Craig Borum – Workspace/ Workflow

This studio will explored a number of issues at the forefront of contemporary architectural discourse surrounding the organization and form of the workplace in the 21st Century and its relationship to technology. The relationship between the office workspace and the advancement of building technology has a long history illustrating the tranformative effects of technological progress. The studio interest in this area will be focused on two fronts. The first, will focus on new collaborative technologies of information, speed and decentralization that continue the trasnformation of the workspace. And the second will look at new modes of intergrated systems and materials that have the potential to reshape the space of work in material form.

We will explore this in parallel with the ongoing transformation of the building sector, particulary architectural practice in the wake of a similar adoption of information technologies that have restructured the collective workflow between architects, engineers, fabricators and builders in relationship to both time and space.

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Student Work

Yanci Chen – “Atypical Plan”

The workspace had several major shifts throughout its history. These shifts are influenced by the change of office standard, which is shaped by the breakthrough of society, economy and science, such as the construction of railway, the invention of air-conditioning and elevators. In the past several decades, workspace is dominated by Rem Koolhaas named ‘typical plan’. This project is challenging the absolute openness of the ‘typical plan’ as it causes the lack of sense of privacy, triggering social anxiety, questioning the working efficiency. “Atypical Plan” is created to replace the generic, gridded, stripped-down empty office interior, with a grid of circled reconfigurable working units.

Reed Miller – “Work Space”

This office building on Chicago’s riverfront coordinates two precedent workspaces: the Renaissance-era study-as-furniture depicted by Antonello da Messina in St. Jerome in His Study (c. 1475); and the so-called “Typical Plan” as identified by Rem Koolhaas (1995). Here the “plan without qualities” is selectively (rather than universally) populated with raised floors, dropped ceilings, and a constellation of symbolic and practical objects. The triptych format emphasizes affinities between a typical floor plate and Chicago’s layered riverfront urban condition. Raised and suspended surfaces produce figures and grounds across the three drawings, accommodating travel, work, equipment, and atmosphere.

Jiawei Yao – “Detail Urbanism/ Construction Humanism”

The development of technology makes modern building space lack of morality because of the loss of the structure’s expression. HVAC and false ceiling system combine as a new “black box”, architectures deteriorate to a series of typical space. Modern workspace lost the humanism of architecture and became a metaphor of nowadays labor alienation. By using different sizes of vaults, the ceiling shapes different functional spaces and “false beam” spaces for HVAC pipes. The vaults make the HVAC can be read as a new “structure” and can also influence the interior programming. This specific language can also respond to Chicago’s urban context. I call it detail urbanism or construction humanism.

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