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. Besides them the core design team consists of architect Arna Mackic. The affordances of cultural heritage play an important role in RAAAF’s work. Design 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. The various juries emphasize the ability of the studio to cross and stretch the disciplinary borders of architecture, science and art.
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.
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 bult 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.
For more information see www.raaaf.nl
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.