Universiteit Leiden

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Sigrid de Jong


Dr. S.D. de Jong
+31 71 527 2727

Sigrid de Jong is a Senior researcher at Leiden University. Since 2016, she conducts a research project entitled ‘Experience and Design: The Emergence of Architectural Experience in Paris and London, 1750–1815’, that was awarded a VENI-grant by NWO.

More information about Sigrid de Jong

Fields of interest

  • Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architectural and urban history
  • Architectural theory
  • Architectural experience

Description of my research

The notion that buildings are foremost objects to be experienced, and that the intended experience of buildings should guide their design, became a key concept in the period 1750–1815. At that time, Paris and London, the main centres of cultural debates, went through major urban and architectural developments, which raised many vividly debated questions about the situation, spatial composition, form, and meaning of buildings. 

In my current research project, entitled ‘Experience and Design: The Emergence of Architectural Experience in Paris and London, 1750–1815’, I argue that architectural experience emerged in these cities as a crucial new element. With the educated public for the first time participating in architectural debate in this period, architects, theorists, critics, and the public produced a vast number of publications that appeared in Paris and London. The dialogues of architects across the Channel in the context of public architectural debates will be reconstructed in three parts that investigate the interactions between experience and design in both cities. The project examines how the relationship between experience and design evolved: how eighteenth-century architects described their observations on buildings in their writings; which theoretical concepts they used to translate these into design theories for their lectures at the academies of architecture; and how they used them in their designs of buildings. It thus aims to trace the origins and development of the conscious, recorded experience of architecture and its use in design, an issue that was as important in the eighteenth century as it is today, both for the public and for design practice.


Her previous research project at Leiden (2010–2015) was on primitivism and architectural theory (1750–1850) in the NWO VIDI-project ‘The Quest for the Legitimacy of Architecture in Europe, 1750-1850’ directed by Maarten Delbeke. She holds a PhD in Architectural History from Leiden University (2010, supervisor Caroline van Eck), and a Master in Art and Architectural History from the University of Amsterdam (1997). She was curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam (1998–2004). In 2012, her PhD thesis ‘Rediscovering Architecture. Paestum in Eighteenth-Century Architectural Experience and Theory’ won the prestigious Research Prize awarded by Erasmus Prize Foundation for an exceptional PhD dissertation in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The book based on this thesis was published by Yale University Press and the Paul Mellon Centre in 2015. For the research, presentation, and publication of her work she has been awarded grants from the Fondation de France and the INHA (2007), the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (in 2012 and 2007), and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (2013). 

Teaching activities


ReMA course ‘Paris c. 1750: The Birth of the Modern Art World’ together with Caroline van Eck, Nelke Bartelings, and Bram van Oostveldt.


ReMA course ‘Piranesi as Architectural Historian’ with study trip to Rome, together with Caroline van Eck.


BA course ‘Highlights of Dutch Architecture 1850-2000’.


ReMA seminar ‘The Sublime and the Uncanny in Literature, the Arts, and Architecture’, together with Caroline van Eck and Casper de Jonge.


BA course ‘Highlights of Dutch Architecture 1050-1850’.


ReMA course ‘Rome, Naples and Paestum’ with study trip to Rome, Naples, and Paestum, together with Maarten Delbeke, Caroline van Eck, and Minou Schraven.


