the isolation chamber again (upd)

DSC_0002-edited copy

Had to scale it down in order for it to fit in the photos without taking up too much space (which makes sense since it couldn’t travel on the street if it wasn’t rather small). This is just a first test of mixing photo and render. (YES, it needs wheels)

Also finished the drawing and printed large (A1-square)


400 500 words summary:

A shoe factory does two things: it produces shoes, and it produces shoemakers. The architectural office does the same: it produces buildings, and it produces architects. Considering that both are made through collective effort, it is relevant to speak of their general working conditions as crucial in fabricating a better product, a better shoe, or a better building.

The Greek poet Archilochus, older than Socrates, defined identity as a matter of hedgehogs and foxes: “The hedgehog knows one big thing; the fox knows many.” Offices have a similar character, operating on many levels, some in opposition to each other. In some offices, employees are specialised. In others, they switch roles. Sometimes the office produces only one kind of design, in others it changes with every new commission.

Because of this two-fold problematic, I employ a two-fold concept: the road. A road is both a physical typology and an immaterial journey, not seldom both. The road is designed, and the road is travelled. I designed both the road through the office, and the office on the road. The first was transformational, the latter oppositional. I have pursued both, as the office-road, and the road-office.

The road to gender equality: the higher up in the office hierarchy, the less females in prominent roles. Women quit architecture in higher numbers than men. Women are paid less, regardless of working part time or full time. As a transformation, the office-road blurred boundaries, allowing one to work in one office while within another. As an opposition, the road-office provides bisymmetric tables, facing each other, sharing the same workspace, shifting space through communication.

The road to equal wages: systematic devaluation of the architect’s work, accelerated by the architects themselves, create harsher environments for new firms, and skewed opportunities for graduates. The office-road had no solution to this. The road-office, on the other hand, creates an opaque cell for production, in which output is not linked with position, status or age bias.

The road to more time: time to talk, time to think, time for silence, and time out of the office, as architecture cannot be designed by someone whose only task is to design. The office-road provides an escape route, a freedom, of sorts, of other cities, other discussions. The road-office designs time by employing the rhythm of moving through the space of the office, shifting at intervals.

The road to experience: everyone starts from zero at some point; how can we bring a zero to one? What do we want to learn, and what kind of future do we want to have? The office-road continues the removal of horizontal elements (walls) with their vertical equivalents (floors). It enabled by taking away. Conversely, the road-office adds. The road-office is built, and continues to be built, with the physical memorabilia of its employees – old, recent, and desirable. Everyone designs the workspace, and learns from it.

Hedgehogs at times, foxes at others, the office-road and the road-office responds to the same site and issues, resolving (dissolving?) them in their differences.

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One Response to the isolation chamber again (upd)

  1. Sabrina Morreale says:

    I will take a picture from closer, where it says ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS