The Tacit Dimension

Architecture Knowledge and Scientific Research

Edited by Lara Schrijver

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Understanding the multitude of knowledges that constitute architectural thinking, designing and making

Within architecture, tacit knowledge plays a substantial role both within the design process and its reception. This book explores the tacit dimension of architecture in its aesthetic, material, cultural, design-based, and reflexive understanding of what we build. Much of architecture’s knowledge resides beneath the surface, in nonverbal instruments such as drawings and models that articulate the spatial imagination of the design process. Tacit knowledge, described in 1966 by Michael Polanyi as what we ‘can know but cannot tell’, often denotes knowledge that escapes quantifiable dimensions of research.

Beginning in the studio, where students are guided into becoming architects, the book follows a path through the tacit knowledge present in models, materials, conceptual structures, and the design process, revealing how the tacit dimension leads to craftsmanship and the situated knowledge of architecture-in-the-world. Awareness of the tacit dimension helps to understand the many facets of the spaces we inhabit, from the ideas of the architect to the more hidden assumptions of our cultures.

Contributors: Tom Avermaete (ETH Zürich), Margitta Buchert (Leibniz-Universität Hannover), Christoph Grafe (Bergische Universität Wuppertal), Mari Lending (The Oslo School of Architecture and Design), Angelika Schnell (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), Eireen Schreurs (Delft University of Technology), Lara Schrijver (University of Antwerp)

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).


Format: Edited volume - free ebook - ePUB

130 pages

ISBN: 9789461663818

Publication: May 03, 2021

Lara Schrijver is professor of architecture theory at the University of Antwerp, Faculty of Design Sciences.

“In my twenty years of peer-reviewing book manuscripts for potential publication, this one has been the most fascinating for me. In fact, I did not put it down. Thank you for inviting me to peer-review it.”
Igea Troiani, University of Plymouth