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ABOUT

Spacious is an atelier working at the intersection between art and architecture. Balancing research and craftsmanship, we create dynamic environments that enable joy, compassion, and wonderment. By bringing a lively, environmental awareness into the built environment, we cultivate habits and create habitats of wellbeing and care.

Our collaborative practice is guided by spatial practitioners who listen, move, and breathe in attunement with their surroundings. This relational, sensorial and participatory approach to the built environment can be understood as a playful critique on the architectural design studio. Instead of envisioning buildings or architectural theories from a distance or behind a desk, we value a radically situated process characterized by hands-on experimentation and full body immersion in the landscape, urban or otherwise. We collaborate with creative professionals and local communities to envision equitable processes of space-making that bring people into solidarity with their (non-human) environments.

We acknowledge the gap between enchanting stories of renewal and mundane reality. We value not only buildings, but also other forms of gap-work. Artistic interventions, academic engagement and community building are important contributions to architectural intelligence and social and ecological transition in the built environment. Through in-situ projects, experimental research and collaborative programs we aim to contribute to the field of transformative spatial practices.

APPROACH

What We Do 

Projects 

The atelier's main interest lies in the creation of dynamic environments, for example spatial and performative installations, pavilions, playgrounds, unique living or working environments, and participatory public spaces. We closely collaborate with our clients, the local community, and the weather to let unique interventions emerge in correspondence with the social and ecological dynamics of the project site.

Research
We study the spatial experience artistically and scientifically, intersecting the field of architecture with insights and methods from cognitive and contemplative sciences as well as from other visual and performative arts. This creative approach to scholarship generates both peer-reviewed publications and non-traditional research output such as visual essays and exhibitions. 

Programs

In collaboration with NGO’s, cultural and educational institutes, we initiate engaging programs among which lecture series, residencies, and architectural pedagogy. This aspect of our atelier allows us to be in conversation with and inspire the emerging field of transformative spatial practices, specifically slow, feminist, and post-western viewpoints.

COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

Spacious is founded by Renske Maria van Dam. She guides the practice in collaboration with a transdisciplinary, global constellation of cultural organizations, academic institutes, researchers, and creative pioneers. This lively community of practice makes it possible to work nomadically and to adjust to the needs of each project, research or program.

Renske Maria van Dam 

Dr. Ir. Renske Maria van Dam is an architect, artist and academic. She is founder of the atelier Spacious and senior lecturer and researcher in architecture at ArtEZ University of the Arts.

Dr. van Dam obtained her PhD from KU Leuven (2021) for dedicated research into 間 [Ma], the Japanese concept of the in-between. She earned her MSc and BSc in Architecture from TU Delft (2013, 2010). Her oeuvre emphasizes bodily action and movement within the experience of the built environment. She works with in-between space as agent of radical transformation, specifically in contribution to the emerging fields of slow, feminist and post-western spatial practices. Her creative scholarship intersects architectural practice with insights and methods from cognitive and contemplative sciences, and the visual and performative arts.

van Dam has crossed cultural and disciplinary boundaries in order to develop her relational, sensorial and participatory approach to the built environment. Cross-pollination between Asian and Western practices, including art, architecture and philosophy as well as intuitive bodywork and Dutch-Indo family roots deeply shape her work and thinking, as do her experiences as an amateur theatrical performer, zookeeper, and yogi. Professional engagements include Atelier Li Xiaodong (2011, CN); architecture studio Herman Hertzberger (2008-2009, NL);  participation in artistic and academic residencies such as AIRguiniguada (2022, SP); Senselab: Laboratory for Thought in Motion (2019, AUS and CA); and the Reversible Destiny Foundation (2018, JP and USA); and her pedagogical involvement at TU Delft (2021-present), and the University of the Arts in The Hague (2013-2023). She is invited as guest lecturer at diverse art and design institutes, including GSA Johannesburg (SA); Monash University (AUS); and Kansai University (JP). 

Her work has been exhibited and published with the support of academic and artistic funds, including FWO Flanders Research Foundation (2018, 2019) and The Hague Makers Grant (2022, 2024). Recent works include Matching & Meshing (2022) and Hugging Architecture (2023). Recent publications include contributions to the “Slow Spatial Reader” (Valiz, 2021); “Architectures of Life and Death” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021); and “Art and Philosophy in the 22nd Century: After Arakawa and Madeline Gins” (Ratik, 2023). She was selected as promising Dutch architect at the Future of Craftsmanship in Architecture symposium at the 2014 Venice Biennale Indonesian pavilion.

