Renske Maria van Dam, 1987
I am an architect and creative practice researcher whose work exploits tiny perceptions to open-up alternative worlds of experience and action. I dispose with the de-natured white lab coat approach to environmental intervention for an all-hands on immersion in and experimentation with the world.
Presently I am conducting doctoral research through the Radical Materiality Research Group at KU Leuven in Brussels (BE). Departing from the work of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki I study the Japanese sensibility and cognition for spacetime to reconsider modern architectural habits in the pursuit of a life affirmative, empathic-animistic approach to architecture. This creative practice research is internationally supported, presented and published inside as well as outside academia.
My work draws on my amateur background as zookeeper and yogi as much as it does on my professional engagement with architectuurstudio Herman Hertzberger, Amsterdam (NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong, Beijing (CN) and on my experimental pedagogical practice at the Royal Academy of Arts/ ArtScience Interfaculty, the Hague where I initiated the research community Spacious. I graduated from the architecture faculty of the TU-Delft (2013) with additional studies in philosophy, sociology and anthropology of cities and Asian conceptions of space.
Honors, Grants, Residencies
12 ‘20 - 01‘21
Residency at AIR Guiniguada, Gran Granaries, Spain.
02 ’20 - 12’20
Research grant ‘Spacious Creative Practice Research’ 10%, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands.
09 ’17 - 12’20
Research grant ‘Working With/In the Gap’ (doctorate) 20%, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands.
11 ‘19 - 01 ‘20
Residency at SenseLab Laboratory for thought in motion
hosted by La Trobe University Art Gallery, Bendigo, Australia
Travel grant FWO Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium
Residency at Cloud/Danslab, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Residency at Reversible Destiny Lofts - Mitaka Tokyo, Japan.
Travel grant Arakawa + Gins Tokyo office.
10 ’18 -11 ‘18
Residency at Studies of the Architectural Body Research Group Kansai University, Osaka, Japan. Travel grant FWO Research Foundation Flanders, Belgium
Residency at Architectural Body Research Foundation, New York, NY.
Travel grant Catholic University of Leuven New York Hub, Belgium
09 ’14 -08 ‘14
Research grant ‘Building the Insensible’
10%, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Honors Promising young Dutch architect
Selected by Kees Christiaanse (KCAP) and Harmen van de Wal (Krill Architecture) in context of the ‘Future of Craftsmanship in Architecture’ events at the Venice Biennale, Itally.
Residency at Treignac Project, Treignac, France.
Peer reviewed book chapters
van Dam, R.M. (forthcoming). Reversing destiny. Initial findings on Japan-ness in Arawaka and Gins. In: A. Radman and S Kousoulas (Ed.), Architectures of Life and Death. Lanham, England: Rowman and Littlefield International.
van Dam, R.M. (forthcoming). Grasping ma. In: A. Radman and S Kousoulas (Ed.), Architectures of Life and Death. Lanham, England: Rowman and Littlefield International.
van Dam, R.M. (2019). Home within movement: The Japanese concept 間 [Ma]. Sensing Space-time intensity. In: G. Bracken (Ed.), Care of the Self: Ancient and Modern Practices of Citizenship in Asia and the West: 241-257. The Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press.
Other book chapters
van Dam, R.M. (forthcoming). Time near windows is time well spent. Practicing full emptiness in architecture. In: C.F. Strauss (Ed.), Seeking Radical Affection: Chronicles of Slow Spatial Research. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Valiz Publishers.
van Dam, R.M.(2019). Yellow sphere, how are you today? (N. Onuki Trans.). In: T.Kadobayashi (Ed.), Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Philosophy of Body in the 22nd Century. Tokyo, Japan: Film Art Inc Publishers, Tokyo. English version published online:
van Dam, R.M., Bolier, M.D., Boterman, M. and Ronner, E. (2015, March). Denken met je handen. Geen architectuur zonder vakmanschap. de Architect, 46-2: 20-28 (professional focus).
van Dam, R.M. (2014, Summer). Learning from Hong Kong: Place as relation. The Newsletter, 68: 6. Leiden, The Netherlands: Institute for Asian Studies.
Non-traditional research output (NTRO’S)
van Dam, R.M. (2020). Spacious Site [website]. Fault Lines: KABK research symposium, Royal Academy of Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands.
van Dam, R.M. et al. (2019). It’s Going to Rain Soon [spatial installation]. Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
van Dam, R.M. (2018). Teigyoku-ken Teahouse Iterations [spatial installation]. Cloud/DansLab, The Hague, The Netherlands.
van Dam, R.M. et. al. (2018). Moments of Ma [performance]. Intensive Cartographies seminar 4: mapping rhythm, Architecture Faculty, TUDelft, the Netherlands.
Eek, C., van Dam, R.M. et. al. (2018). Sensing Shipyard/Sensing place [exhibition design]. Sonic Acts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
van Oevelen, S., van Dam, R.M. (2017). Transformances [exhibition design]. A Grin without a cat, 6th Annual Lowlands Deleuze Scholarship Conference, Enschede, the Netherlands.
de Geus, M., van Dam, R.M., Dijk, A., Pieters, S. (2009). Europe Crisis!? [moving image]. In: de Ru, N. (Cu.) Rien ne va plus [exhibition].NAI Maastricht, The Netherlands.