Enactive Architecture


RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] operates at the crossroads of architecture, art and science. The studio started in 2006.

RAAAF (www.raaaf.nl) makes site-specific work and has developed the design approach of ‘strategic interventions’ (download PDF), which derives from the respective backgrounds of the founding partners: Prix de Rome Architecture laureate Ronald Rietveld and philosopher Erik Rietveld. The affordances of cultural heritage play an important role in RAAAF’s work. Research by varying multidisciplinary teams consisting of scientists and other specialists leads to clear concepts, evocative visualizations, and novel horizons. A striking example of this is the installation ‘Vacant NL’, the Dutch contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010, in which the potential of 10.000 governmentally-owned vacant buildings was shown and that now is central in the discussions concerning innovative re-use. Another example is the cut-through monument Bunker 599, which unorthodoxly questions the Dutch and UNESCO policies on cultural heritage.


RAAAF’s design research translates results of Erik Rietveld’s philosophical research on embodied cognition into architectural interventions, which in turn form the basis for philosophical reflection. These innovative translational research projects are funded by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.


RAAAF’s work has been published world-wide and exhibited at leading art- and architecture biennales such as those of São Paulo, Istanbul and Venice. The studio has won several prestigious awards, including the Prix de Rome Architecture 2006, the Architectural Review Award, the Rotterdam Design Prize 2011 and a VIDI-award of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2013 RAAAF earned the titles of New Radical and Dutch Architect of the Year. In 2017 RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon were awarded the European Prize of Architecture (Philippe Rotthier). Ronald and Erik Rietveld were recently invited to become members of The Society of Arts of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The various juries emphasize the ability of the studio to cross and stretch the disciplinary borders of architecture, science and art.

Rietveld Landscape Vacant NL Venice Architecture Biennale 2010

Clients include the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, the Netherlands’ Agency for Cultural Heritage, the City of Amsterdam, the Port of Rotterdam, House for Contemporary Art Z33 in Belgium, Project Office New Dutch Waterline, The Netherlands’ Architecture Institute (NAi), several provinces, Central Museum Utrecht, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, and National Museum Oslo.

Pretty Vacant

Ronald and Erik Rietveld run their own Master’s program ‘Vacant NL’ at the renowned Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy/Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam. The studio is often invited for international lectures and symposiums or as curator/designer of exhibitions. The last couple of years it realized several location-specific installations that combined the qualities of local public space with an international vision and ambition. Erik Rietveld’s philosophical work on the a rich landscape of affordances that underlies everyday skillful action provides a conceptual framework for the investigation of the built environment -from work spaces to urban routines in big cities-.

In June 2014 RAAAF’s new book Vacancy Studies: Experiments and Strategic Interventions in Architecture was launched. Three chapters are available as open access chapters via the links in the references below. In 2017 RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon won the Philippe Rotthier European Prize of Architecture.


For more information see www.raaaf.nl

Rietveld Landscape

Selected publications (see my pages on philosophy and Deep Brain Stimulation for more articles):

Rietveld, E. (2019) The Affordances of Art for Making Technologies. Inaugural lecture at the University of Twente, Socrates Chair, April 18 2019.

Van Dijk, L. & Rietveld, E. (2018) Situated Anticipation. Synthese. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-02013-8

Rietveld, E. & Rietveld, R. (2018) Affordances and Architecture, Superhumanity. London: E-flux Architecture.

Rietveld, E., Rietveld, R. & Martens, J. (2017) Trusted strangers: social affordances for social cohesion Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, doi: 10.1007/s11097-017-9554-7

Rietveld, E. & Rietveld, R. (2017) Hardcore Heritage: Imagination for Preservation Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01995

Rietveld, R., Rietveld, E. & Habets, D. (2017) Indestructible Holland: a tribute to a culture of delta experiments Architectural Review 1442, pp. 86-89.

Rietveld, E. (2016) Situating the embodied mind in landscape of standing affordances for living without chairs: Materializing a philosophical worldview. Journal of Sports Medicine. Doi: 1007/s40279-016-0520-2

Rietveld, E. & Brouwers, A.A. (2016) Optimal grip on affordances in architectural design practices: An ethnography. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. doi: 10.1007/s11097-016-9475-x

Rietveld, E., Rietveld, R., Mackic, A., Waalwijk Van Doorn, E. & Bervoets, B. (2015) The End of Sitting. Harvard Design Magazine.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E., Bey, J., Mackic, A., Visser, B., Van de Wiel, E., Zoeteman, M. (2014), Vacancy Studies: Experiments and Strategic Interventions in Architecture. Rotterdam: nai010 publishers.

Rietveld, E & Kiverstein, J. (2014), A rich landscape of affordances. Ecological Psychology 26 (4), pp. 325-352.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2013), Landscape Architecture’s Core: Featured Practice Rietveld Landscape, Harvard Design Magazine 36.

Rietveld, E. & Rietveld R. (2014) Introduction to Vacancy Studies. In Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (eds.) Vacancy Studies: Experiments & Strategic Interventions in Architecture. Rotterdam: NAI010 Publishers, pp. 13-23.

Rietveld, E. & Rietveld R. (2014) The potential for innovation offered by vacancy. In Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (eds.) Vacancy Studies: Experiments & Strategic Interventions in Architecture. Rotterdam: NAI010 Publishers, pp. 29-50.

Rietveld, E. & Rietveld R. (2014) The Dutch Atlas of Vacancy. In Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (eds.) Vacancy Studies: Experiments & Strategic Interventions in Architecture. Rotterdam: NAI010 Publishers, pp. 51-78.

Rietveld, E., Rietveld R. & Mackic, A. (2014) Strategic interventions as a design approach. In Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (eds.) Vacancy Studies: Experiments & Strategic Interventions in Architecture. Rotterdam: NAI010 Publishers, pp. 79-116.

Rietveld, E. (2013), Introduction to ‘The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces’ArchiNed, June 9, 2013.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2012) The Web – Radio Kootwijk, de Architect. pp. 17.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2012), Designing with vacancy, Volume 33, pp. 29-33.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2012), Vacant NL for top sectorsS+RO (4), pp. 10-11.

Rietveld, E. & Rietveld, R. (2011), Designing spontaneous interactions, OASE 85, pp. 33-41.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2011), Vacant NL, Where architecture meets ideas, in Achten, A., Van der Markt, H. And De Rijk, T. (eds.) Dutch Design Yearbook 2011, Rotterdam: NAI, pp. 182-183.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2011), There’s a new master in townStudio 1, Architecture and Urbanism Magazine, pp. 84-93.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2010),  Dutch Atlas of Vacancy. With graphic design by Studio Joost Grootens. Rotterdam: NAI.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2010), Nieuw Amsterdams Park | Vertrouwde subculturende Architect 41 (4), p. 18.

Rietveld, R., Rietveld, E. & Erick de Lyon (2010), Temporarily open as strategy, in Sloterdijk, P. & Hemel, Z. Free State of Amsterdam, Amsterdam: Physical Planning Department, City of Amsterdam, pp. 106-109.

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2009), A call for strategic interventions, in Bouman, O., Abhelakh, A., Dings, M. & Zoeteman, M. (eds.) Architecture of Consequence: Dutch Designs on the Future, Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, pp. 114-117

Rietveld, R. & Rietveld, E. (2009), Office Rietveld Landscape, PaiseaDos, Landscape Architecture Review 1, pp. 130-135.

Rietveld, E. (2008), Situated normativity: The normative aspect of embodied cognition in unreflective action. Mind 117 (468), pp. 973-1001. doi: 10.1093/mind/fzn050

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s