Bio Erik Rietveld


Prof. dr. Erik Rietveld is Socrates Professor, Senior Researcher at the University of Amsterdam (AMC/Department of Philosophy/ILLC/Brain & Cognition) and a Founding Partner of RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances]. RAAAF ( is a multidisciplinary and experimental studio that makes site-specific work at the crossroads of visual art, architecture and philosophy.

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Erik Rietveld was a Fellow in Philosophy at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. His philosophical and interdisciplinary research on ‘Unreflective Action’ was awarded by the European Science Foundation (2009), the University of Amsterdam (2009), the Academic Medical Center (AMC in 2011 and 2014), and by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Rubicon 2008, VENI 2009). In 2013 his new research project on skilled action titled “The Landscape of Affordances: Situating the Embodied Mind” was awarded with a NWO VIDI-grant for the development of his research group on skilled intentionality & expertise. Recently he received a an ERC Starting Grant for a new philosophical project titled “Skilled Intentionality for ‘Higher’ Embodied Cognition: Joining Forces with a Field of Affordances in Flux”.

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With his brother Ronald Rietveld he was curator of the Dutch contribution ‘Vacant NL’ to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010, author of the books Vacancy Studies and the Dutch Atlas of Vacancy, and founder/director of the architectural research master ‘Vacant NL’ at the Sandberg Institute/Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy. Vacant NL was awarded with a Dutch Design Award and the Rotterdam Design Prize. With RAAAF they have shown work at international exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Oslo, Milan, Mumbai, Moscow, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. In 2013 RAAAF was elected Radical Innovator, presented a new installation at the Istanbul Art Biennale and elected Dutch Architect of the Year. In 2015 RAAAF contributed an architectural art installation to the new Chicago Architecture Biennale. In 2017 RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon were awarded the European Prize of Architecture (Philippe Rotthier).


His work as a Socrates Professor at the University of Twente focusses on humane technology: the philosophy of making and societal embedding of technology in the humanist tradition.. Erik Rietveld gave a talk at TEDxGhent in June 2015 and publishes regularly in renowned international journals such as Mind, Synthese, Phenomenology & The Cognitive Sciences, The Architectural Review, Harvard Design Magazine, Frontiers Human Neuroscience, PLoS One, TiCS, and Behavioral & Brain Sciences. Since 2017 his article, ‘A Rich Landscape of Affordances’, (Rietveld & Kiverstein, 2014) is most read article published in Ecological Psychology.

In 2016 Ronald and Erik Rietveld became members of The Society of Arts of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). You can find an introduction to Erik Rietveld’s work here.


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