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Calendar Circularities - a cyclical movement for the village. From my role as village dramaturge, I depict a regenerative future for villages in De Kempen, commissioned by AR-TUR: platform for architecture and space.


The social challenges that affect spatial quality are complex and enormous.  And that is even more the case in the rural environment; this environment has never been more under pressure from local and global evolutions, but remains a blind spot when it comes to attention, expertise and resources. In the future, we want to focus further on how architecture can be more than sustainable, also truly regenerative. (AR-TUR, 2023)

A cyclical movement for the village is proposed. The proposal intends to establish a connection between inhabitants and their surroundings. To recalibrate the gaze and connection with the immediate environment, sparking a spatial sensitivity, attention and care. To install this movement, we propose Calendar Circularities.

“The calendar’s never been just a time-planner. It’s a cultural

apparatus: a device that brings the environment and society

into harmony.”

The calendar has the power to connect times, places, people and actions. The proposed calendar seeks not to bind itself to the discipline of clock time, but to be a portal to an entirely different chronology, all around us, which we must not lose sight of, namely the chronology of phenomena (seasons, weather patterns, celestial constellations, tides, geological phenomena, the growth of trees, etc.).

The Calendar Circularities [NL: Kalender Kringen] offer a lens on the village that reveals other chronologies.

This project was commissioned by AR-TUR and developed in close collaboration with Sarah Martens.

3 figures of time


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The project explores three figures of time, as pacesetters of the cyclical movement:

(1).  The causewayed enclosure [NL: kringgreppel] has the function of a spatial calendar.

The typology dates back to 4500 BC and is a ring-shaped earthwork with ditches. The openings are aligned with the points of sunrise or sunset at solstices.

The functions ranged from observatory to a central place for social, religious and political gatherings and refuge or livestock shelter. We dig circular ditches scattered throughout the village. They mark places of gathering and encircle natural phenomena in the landscape.

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(2).  The phenomena then serve as symbolic resources to start the conversation about villages - and more broadly, the (natural) environment - in drastic change.

We found an example in the Japanese hanami festival. Just before the blossom wilts, people gather at the base of the tree for a picnic and pay attention to the blossom as a symbol of the fleeting beauty of flowing life  We went out with the 'guides of perception' to detect phenomena in the surrounding environment. They show us the phenomena of the sky, the ground and the soil. These are the basis around which circle rituals and conversations are designed.

(3).  The various circle rituals are reflected in the 'calendar of  perception' addressed to the village. It invites to go at a specific moment in time, to a specific circular ditch (or causewayed enclosure), where a phenomenon can be observed and a ritual can take place. While the other circles wait for their moment and at the same time are invitations to be freely interpreted and filled in by the village.


In the setting of 

Correctionville #03  in August 2023 in Vaals (NL) organised by The Institute of Cartopology, we held a conversation on the calendar as a cultural tool and the embodied perception of time.

On tour wih guides



...His manner of teaching was to show me things, literally to point them out. If I would but notice the things to which he directed my attention, and recognise the sights, smells and tastes that he wanted me to experience because they were so dear to him, then I would discover for myself much of what he already knew. I read about how people in Australian Aboriginal societies pass their knowledge across the generations. And I find that the principle is just the same. A boy would be taken on a ‘grand tour’, accompanied by a guardian and an elder brother, learning as he went about the flora, fauna and

topography of the country, while being told (by the elder brother) of the totemic significance of the various localities visited. Observing the waterhole while the story of its formation is related or enacted, the novice witnesses the ancestor coming out of the ground; likewise, casting his eyes over the distinctive outline of a hill or rocky outcrop, he recognises in it the congealed form of the ancestor as it lies down to rest. Thus are truths immanent in the landscape, gradually revealed to him, as he proceeds from the most superficial, ‘outside’ level of knowledge to deeper, ‘inside’ understanding.


Ingold, T. (2000) The perception of the environment. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 20

circle of trees



During the village makers' festival in October 2023, organised by

AR-TUR, we gathered in the 'sketch' of a circular ditch (or causewayed enclosure). We chose the found scenography of the circle of trees, which was already present in the landscape and where the circle is a reference to the causewayed enclosure. We shared collected phenomena in the year-wheel  with local organizations, inhabitants and landscape enthusiasts  who provided us with insights about the Kempen landscape. We gained more insights about the different (often, but not always) time-bound phenomena that surround us.

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