Creative Pioneers

Spacious is supported by art-scientist Vivien Vuong (NL) and graphic designer Saskia Pouwels (NL) on a permanent basis. Current and past collaborators include visual artist Felix Bodin (SE), futurist Russell Hughes (AUS), performance researcher Leon Lapa Pereira (DE-PT), performer Emma Hoette (NL-AUS), textile performer Ellen Lili Vanderstreaten (BE), and performer Kenzo Kusuda (JP).

Partners

Spacious’ long-term affiliations with curatorial platform Slow Research Lab (2015-present, NL); Ecologies of Architecture Research Group, TU Delft (2013-present, NL); Studies of the Architectural Body Research Group, Kansai University (2018-present, JP); and the global platform Feminist Spatial Practices (2023-present, NY) continue to inspire our work and thinking. 

CONTACT

Spacious has its home in the lively, multicultural neighborhood of Schilderswijk, The Hague. We also work on-site and frequently travel abroad sharing our practice. Please contact us through your preferred digital platform. 

Visiting Adress 
Jacob Marisstraat 117

2526 AS, The Hague 

The Netherlands 

Professional Information Business Registration Chambers of Commerce: 82802696 TAX-ID: NL003733024B68 Administrative Bodies Dutch Architects Registration Bureau: 1.131201.026   The Hague Artist: 79256

CONTACT

Get in Touch 

The atelier is based in the lively, multicultural neighborhood Schilderswijk in The Hague, the Netherlands. Often, we work on-site and travel abroad to share our practice. Please contact us through your preferred digital platform. 

Renske Maria van Dam

info[at]renskemaria.com

Visiting Adress 
Jacob Marisstraat 117

2526 AS, The Hague 

The Netherlands 

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Professional Information Business Registration Chambers of Commerce: 82802696 TAX-ID: NL003733024B68 Billing Information IBAN: NL15 RABO 0321001885 Swift: Rabo NL 2U Administrative Bodies Dutch Architects Registration Bureau: 1.131201.026   The Hague Artist: 79256

APPROACH

How We Work 

Collaboration and In-situ Experimentation   

In our projects, research and programming we emphasize collaboration and in-situ experimentation. Architecture is often practiced and taught at a distance. Both in- and outside academia, architects are bound to their desks. In a globalized practice, this desk is almost always located miles away from the building site. We believe that working collectively, in contact with your environment, supports the development of socially and ecologically friendly habits and habitats. Therefore, we favor full-body immersion in and experimentation with the world. To promote collaboration and experimentation across traditions, disciplines and cultures and give rise to unheard voices, we open our creative process to the public in open ateliers, testing grounds, and spatial conversations. 

Open Ateliers
In Open Ateliers we invite the public to participate in our spatial and performative explorations. Both for commissioned and self-initiated projects, Open Ateliers offer an active, experimental approach to co-creation and participatory design.

Testing Grounds
Testing Grounds are spatial installations such as mock-ups and re-enactments of existing or future environments that are built to study a specific aspect of the spatial experience. These real-life abstractions allow us to conduct sensorial fieldwork and thus to include embodied-enactive and affective experiences in the research process. In other words, Testing Grounds add a first-person ecology to the scientific third-person perspective that still prevails in academia.

Spatial Conversations
Spatial Conversations are creative conversations in which the spatial setting actively participates in answering collective questions. By literally moving through space and embodying different perspectives, spatial conversations support both personal and collective processes of transformation and changemaking.

We often exchange and combine these different formats, depending on the specific nature of the collaboration. Feel free to contact us for more information.

APPROACH

What We Value

Architecting otherwise calls for a shift in the way we conceive and construct the built environment, from a design practice focused on architectural objects to an architecture that foregrounds reciprocity. In this context:

Plural Practice
We advocate a plural, post-western practice guided by attuned architects, artists, and scientists who deeply listen, move, and breathe with the environment. 

Ecologies of the In-between
We work with the in-between as a space of radical transformation. Starting from the awareness of interdependency, we forget our profession and surrender to a not-knowing.

Architectural Bodying
We critique dominant Modern and Western spatial ideologies for the way they presuppose identity and don’t ask much of the body. Through poetic provocations and playful interventions, we explore and propose alternative forms of bodily action and spatial movement.

