Renske Maria van Dam
A website created to frame the work of creative practice research community and to enable research collaboration between students, lecturers and practitioners.

In this research, Renske Maria van Dam reflects back on her previous pedagogical practice, that combined architecture, performance and philosophy, and which foregrounded what she terms 'tiny perceptions' as a design and research tool. Van Dam is creating a framework for a creative practice research community to enable research collaboration between students, lecturers and practitioners. Through this she hopes to open up the opportunity for post-graduate creative practice research at KABK. As result of the Teaching Tools Research Group 2020 architect and creative practice research Renske Maria van Dam presents Spacious, a creative practice research community.

Spacious is a creative practice research community which aspires to connect architects to their research and practice in a different way. What distinguishes Spacious’ approach is the emphasis on sited experiments. The inflexible categories of architect, artist, scholar and student, as well as the goal oriented work ethos that takes place in an sealed-off design office or faculty building, distance us from the real work in the real life. Therefore Spacious disposes with the de-natured white lab coat approach to environmental research and intervention and welcome you to an all-hands on immersion in and experimentation with the world.

The main goal is to explore a meadow of knowing, less than to produce a field of knowledge, about/in/as sited awareness. Departing from the hypothesis of the embodied mind Spacious explores the realm of subtle realities that emerges from the reciprocity between organism and (build) environment by means of creative practice research methodologies. In this way the creative practice is activated not to reflect upon personal artistic endeavours, but as means to support the ongoing research in neuro-architecture, cognitive and evolutionary sciences  from the immediacy of the lived, moment to moment, experience.

Working with/in Spacious enables you to develop alternative rhythms for your spatial endeavours on the crossroad between architecture and art, academia and life.  Projects run over multiple years and are presented across diverse media, methods and milieus. To experiment is not to know in advance and – more often than not – to forget after the event. Therefor the site is approached without a predefined plan as to let our curiosity-driven and pro-active experimentation emerge in correspondence with the site. Through a focus on tiny perceptions and procedural intervention the creative process is anchored in the open-present and directly engages with more-than-human and more-than-conscious life.

Spacious is a nomadic community. Currently we reside at the ArtScience Interfaculty in the Hague. In the Netherlands, the existing frameworks for architectural research limit a practice based approach. Academic institutes mainly focus on theoretical research and art schools focus on personal and professional practice. Spacious aims to bridge these gaps. In order to secure an interesting variety of influx to the community, and provide a solid breeding ground for to further your research, Spacious works between institutes. Participants are held together by affinity rather than by any structure of membership or institutional hierarchy. Spacious works by the principle of give-and-take, you are asked to contribute what you can and take what you need. At the moment Spacious specifically welcomes master and doctorate research-practitioners that want to further and share their practice within our community.  Feel welcome to get into contact for future collaboration and participation.

If you are interested in joining the community or simply in learning about sited experimentation and how to further your own creative practice research projects, please zoom-in for this interactive session at 13:15. Renske will shortly introduce the working methods of the community after which there is time to ask questions and discuss (personal and collective) research possibilities. 

Meeting ID: 831 9875 1861
Passcode: z3397H


Renske Maria van Dam
tutor, KABK/KC Art Science interfaculty and member of the KABK Teaching Tools Research Group 2020.


Renske Maria van Dam  is architect and creative practice researcher. Here work exploitstiny perceptions to open-up alternative worlds of experience and action. She disposes with the de-natured white lab coat approach to environmental intervention for an all-hands on immersion in and experimentation with the world.  

Presently she is conducting doctoral research through the Radical Materiality Research Group at KU Leuven in Brussels (BE). Departing from the work of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki she studies the Japanese sensibility and cognition for spacetime to reconsider modern architectural habits in the pursuit of a life affirmative, empathic-animistic approach to architecture. This creative practice research is internationally supported, presented and published inside as well as outside academia. 

Her work draws on her amateur background as zookeeper and yogi as much as it does on my professional engagement with architectuurstudio Herman Hertzberger, Amsterdam (NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong, Beijing (CN) and her experimental pedagogical practice at the Royal Academy of Arts/ArtScience Interfaculty, The Hague where she initiated the creative practice research community Spacious. She graduated from the architecture faculty of the TU-Delft (2013) with additional studies in philosophy, sociology and anthropology of cities and Asian conceptions of space. 

Hannes Bernard