Throughout their doctoral training, the early stage researchers (ESR) involved in one of the three research clusters – Approaching Tacit Knowledge, Probing Tacit Knowledge, Situating Tacit Knowledge – will spend a total of ten months performing two part-time (50%) secondments. During these secondments, the ESRs will be based at the premises of the non-academic partners involved in the network.

Two different types of non-academic partners are involved in the ‘Communities of Tacit Knowledge’ network:

  1. Architectural partners: These are architectural offices from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Austria and Sweden. They will offer ESRs practice-based secondments
  2. Cultural partners: This group comprises three major European cultural institutes, active in the field of architecture. They will offer ESRs archival, rhetorical and curatorial secondments

Practice-based secondment

The ‘practice-based’ secondment gives ESRs direct access to tacit knowledge in architecture in various ways. First of all, functioning as a part-time ‘apprentice’ in an architectural office, the ESR will learn both ‘by doing’ and ‘by being told’ – thus gaining first-hand experiences on how tacit knowledge is embedded in architectural practice and how it is communicated and conveyed (both verbally and non-verbally) within the office. Secondly, the ESR will assume the role of ‘office ethnographer’ within the architectural practice. She/he will interview the architects working in the office and closely observe the operations/ workings of the office, which she/he will record in a ‘logbook’ – through sketches, photographs, conversation excerpts, etc. Finally, the ESR will regularly communicate her/his findings to the architectural office, thus creating a feedback-loop and encouraging self-reflexivity.

Archival secondment

During the archival secondment, early stage researchers will familiarize themselves with the different media and materials that architects work with, and they will also be trained in transferring, organizing, managing and studying architectural material.

Rhetorical secondment

For the rhetorical secondments, affiliates of the architectural firms will be invited to participate in a series of public conversations, that are organized, coordinated and moderated by the early stage researchers (ESR). After these public conversations, the ESRs participating in the rhetorical secondment will author critical pieces for professional news outlets, thereby practicing their own rhetorical skills.

Curatorial secondment

During the curatorial secondment, early stage researchers (ESR) will develop a curatorial project presenting particular aspects of ‘tacit knowledge’ in architecture, which will include the results of all other – ‘archival’, ‘rhetorical’ and ‘practice-based’– secondments. During the curatorial secondment, ESRs will be trained in a range of complementary skills, including: exhibition design, curating archival material, marketing and communication skills, and finance management.