​Gap Work
We acknowledge the gap between enchanting stories of renewal and the mundane reality of a world in transformation. We value not only buildings, but also other forms of necessary gap-work such as artistic and critical strategies as important contributions to architectural intelligence and the construction of vital architectural life. 

Building Relationships 
Moving away from heroic narratives and experiential futures we focus on meaningful collaborations and compassionate actions in the here and now. Guided by awe and wonderment, we have formulated a movement practice for architects that includes exercises for attuning with and vitalizing dynamic environments. Together we have framed this spatial habitus as biotopological craftsmanship, a craftsmanship not of wood but of social and ecological relationships.

間 [Ma]

At heart this performative and relational approach to the built environment is inspired by dedicated research to the Japanese spatial practice of 間 [Ma]. In 2021 the Amsterdam-based curatorial platform Slow Research Lab invited us to set intentions for a 間 [Ma]-inspired atelier. You can read more about our early intuitions for this spacious practice in the Slow Spatial Reader.

Time By Windows is
Time Well Spent

Slow Spatial Reader: Chronicles of Radical Affection. Valiz, Amsterdam. 

Titel

Publisher

Medium

Link | Download

APPROACH

What We Value

Plural Practice
We advocate a plural, post-western practice guided by attuned We advocate a plural, post-western practice guided by attuned architects, artists, and scientists who deeply listen, move, and breathe with the built environment. 

Ecologies of the In-between
Starting from the awareness of both our deep interconnectedness with all live and the importance of habits and habitats of co-existence, we call for a shift in the way we conceive and construct the built environment from an architecture of objects to an architecture of reciprocity. In our projects as well as in our research and programming, we attend to and work with in-between space as a space of radical transformation.

Architectural Bodying
We specifically critique dominant Modern and Western spatial ideologies for the way they presuppose identity and don’t ask much of the body. Through positive provocations and playful interventions, we explore and propose alternative forms of bodily action and spatial movement. Through projects such as Hugging Architecture and Matching & Meshing we aim to shift focus from the world as disenchanted to direct affective entanglement with the world. 

​Gap Work
We acknowledge the gap between enchanting stories of renewal and the mundane reality of a world in transformation. In this context we value not only buildings, but also other forms of necessary gap-work such as artistic and critical strategies as important contributions to architectural intelligence and the construction of vital architectural life. 

Mindful Craftsmanship 
Moving away from heroic narratives and experiential futures we focus on meaningful collaborations and compassionate actions in the here and now. Guided by awe and wonderment, we have formulated a movement practice for architects that includes exercises for attuning and vitalizing dynamic environments. Together we have framed this spatial habitus as biotopological craftsmanship, a craftsmanship not of wood but of social and ecological relationships.

間 [Ma]
At heart this performative and relational approach to the built environment is inspired by dedicated research to the Japanese spatial practice of 間 [Ma]. In 2021 the Amsterdam-based curatorial platform Slow Research Lab invited us to set intentions for a 間 [Ma]-inspired atelier. You can read more about our early intuitions for this spacious practice in the Slow Spatial Reader.

Time By Windows is
Time Well Spent

Slow Spatial Reader: Chronicles of Radical Affection. Valiz, Amsterdam. 

Titel

Publisher

Medium

Link | Download

APPROACH

What We Value

Plural Practice

We advocate a plural, post-western practice guided by attuned We advocate a plural, post-western practice guided by attuned architects, artists, and scientists who deeply listen, move, and breathe with the built environment. 

Ecologies of the In-between
Starting from the awareness of both our deep interconnectedness with all live and the importance of habits and habitats of co-existence, we call for a shift in the way we conceive and construct the built environment from an architecture of objects to an architecture of reciprocity. In our projects as well as in our research and programming, we attend to and work with in-between space as a space of radical transformation.

Architectural Bodying
We specifically critique dominant Modern and Western spatial ideologies for the way they presuppose identity and don’t ask much of the body. Through positive provocations and playful interventions, we explore and propose alternative forms of bodily action and spatial movement. Through projects such as Hugging Architecture and Matching & Meshing we aim to shift focus from the world as disenchanted to direct affective entanglement with the world. 

​Gap Work
We acknowledge the gap between enchanting stories of renewal and the mundane reality of a world in transformation. In this context we value not only buildings, but also other forms of necessary gap-work such as artistic and critical strategies as important contributions to architectural intelligence and the construction of vital architectural life. 

