History meets the Body. Re-enactment as a mode of architectural inquiry.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

11 Downloads (Pure)


Although we normally think about ideas and discourses as disembodied entities, the truth is that tacit architectural concepts, specific ways of understanding history, time, and space, are inscribed into our built environments, and they can only be disentangled with the help of our own bodies, by performing actions within, in, and around buildings. This paper explores the use of re-enactments as a method for architectural historians, using Aldo and Hannie van Eyck’s own house as a case study. The researcher’s body informs the reflections and findings, from materiality to meaning, through the continuous and embedded experience of the space, a seventeenth century building were the Van Eycks lived from 1965, which was diligently remodelled by themselves into their treasured family home. Almost hidden from the street hustle, yet open to the outside, the place lights up as soon as the threshold is crossed. Both literally and metaphorically, the changes and additions to the building reveal their architectural thinking and ways of inhabiting. In the house, layers of temporality, materiality, everyday living and lived experience mingle with design solutions and worldviews affecting them. However, while re-enactments allow for an embodied understanding of how architectural ideas take material form, they also hold the potential to show the situatedness, partiality and contingency of the re-enacted practices, questioning the same values that they unearth. keywords.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventTacit Knowledge in Architecture: TACK Final Conference - ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 19 Jun 202321 Jun 2023


ConferenceTacit Knowledge in Architecture
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care.
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


Dive into the research topics of 'History meets the Body. Re-enactment as a mode of architectural inquiry.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this