RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] operates at the crossroads of visual art, architecture and philosophy. The experimental collective started in 2006.
RAAAF (www.raaaf.nl) makes site-specific artworks and has developed the approach of ‘strategic interventions’ for reflection on urgent societal issues (download PDF). This approach derives from the respective backgrounds of the founding partners in art and science: Prix de Rome laureate Ronald Rietveld and philosopher Erik Rietveld. The affordances of art and 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 art 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, an artwork that unorthodoxly questions the Dutch and UNESCO policies on cultural heritage.
RAAAF’s visual research translates results of Erik Rietveld’s philosophical research on embodied cognition into artistic interventions, which in turn form the basis for philosophical reflection and empirical science. These innovative translational research projects are funded by NWO, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the Mondriaan Fund for Visual Art.
RAAAF’s work has been published world-wide and exhibited at leading biennales in the art world such as those of São Paulo, Istanbul and Venice. The studio has won several prestigious awards, including the Prix de Rome 2006, the Architectural Review Award, and an ERC Starting Grant. 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 visual art, architecture and philosophy.
Besides the biennales mentioned above, RAAAF’s work was exhibited in Garage Museum for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Cappadox Contemporary Art in Turkey, Z33 House for Contemporary Art in Belgium, Central Museum Utrecht, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, and National Museum Oslo.
Ronald and Erik Rietveld developed their own Master’s program ‘Vacant NL’ at the renowned Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy/Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam. They are often invited for international lectures and symposiums. Erik Rietveld’s philosophical work on the rich landscape of affordances that underlies everyday skillful action provides a conceptual framework for the investigation of the world in which we live -from work spaces to urban routines in big cities-.
In June 2014 RAAAF’s new book Vacancy Studies 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.
In 2019 we opened the site specific art installation Still Life for Het HEM, a former bullet factory that became a new place for contemporary art and culture in Amsterdam. This artwork questions the abandoned war factory and creates a link between the present, past and future of this historically burdened heritage.
For more information you can download RAAAF’s portfolio here: PDF portfolio RAAAF.
Rietveld, E. (2019) The Affordances of Art for Making Technologies. Inaugural lecture at the University of Twente, Socrates Chair, April 18 2019.
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. & 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.