AccScience Publishing / JCAU / Volume 5 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/jcau.0358
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Gestures for interdependence: Expanding regenerative design through spatial dramaturgies for the unseen, the unheard, and the unfelt

Breg Horemans1*
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1 Department of Architecture, KU Leuven Campus Sint-Lucas, Ghent, Flanders, Belgium
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism 2023, 5(2), 0358
Submitted: 22 March 2023 | Accepted: 13 June 2023 | Published: 4 July 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regenerative Architecture)
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

The reality of the Anthropocene performs on us through various esthetic spatial experiences. To undo the consequences of modernity, spatial designers are moving toward a regenerative (restorative and non-extractivist) way of thinking, doing, and being. Situated in the growing field of spatial dramaturgy, this article focuses on how esthetic experience can contribute to attitudes toward regenerative spatial design through collaborations with more-than-human entities. If spatial design moves towards a pluriversality based on relationships of interdependence, how can spatial design generate esthetic experiences of regeneration accordingly? How do we design experiences of interdependence? In this paper, we discuss the experimental practice of the TAAT arts collective, a transdisciplinary practice aimed at developing performative installations. The fieldwork (situated in Lithuania and the Netherlands) covers processes in which rivers — as more-than-human entities — are taking up a leading role as cocreators. In every location, the spatial dramaturgical development is based on methods of embodied experiences, scoring, cocreation, and written reflections. These methods are implemented to prototype “gestures of interdependence”. We will treat these as design gestures (attitudes and approaches) aimed at foregrounding unseen places (sites of extraction and exploitation) and unheard bodies (more-than-human entities that are silenced) in the field of regenerative spatial design. By revealing the agency of the unseen and the unheard in spatial design processes, we will broaden our understanding of “designing the unfelt”. In conclusion, a design score will summarize our findings. This score can be implemented in spatial design practices (ranging from scenography, installation art, architecture, and social practice) focused on generating embodied esthetic experiences of regeneration.

Situated knowledge
More-than-human entities
The discussed fieldwork activities are financially supported by the Department of Architecture of KU Leuven, campus Sint-Lucas, Ghent (BE), SoAP Maastricht (NL), Erasmus exchange fund (for staff at KU Leuven), Arts Printing House Vilnius, Vilnius Technical University, Embassy of Inclusive Society (NL), iDrops (BE), and the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven (NL).

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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism, Electronic ISSN: 2717-5626 Published by AccScience Publishing