Revealing the Tacit: A Critical Spatial Practice Based on Walking and Re/presenting

Altunok N.

TACK: Tacit Knowledge in Architecture International Conference, Zürich, Switzerland, 19 - 21 June 2023, pp.54

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Zürich
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Page Numbers: pp.54
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Spatial practices that investigate architectural space with the ideal architect's eye and a commonplace representational perspective have been the subject of a lot of writing. The potential of critical spatial practices, which combine performative actions with incomplete representation possibilities, to investigate and reveal the tacit knowledge underlying space is yet unexplored. This paper finds its problem in these missing pieces in the literature and tries to decipher by deconstructing the conventional methods and tactics it criticizes, a way is sought to trigger the creative potentials of the relationship between body and space that cannot be stable. Critical spatial practices can be situated as alternative ways of understanding the architectural space and establishing a dialogue with it since they pave the way for new kinds of relationships to emerge between the subject and the space. This study focuses on the act of walking, which is claimed to be a critical spatial practice, and its re/presentation, which is argued to reveal tacit knowledge in the walked place. Based on the poststructuralist critical theories, the case study was carried out in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul in the Khans District by walking and extracting the things which can reveal tacit knowledge. By finding top-down investigation and representation tools problematic in capturing and expressing the body and space interactions, experiences, and experimentation on the ground level, I believe walking by drifting through the invisible spaces and transitions of the Khans District when viewed from above is meaningful in expressing the experimental and creative flows on the ground level. Depending on the re/presentation, it can be suggested that performing a spatial practice with the participation of the body and interpreting the architectural space from a critical position carry the contingency of uncovering tacit knowledge.