Mindful Craftsmanship 
Moving away from heroic narratives and experiential futures we focus on meaningful collaborations and compassionate actions in the here and now. Guided by awe and wonderment, we have formulated a movement practice for architects that includes exercises for attuning and vitalizing dynamic environments. Together we have framed this spatial habitus as biotopological craftsmanship, a craftsmanship not of wood but of social and ecological relationships.

APPROACH

間 [Ma]

Time By Windows is
Time Well Spent

Slow Spatial Reader: Chronicles of Radical Affection. Valiz, Amsterdam. 

Titel

Publisher

Medium

Link | Download

At heart this performative and relational approach to the built environment is inspired by dedicated research to the Japanese spatial practice of 間 [Ma]. In 2021 the Amsterdam-based curatorial platform Slow Research Lab invited us to set intentions for a 間 [Ma]-inspired atelier. You can read more about our early intuitions for this spacious practice in the Slow Spatial Reader.

human

SPACIOUS TEAM

Team

Spacious is founded by architect, artist, and researcher Renske Maria van Dam. She initiates and guides the projects, research, and programs in collaboration with a transdisciplinary constellation of cultural organizations, academic institutes, researchers, and creative pioneers across the globe. 

Renske Maria van Dam 

Partners

Dr. Ir. Renske Maria van Dam a Dutch architect, artist and academic. The cross-pollination between Asian and Western practices, from architecture and philosophy to intuitive bodywork, deeply shape her work and thinking. She obtained her PhD in Architecture from KU Leuven (2021) and earned both MSc and BSc in Architecture from TU Delft (2013, 2010). To develop her performative and relational approach to the built environment, van Dam has crossed cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Her work draws on her amateur background as theatrical performer, zookeeper, and yogi as much as it does on her professional engagement with architecture studio Herman Hertzberger (2008-2009, NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong (2011, CN); on her participation in artistic residencies such as the Reversible Destiny Foundation (2018, JP and USA); Senselab: Laboratory for Thought in Motion (2019, AUS and CA); and AIRguiniguada (2022, SP); and on her pedagogical involvement at the University of the Arts in The Hague (2013-2023). Her work is exhibited and published with support of academic as well as artistic funds among which FWO Flanders Research Foundation (2018, 2019) and The Hague Makers Grant (2022, 2024). Recent works include Matching & Meshing (2022) and Hugging Architecture (2023). Recent publications include contributions to the “Slow Spatial Reader” (Valiz, 2021); “Architectures of Life and Death” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021); and “Art and Philosophy in the 22nd Century: After Arakawa and Madeline Gins” (Ratik, 2023). She is invited (guest) lecturer at diverse art and design institutes among which TU Delft (NL); Rietveld Academy (NL); GSA Johannesburg (SA); KU Leuven (BE); Monash University (AUS); and Kansai University (JP). Parallel to guiding Spacious, she is program coordinator research and graduation at ArtEZ University of the Arts Master in Architecture.

Vivien Vuong

Creative Team 

Saskia Pouwels; Jimmy Stegeman; ...  Pouwels; Jimmy Stegeman; ... Saskia Pouwels; Jimmy Stegeman; ... 

The cross-pollination between Asian and Western practices, from architecture and philosophy to intuitive bodywork, deeply shape her work and thinking. She holds a PhD in Architecture (KU Leuven, 2021, BE) for research to the Japanese architectural practice of ma in the context of the embodied-enactive approach to cognition. She obtained her BSc and MSc in Architecture (TU Delft, 2013, NL), with additional studies in Asian conceptions of space-time (TU Delft Honors Program) and in the philosophy, sociology, and anthropology of cities (Leiden University). Her work draws on her amateur background as theatrical performer, zookeeper, and yogi as much as it does on her professional engagement with architecture studio Herman Hertzberger in Amsterdam (2008-2009, NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong in Beijing (2011, CN), and on her pedagogical involvement at TU Delft (since 2022, NL), and the University of the Arts The Hague (2013-2023 NL). Current affiliations with curatorial platform Slow Research Lab (since 2015, NL) and the Architectural Body Research Group at Kansai University (since 2018, JP) continue to inspire her work. Her work is internationally supported, exhibited, and published both in- and outside academia. Guided by these values, Spacious is envisioned as a dynamic atelier where architects, artists, and scientists collaborate with clients, local communities, and the weather towards a poetic recalibration of compassionate relationships with and in the built environment.

