BK Talks: A planet of bodies

Design with/as/for… humans and other physiques

17 November 2022 18:00 till 20:00 - Location: OOSTSERRE & ONLINE - By: Communication BK | Add to my calendar

On 17 November, the BK Talks 'A planet of bodies. Human and other physiques at the intersection of nature and design' will take place.

Traditionally, the relationship between the human body and space has been a key element in design and practice, with authors placing an anthropometric scale at the centre of their design principles. The Modulor by Le Corbusier is perhaps the most (in)famous one, highly criticized for its focus on proportions and dimensions of the ‘average’ white male body. More recently, ‘Passive House’ design allows rooms to be heated by human bodily metabolism alone, whereas 3D scanning technologies used by the fashion industry or artificial intelligence advancements in tracking movement and leveraging spatial data keep provide us with new approaches to the relationship between space and the human body.

Beyond the technology-driven set of solutions used to measure the behavior of the human body, seemingly furthering the tradition of separating the body and the mind, this edition of the BK Talks, moderated by Andrej Radman, aims to reflect upon whether we are missing something else. Do we know what our body needs or what our body can do? How can a better understanding of our body contribute to our architecture, the city and the planet? Do we consider other (non-human) bodies in our designs? Can design create environments in which the senses of living bodies are transformed? Should design act more as a guide directing when, where or how bodies behave or, rather, should bodies truly dictate the design of the spaces we create? How can automation, nanomaterials, robotics, biotechnology, or biomimicry stablish new relationships amongst humans and all other living organisms?

This year we will most likely reach eight billion human bodies on our planet. This sheer number of human bodies and all the stuff we make and use represent a challenge to our environment. But let us not forget that we share this planet with almost nine million other species; in other words, with countless of other bodies. The BK Talks A Planet of Bodies, is an invitation to ponder upon the human bodies and other bodies who need to be treated as individual agents with specific needs and capacities: a call for participation to those interested in envisioning truly body (any kind of body)-based adaptable design.


Andrej Radman
Assistant Professor of Architecture at TU Delft

Andrej Radman has been teaching design and theory courses at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment since 2004. A graduate of the Zagreb School of Architecture in Croatia, he is a licensed architect and recipient of the Croatian Architects Association Annual Award for Housing Architecture in 2002. Radman received his master’s and doctoral degrees from TU Delft and joined the Architecture Philosophy and Theory Group as assistant professor in 2008. He is an editor of the peer-reviewed journal for architecture theory Footprint. 


Lila Athanasiadou 
Writer and researcher

Lila Athanasiadou is a writer and researcher with a background in architecture often appropriating artistic, academic and architectural milieus. Recently she produced and hosted Awkward Introductions Radio with Willem De Haan and curated the group show Smeared States at Showroom MAMA. Athanasiadou has organized and moderated seminars, reading groups and lectures at TU Delft, ArtEZ, Stroom and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and has presented her work in academic conferences at KTH, Goethe University, Utrecht University and the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Renske van Dam 
Architect, artist and academic

Renske Maria van Dam is an architect, artist and academic. By emphasizing the importance of moving bodies for the experience of architectural space, she promotes an empathic-animistic approach to architectural practice, research and pedagogy. Her work draws on her professional engagement with architecture studio Herman Hertzberger in Amsterdam (2008-2009, NL) and Atelier Li Xiaodong in Beijing (2011, CN), as much as it does on her experience as artist and/or researcher in residence at organisations like Studies of the Architectural Body Research Group at Kansai University in Osaka (2018, JP), and SenseLab: Laboratory for thought in motion / La Trobe University Art Gallery in Bendigo (2019, AUS). 

Robert Gorny 
Scholar and Lecturer of Architecture Philosophy and Theory, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft

Dr. Robert A. Gorny is a transdisciplinary scholar, theorist, and lecturer at the academic group of Architecture Philosophy and Theory at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft, where he has been teaching and coordinating courses focusing on theory and research methodology since 2015. 

Sonia de Jager
Doctoral researcher, Erasmus University

Sonia de Jager is a doctoral researcher at Erasmus University, writing a thesis about the some of the philosophical hurdles lurking behind natural language processing in AI. De Jager also lectures at the Willem de Kooning Academie and runs the music and philosophy conference series Regenerative Feedback. (Image: Human-Representation-Machine exhibition, S. de Jager 2020, Courtesy of a Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam and LNDW Studio). 

Stavros Kousoulas 
Assistant Professor of Architecture Philosophy and Theory, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft

Stavros Kousoulas is assistant professor of architecture philosophy and theory at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TU Delft. He studied architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and at TU Delft. He received his PhD cum laude from IUAV Venice. He has published and lectured in Europe and abroad and is a member of the editorial board of Footprint Delft Architecture Theory Journal. He is the author of the book Architectural Technicities (Routledge, 2022) and the edited volumes Architectures of Life and Death with Andrej Radman (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) and Design Commons with Gerhard Bruyns (Springer, 2022).

Practical information

This BK Talks will be streamed live from the Oostserre and can be followed via this link.

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