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Architectuurgeschiedenis
  • Jong S.D. de (2017), L’enseignement de l’expérience architecturale chez Blondel et ses collègues anglais [Congres ‘La dernière leçon de l’architecture « à la française »’, Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Paris, France, 14 décembre 2017].conference paper
  • Jong S.D. de (7 November 2017), The Inside of Buildings: Experiencing Interiors in Paris [‘Paris 1750-1800: The Birth of the Modern Art World’, University of Cambridge, UK, 7 november 2017] (Lecture).other
  • Eck C.A. van & Jong S.D. de (eds.) (2017), The Blackwell Companion to Eighteenth-Century Architecture (Boston/Oxford: Wiley/Blackwell, 2017. Boston/Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.book
  • Jong S.D. de (22 March 2017), Dialogues across the Channel: British and French Architects on Architectural Experience (1750-1815) [Paul Mellon Centre, Londen, UK, 22 March 2017] (Lecture).other
  • Jong S.D. de (2017), La ville in situ : De Londres à Paris, entre spectateur et concepteur. In: Moulin F., Pavy-Guilbert E., Wachenheim P. (Eds.) Les Lieux de l’Art’ XVIIIe siècle. no. 50 Paris: Fabula.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2017), On Experience of Gothic Style [SAH Annual Conference, Glasgow, UK, June 2017].conference paper
  • Jong S.D. de (2017), 'Séparer la vie à l’intérieur de la vie à l’extérieur': Gottfried Semper et la notion de Raum Patricia Falguières, Revue Germanique Internationale (26).article in journal
  • Jong S. de (2016), En dialogue avec Paris: La Font de Saint-Yenne et l’expérience architecturale et urbaine.conference paper
  • Jong S. de (1 July 2016), Sensing Architecture’s Sense (Inaugural address).inaugural address
  • Jong S.D. de (2016), Piranesi and Primitivism: Origin as Invention. In: Meyer D. de, Verschaffel B., Cierkens P.-J. (Eds.) Aspects of Piranesi. Essays on History, Criticism and Invention. Ghent: A&S Books. 70-93.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2016), Subjective Proportions: 18th-Century Interpretations of Paestum’s ‘Disproportion’, Architectural Histories. The open access journal of the EAHN 4(1): 1-16.article in journal
  • Jong S. de (2016), ‘We are identified with time’: Intersections of architecture, history, and experience in Royal Academy Lecture.conference paper
  • Jong S.D. de (2015), Invited public lecture, ‘Eighteenth-Century Ideas on Movement and Space in Architecture’, Dialogues: Movement and Space, Royal Academy London, 2 March 2015. (Lecture).other
  • Jong S.D. de (2015), L’âme’ de l’architecte: Le rôle des expériences dans la pensée de Soufflot. In: Ollagnier C., Rabreau D. (Eds.) Jacques-Germain Soufflot ou l’architecture régénérée (1713-1780). Paris: Picard. 35-46.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2015), ‘L'origine de la matière, la matière des origines. Architecture et primitivisme au 19eme siècle’ at international conference Festival de l’Histoire de l’Art, édition 2015: Matière de l’Œuvre & Pays-Bas, Fontainebleau, 31 May 2015.conference paper
  • Jong S.D. de (2015), ‘Myths of Origins: Stonehenge in the Royal Academy’s Architectural Histories’, Origins and the Legitimacy of Architecture in Europe, 1750-1850, Leiden University, 1-2 May 2015.conference paper
  • Jong S.D. de (2014), 'Les idées de Semper sur la signification de 'Raum' et l'expérience spatiale' (Semper's ideas on the meaning of 'Raum' and spatial experience) in seminar Arts, invention, industrie: Gottfried Semper et les débuts d'une science des artefacts, organised by the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and the Institut National de l'Histoire de l'Art (INHA), Paris, by Patricia Falguières (EHESS), Odile Nouvel (Musée des Art Décoratifs), Sophie Pene (Paris V), Philippe Sénéchal (INHA), 15 May 2014 (Lecture).other
  • Jong S.D. de (2014), Rediscovering Architecture: Paestum in Eighteenth-Century Architectural Experience and Theory. London/New Haven: Yale University Press.book
  • Jong S. de (2013), L’âme’ de l'architecte : Le rôle des expériences dans la pensée de Soufflot', international conference Jacques-Germain Soufflot ou l’architecture régénérée (1713-1780), organised by association GHAMU (Groupe Histoire Architecture Mentalités Urbaines), Universités Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris – Sorbonne, Paris Ouest – La Défense, Lyon 2, Paris, October 2013.conference paper
  • Jong S. de (2013), ‘Mind and Body in Architectural Space: Exploring what Eighteenth-Century Experience is about’, Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference, Buffalo NY, April 2013.conference paper
  • Jong S.D. de (2012), Paradoxical Encounters. Eighteenth-Century Architectural Experiences and the Sublime. In: Eck C.A. van, Bussels S., Delbeke M. (Eds.) Translations of the Sublime. The Early Modern Reception and Dissemination of Longinus' Peri Hupsous in Rhetoric, the Visual Arts, Architecture and the Theatre. Leiden, Boston: Brill. 247-268.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2012), Une leçon de liberté artistique: Labrouste, ses élèves Néerlandais et son influence aux Pays-Bas. In: Bélier C., Bergdoll B., Le Cœur M. (Eds.) Labrouste (1801-1875) architecte. La structure mise en lumière. Lassay-les-Châteaux (Mayenne): Nicolas Chaudun / Cité de l'architecture & du patrimoine. 200-209.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2011), Antwerpen en de wereld: het MAS tussen globale machine en lokale poëtiek, A+ 2(228): 48-52.article in journal
  • Jong S.D. de (2011), Staging Ruins: Paestum and Theatricality. In: Eck C. van, Bussels S. (Eds.) Theatricality in Early Modern Art and Architecture. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. 134-151.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2011), Virtual Tour: Beyond Columns, or How to wander at Paestum, Newsletter European Architectural History Network april(1): 32-43.article in journal
  • Jong S.D. de (21 December 2010), Rediscovering architecture : Paestum in eighteenth-century architectural experience and theory (PhD thesis. Institute for Cultural Disciplines, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University). Supervisor(s): Eck C.A. van.
  • Jong S.D. de (2010), Architecture as a story. In: The Specific and the Singular, Architecture in Flanders, 2008-2009 yearbook - 2010 edition. Antwerp: Flemish Architecture Institute. 303-310.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2010), Architectuur als een verhaal. In: Architectuur in Vlaanderen, Jaarboek 2008-2009 - editie 2010. Antwerpen: Vlaams Architectuurinstituut. 303-310.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2010), Gewoon een huis. In: Architectuur in Vlaanderen, Jaarboek 2008-2009 - editie 2010. Antwerpen: Vlaams Architectuurinstituut. 199-206.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2010), Just a house. In: The Specific and the Singular. Architecture in Flanders, 2008-2009 yearbook - 2010 edition. Antwerp: Flemisch Architecture Institute. 199-206.book chapter
  • Jong S.D. de (2010), Staging Ruins. Paestum and Theatricality, Art History 33(2): 334-351.article in journal
  • Jong S.D. de (2010), Wit is het nieuwe zwart of de lichte vrijheid van de extensie. In: Griefing P. (Ed.) Hedendaagse Architectuur in Leuven 2006/2010. Leuven: Stad en Architectuur. 39-42.book chapter

No relevant ancillary activities

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