A giant monkey rock, that is how the office of the future might well look like

Sitting kills. RAAAF | Barbara Visser made with their Outstanding Landscape of Affordances a vision on the future of the workplace where the chair and the table are no longer the starting point. Barbara Visser is a visual artist and since 2014 chair of the recently re-established Society of Arts of the Netherlands Royal Academy (KNAW). This new work was commissioned by the Netherlands Chief Government Architect and motivated by a widely shared feeling of dissatisfaction with present-day standardized open spaces for “flex-working” as implemented at the various ministries, municipalities and universities.

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Medical research has suggested that constantly sitting at work is bad for you. Even worse, a recent BBC News article noted: “We can’t simply fix it by heading for the gym.” Sitting kills. The BBC-article was titled: “Could offices change from sitting to standing?” Outstanding Landscape of Affordances shows how our offices could invite a more active and healthy life style. RAAAF | Barbara Visser presented an animation of a futuristic landscape of possibilities for working while standing up, a sculpture to be realized by the artists in Amsterdam later this year.

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The mute animation ‘Sitting Kills’ shows a large rock-like structure. It is designed out of a thousand different possibilities for working in positions between standing and laying. The key is that the sculpture’s affordances stimulate people to take up different working positions during the day and promotes concentration. The richness of this landscape of affordances gives people the freedom to find the optimal position for their different tasks and needs during the working day. This vision presents a radical break with regular office furniture and current working models such as “flex-working”, which all are still based on sitting. In fact our societies’ entire surroundings are designed for being seated. This is a first step towards a future in which standing at work is the new norm. A lifelong health where we are both physically and mentally active.

This project is is also a next step in visualizing the landscape of affordances, this time focusing on possibities for standing, leaning and hanging provided by the monkey rock-like sculpture. Links to earlier visualizations related to Erik Rietveld’s VIDI-project ‘The Landscape of Affordances’ can be found here.

Designboom’s coverage of the animation can be found here.

See also how Barbara Visser has filmed the tendency towards optimal grip on standing affordances in these making-of movies: 

Update 11/12/14: The Landscape of Standing Affordances has now been built as an enactive art installation, see here.

Upcoming invited talks Spring 2014

Over the next few weeks we will present work at several interesting and recommended events. Most are in the field of enactive or embodied cogntive science, some in the fields of art & architecture.

May 22, An Outstanding Landscape of Affordances, lecture and animation, RAAAF together with Barbara Visser, Invited by Atelier of the Chief Government Architect (Rijksbouwmeester Frits van Dongen), Ministry of Finance, The Hague.

May 26, Sitting Kills: Towards an Landscape of Standing Affordances, Grand Round, Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam.

June 20, The Landscape of Affordances: Situating the Embodied Mind, Expert Meeting Psychiatry & Philosophy, Radboud University, Nijmegen.

June 20, Expert Practice in DBS Parameter Optimization (presented by Maarten van Westen), Expert Meeting Psychiatry & Philosophy, Radboud University, Nijmegen.

June 24, Vacant NL on the Move (together with Ronald Rietveld), Kunsthal, Rotterdam. (An interview with Dutch newspaper Volkskrant can be found below.)InterviewVolkskrant2zoom230614

June 24, Vacancy Studies (presented by Arna Mackic), Strijp S, Eindhoven.

June 26, Affordances in archtectural practice, EWEP 13 symposium organized by Rob Withagen ‘Affordances and architecture: Towards an ecological approach‘, Queens University, Belfast.

July 6-14, Action readiness in a landscape of affordances (together with Jelle Bruineberg), International Summer School in Affective Sciences, Swiss NCCR Affective Sciences Center (ISSAS), Geneva University, Château de Bossey, Switzerland.

 

The Terrain of Dirty Art, Fashion & Photography

Soon the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Sandberg art academies will get a new building and outside space. The students from the departments Fashion, Dirty Art and Photography will contribute to the new design by investigating the following question: What makes a place a good place?

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 The existing main entrance of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy is an example of well functioning public domain. A place were people from different backgrounds can meet and sometimes do meet: students and teachers from different departments, people from Sandberg and Rietveld. During the first week of November interdisciplinary groups of students will investigate the way the environment contributes to such opportunities to meet.

Starting from their own fascinations and skills, student from the three departments will make proposals for new possibilities for social interaction in between the existing and the new building. If the square/entrance could be 100% fashion, photography or dirty art, how would you design it? How would your ideal work space on the terrain look? What would be your most daring intervention to connect physically the worlds of Rietveld and Sandberg?

Terrain Curators: Ronald Rietveld & Erik Rietveld, RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances] http://www.raaaf.nl

Teachers/Departments heads: Niels Klavers (Fashion) & Vincent Zedelius (Photography)

Coordinator: Lizzy Kok (Dirty Art Department)

Location: Room 032, Ground floor Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Fred. Roeskestraat 96, Amsterdam

Presentation with drinks: Friday November 8th, 16h-19h (please email Lizzy: lizzy@sandberg.nl )

Three new publications on enactive embodied cognition

Here are three important new publications showing the potential of understanding enactive or embodied cognition in terms of skillful responsiveness to a field of affordances or ‘skilled intentionality’. This series of papers shows how to think of this at the phenomenological, psychological, and neural levels of analysis, and, crucially, how my notion of ‘responsiveness to a field of affordances’ makes it possible to relate insights gained at these different levels.

Kiverstein, J. & Rietveld, E. (2012), Dealing with context through action-oriented predictive processing. Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 3 (421), pp. 1-2.

Rietveld, E. (2012), Bodily intentionality and social affordances in context, in Paglieri, F. (ed.) Consciousness in Interaction. The Role of the Natural and Social Context in Shaping Consciousness. Amsterdam: J. Benjamins, pp. 207-226.

Rietveld, E., De Haan, S. & Denys, D (forthcoming), Social affordances in context: What is it that we are bodily responsive to? Invited commentary article on Leo Schilbach et al. BBS, Behavioral and Brain Sciences.