Thinking: Alternative Designs for Offices by Non Architecture
We can consider “Architecture” everything that has already been designed and/or built. That would define a realm of conventional solutions, often repeated in a self-referential system. We imagined a counterpart, a “Non Architecture”. A world of unexplored designs and countless possibilities, that if found, could enlarge and change permanently the boundaries of Architecture. A universe of chances and opportunities never challenged by architects before. A limitless field of investigation that includes everything that is not Architecture, yet.
Non Architecture Competitions aims to find unconventional and unexplored design solutions in the field of architecture. It consists in a series of nine competitions. All competitions have their focus on finding innovative approaches to specific issues of functionality in architecture, seeking non-traditional approaches in architect’s work.
the aim of the “thinking” competition is to develop a design proposals for the office typology, intended as a space to process, organize and generate information. in other words, a place for mental work.
The participants are asked to create innovative and unconventional projects on this theme, questioning the very basis of the notion of office.
Recently a series of new initiatives have emerged in relation to office innovation. While companies like google revolutionized the way office work and workplaces are conceived, remote work and freelancing are increasing chances for freedom and flexibility, turning living rooms and coffee places into modern offices. in the meantime, digitization and automation not only changed the way work is done, but also the way work is retributed. if working conditions today tend to get better in traditional offices, there is an uprising new class of digital “slaves” under heavy exploitation.
Within this context, with critical thinking and creative attitude, the participants are urged to create an artefact, merging considerable programmatic innovation and valuable design tools. the proposal can be a device, a piece of furniture, an interior design project, a pavilion, a building or a urban plan. scale of intervention, program dimensions and location are not given and they can be arranged by the participants to better suit their project.
some basic topics of investigation to approach the competition theme can already be deduced from the definition of the word “office”:
office noun [C]
A room, set of rooms, or building used as a place for
commercial, professional, or bureaucratic work.
as follows, very essential aspects of conventional offices can bequestioned:
- Why does the office has to be a room, a set of rooms, or a building? Can’t it be a device, capable to incorporate the entire infrastructure needed to develop work? alternatively, can’t it be a network in the city, an interconnected system of facilities that can accommodate flexible workingenvironment?
- Being a room, does the office imply interaction or separationfromco-workers?Howissocial-interaction relevantwhenitcomestointellectualactivityandhow can design empower that? or is it instead isolation a valuetopursue?Whatkindofdesigncanfavourit?
- What kind of work can be developed in an office and how can an office adapt to accommodate multiple functions? What is, for example, the best environment for a creative work? and what is instead the most suitable context for very mechanical and repetitive intellectual operations? How can a space help making them morebearable?
- in a society heading towards automation, how will work change, and what kind of space will be the most suitable to support the work of the future? Will technology be the dominant feature, or will instead separation from technology become abenefit?
these are the questions to suggest to the partecipants as possible fields of investigation. each project can tackle one or more of the issues suggested, as well as raising new ones in relation to the competition topic. Just try to be as creative and unconventional as possible.
For more information: http://www.nonarchitecture.eu