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The TACK Conference and TACK Exhibition 19-21 June 2023 in Zürich

organised by

TACK Network

hosted by

ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture

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July 13, 2023



After three intensive years of research and exchanges, the TACK project reached its last big milestone: the TACK Conference (19th and 21st July 2023) welcomed 150 people at ETH Zürich to discuss tacit knowledge in architecture and its various forms. In three paper sessions and three object sessions the characters, roles and modes of architectural tacit knowledge were explored. Highlights were the two keynote lectures by Elke Krasny and Harry Collins, the book presentation by the 10 TACK PhD candidates, as well as the presentation of the TACK Publishing Platform by Helen Thomas.

A first type of submission the conference organizers solicited were academic papers that explored the agents, characteristics and roles of tacit knowledge. The contributions explored case studies that helped to understand how, and by whom, communities of tacit knowledge are constructed, as well as the myriad types of tacit knowledge that are at stake in architecture culture, and the role that tacit knowledge plays in the conception, design, construction and appropriation of architecture.

For the exhibition the organizers invited submissions of object that expressed or embodied tacit knowledge in architecture which would be exhibited during the conference (gta exhibitions at ETH Zurich, Exhibition “Unausgesprochenes Wissen/Unspoken Knowledge/ Le (savoir) non-dit”). These objects could be scale models, mock-ups, plans, drawings, details, letters, digital-born objects, etc. 17 speakers were be invited to reflect on how the objects exemplified the ways in which tacit knowledge operates in architecture culture in a so-called ‘object session’. During these ‘object sessions’, the different objects contributed to the exhibition and conference were discussed in brief, 10 minute presentations under the guidance of a session chair.

During the TACK Conference, the TACK Exhibition “Unausgesprochenes Wissen / Unspoken Knowledge / Le (savoir) non-dit”, curated by Tom Avermaete and Janina Gosseye, took successfully place in the Archena at ETH Zürich. 41 objects from 41 contributors illuminated how tacit, ‘unspoken knowledge’ operates in architecture and, particularly, how material vectors, such as drawings, plans and models, can mediate tacit knowledge. “Unausgesprochenes Wissen / Unspoken Knowledge / Le (savoir) non-dit” will live on as an online exhibition until 2027, which you can visit here (insert link). The exhibition and conference materials were made available on the TACK publishing platform.

The TACK Network warmly thanks all participants for making the conference and exhibition a huge success and a dignified finale to the TACK project.


The event received the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation under grant number 218546.