Since the atmospheric turn in architecture (Böhme 2017, McCormack 2014, Bille et al. 2015), it is well known that spatial perception is multi-sensory and that the interplay of our senses goes beyond the cross-fertilization of sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. Nevertheless, architectural designers may have only touched the surface of what we might be able to feel regarding our spatial environments. Apart from the sensation of our movement and whether our environment is too hot or cold, our abilities to feel space physically remain challenging to represent and communicate through conventional architectural tools. This includes i.e. our sense of balance, our ability to feel time passing, our knowledge of which of our body parts are where without having to look at them, and our sense of gravity, orientation, and illumination. Some of these “always-there-but-never-felt” sensations can be revealed and physically experienced when entering a fully immersive virtual environment for the first time. As our brain takes a split second to adjust to the novel surroundings, it is at this moment that we can suddenly sense our senses at work. The XR case study “Infra-thin Magick”, exhibited as part of Speculative Fiction at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2022, explains how such unanticipated insights can be purposefully evoked by displacing and reassembling the components constituting our multimodal and synaesthetic spatial perception. Leaning on the design theoretician Thea Brejzek and Lawrence Wallan’s understanding of the “autonomous model”, this performative real-time and -scale XR model that oscillates between physical installation and virtual reality (VR) experience is employed as an operative tool for designing and analyzing spatial experiences beyond the known sensations of our built environment. First user-testing results are presented, and the premise of the autonomous model to co-create reality and allow architects to research through active participation, first-hand experience, discovery, and play are brought to light.
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.
Open Access Publication Paper

Knowledge in Architecture: draughtsmanship or craftsmanship?

Image 01: Mason worker drawing Date: 1425 Source: Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, Band 1. Nürnberg 1426–1549. Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg, Amb. 317.2°, © Public Domain
ABSTRACT
What are draughtsmanship and craftsmanship in architecture and what is their relation? This question represents, of course, what could be called two distinct fields of knowledge and communities of practice, architecture and craft, and can very generally describe how their specific knowledge take shape or, in other words, through what kind of practice it is manifested.
Eric Crevels
Open Access Publication Paper

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Knowledge in Architecture: draughtsmanship or craftsmanship?

Eric Crevels
Image 01: Mason worker drawing Date: 1425 Source: Hausbuch der Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung, Band 1. Nürnberg 1426–1549. Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg, Amb. 317.2°, © Public Domain
Image 02: Sketch of a detail by John Ruskin Source: http://www.themorgan.org/collection/literary-and-historical-manuscripts/191761, © Public Domain
ABSTRACT
What are draughtsmanship and craftsmanship in architecture and what is their relation? This question represents, of course, what could be called two distinct fields of knowledge and communities of practice, architecture and craft, and can very generally describe how their specific knowledge take shape or, in other words, through what kind of practice it is manifested.
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.