The cross-pollination between Asian and Western practices, from architecture and philosophy to intuitive bodywork, deeply shape her work and thinking. She holds a PhD in Architecture (KU Leuven, 2021, BE) for research to the Japanese architectural practice of ma in the context of the embodied-enactive approach to cognition. She obtained her BSc and MSc in Architecture (TU Delft, 2013, NL), with additional studies in Asian conceptions of space-time (TU Delft Honors Program) and in the philosophy, sociology, and anthropology of cities (Leiden University). Her work draws on her amateur background as theatrical performer, zookeeper, and yogi as much as it does on her professional engagement with architecture studio Herman Hertzberger in Amsterdam (2008-2009, NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong in Beijing (2011, CN), and on her pedagogical involvement at TU Delft (since 2022, NL), and the University of the Arts The Hague (2013-2023 NL). Current affiliations with curatorial platform Slow Research Lab (since 2015, NL) and the Architectural Body Research Group at Kansai University (since 2018, JP) continue to inspire her work. Her work is internationally supported, exhibited, and published both in- and outside academia. Guided by these values, Spacious is envisioned as a dynamic atelier where architects, artists, and scientists collaborate with clients, local communities, and the weather towards a poetic recalibration of compassionate relationships with and in the built environment.

Vivien Vuong

Architect and Researcher Renske Maria van Dam challenges normative spatial paradigms with situated interventions that extend the sensorium and help our bodies access new realms of energy.

human

SPACIOUS TEAM

Partners

We are active member of the international platform Feminist Spatial Practices. This is a global collective that highlights, promotes, and shares feminist practices in art, design, architecture, and activism. We nurture the diverse ways that creators work towards intersectional gender equity in the built environment by building an online platform that will offer an interactive visualization and searchable index of practitioners around the world who work towards intersectional gender equity. As co-chair of the community working group, we contribute to the collective by organizing virtual and in-person events that celebrate feminist spatial practices.

Feminist Spatial Practices (New York, USA)

We are active member of the international platform Feminist Spatial Practices. This is a global collective that highlights, promotes, and shares feminist practices in art, design, architecture, and activism. We nurture the diverse ways that creators work towards intersectional gender equity in the built environment by building an online platform that will offer an interactive visualization and searchable index of practitioners around the world who work towards intersectional gender equity. As co-chair of the community working group, we contribute to the collective by organizing virtual and in-person events that celebrate feminist spatial practices.

Studies of the Architectural Body Research Group (Kansai University, JP)

SPACIOUS TEAM

Team

Spacious is founded by architect, artist, and researcher Renske Maria van Dam. She initiates and guides the projects, research, and programs in collaboration with a transdisciplinary constellation of cultural organizations, academic institutes, researchers, and creative pioneers across the globe. 

Renske Maria van Dam 

Dr. Ir. Renske Maria van Dam a Dutch architect, artist and academic. The cross-pollination between Asian and Western practices, from architecture and philosophy to intuitive bodywork, deeply shape her work and thinking. She obtained her PhD in Architecture from KU Leuven (2021) and earned both MSc and BSc in Architecture from TU Delft (2013, 2010). To develop her performative and relational approach to the built environment, van Dam has crossed cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Her work draws on her amateur background as theatrical performer, zookeeper, and yogi as much as it does on her professional engagement with architecture studio Herman Hertzberger (2008-2009, NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong (2011, CN); on her participation in artistic residencies such as the Reversible Destiny Foundation (2018, JP and USA); Senselab: Laboratory for Thought in Motion (2019, AUS and CA); and AIRguiniguada (2022, SP); and on her pedagogical involvement at the University of the Arts in The Hague (2013-2023). Her work is exhibited and published with support of academic as well as artistic funds among which FWO Flanders Research Foundation (2018, 2019) and The Hague Makers Grant (2022, 2024). Recent works include Matching & Meshing (2022) and Hugging Architecture (2023). Recent publications include contributions to the “Slow Spatial Reader” (Valiz, 2021); “Architectures of Life and Death” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021); and “Art and Philosophy in the 22nd Century: After Arakawa and Madeline Gins” (Ratik, 2023). She is invited (guest) lecturer at diverse art and design institutes among which TU Delft (NL); Rietveld Academy (NL); GSA Johannesburg (SA); KU Leuven (BE); Monash University (AUS); and Kansai University (JP). Parallel to guiding Spacious, she is program coordinator research and graduation at ArtEZ University of the Arts Master in Architecture.

Creative Team 

Spacious is supported by artistic researcher Vivien Vuong and graphic designer Saskia Pouwels.

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