vacancy studies: experiments & strategic interventions in architecture vacancy studies: experiments & strategic interventions in architecture
aug 29, 2014

vacancy studies: experiments & strategic interventions in architecture

vacancy studies: experiments & strategic interventions in architecture
images courtesy of nai010 publishers, rotterdam, 2014

 

 

 

vacancy studies: experiments & strategic interventions in architecture
authors: ronald rietveld, erik rietveld, jurgen bey, arna mackic, barbara visser, ester van de wiel and martine zoeteman
editors: ronald rietveld, erik rietveld, martine zoeteman and arna mackic
design: studio joost grootens
publisher: nai010
year: 2014
format: 170 x 230mm
features: paperback, 192 color pages
language: dutch/english
ISBN: 978-94-6208-146-8

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designboom rating:   (excellent, recommended)
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churches, hospitals, prisons and airports. many of the built structures that exist in our everyday lives lie unoccupied.

 

however, according to ronald and erik rietveld of RAAAF [rietveld architecture-art-affordances], an empty structure isn’t necessarily a problem, but rather a blank canvas on which to implement a range of unique design opportunities.

 

at 2010’s venice architecture biennale, RAAAF visualized the gigantic scale of these expansive spaces in an installation called ‘vacant NL’. the work demonstrated the unprecedented possibilities offered by the 10,000 empty public and government buildings in the netherlands, providing a multitude of opportunities for unique uses as well as creative space for experimentation and innovation. the project called upon the dutch government to capitalize on the enormous potential of the country’s temporarily unoccupied buildings. after the event, the scheme was praised for its international relevance at a time of economic instability.

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
‘firemen walk with us’ opposes the risk averse behavior of local authorities and shows new possibilities
see more of this project on designboom here

 

 

 

developed alongside a multidisciplinary team at the sandberg institute, a new book titled ‘vacancy studies: experiments & strategic interventions in architecture’  revisits projects already in place, and looks at what the future may offer. starting with the premise that a new method of working is required, the publication asserts that designers can make a major contribution to complex social issues through exploring some of characteristics that define ‘vacant architecture’.

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
‘secret operation 610’ functions as a mobile space for research, experiment and innovation for groups coming from various disciplines

 

 

 

the book consists of two parts. the first section presents a vision of the potential offered by emptiness and a new way of analyzing and designing, known as ‘strategic intervention’. the second part, divided across three further sections, deals with experimentation in design education and the possible applications that relate to political, social and economical concerns.

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
see more of this project on designboom here

 

 

 

a chapter titled ‘designing for temporary use as a profession’ describes in detail the studio vacant NL master’s program – the first such course in the world. lecturer ester van de wiel explains how participants have devised specific design tools and strategies that can be reproduced for sequential use in a building’s interim period, entirely based on students’ individual interests.

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
the cut-through monument ‘bunker 599’ unorthodoxly questions the dutch and UNECSO policies on cultural heritage
see more of this project on designboom here

 

 

 

in the following section, barbara visser, a visual artist who has worked with RAAAF on a number of projects, introduces eight innovative ways to deal with vacant properties. the final chapter presents designer jurgen bey‘s vision of the future, examining vacancy as means to develop knowledge in the context of education.

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
‘vacant NL’ demonstrated the unprecedented possibilities offered by empty public and government buildings
see more of this project on designboom here

 

 

 

the publication provides readers with an optimistic perspective on vacancy, focusing on the designers, scientists and artists responsible for dealing with unoccupied space. ‘vacancy studies’ equips designers, teachers and students with the necessary insight to plan for the future, serving as an indispensable point of reference for anyone interested in the potential space and how we can fill it in resourceful and inventive ways.

vacancy studies designboom
‘fort werk aan’t spoel’ is an outdoor space transformed into a public monument and park
see more of this project on designboom here

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
huge white sacks usually used to transport raw materials in sea containers are used to create temporary spaces

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
roeland otten, still from study for horizon. reenactment after sigurdur gudmundsson
(studio for immediate spaces, sandberg instituut, kijkduin 2012)

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
‘outstanding landscape of affordances’ considers how offices can encourage a more active and healthy lifestyle
see more of this project on designboom here

vacancy studies RAAAF rietveld architecture art affordances nao010 designboom
‘vacancy studies’ / copyright nai010, 20134 (front cover)

 

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