Unfinished Work III

This third installation of ‘Unfinished Work’ will broaden the research and design interests developed in the last two studio sessions.

In the first studio, students addressed the question of knowledge space, and how such spaces facilitate the generation and dissemination of information. The interest of the studio was as much about the approach to design, and how surprise, repetition, proliferation and systems thinking can open up new opportunities and generate new design outcomes.

Our research agenda for the second studio broaden this and we looked at the relationship between architecture and emerging modes of production. Drawing from experiences in technology companies, professional service firms, com¬munications agencies and other practice based orga¬nizations, this studio and research agenda explored how changing ideas about work alter the demands and performance of space.

Continuing on this theme, students will select a new method of production (eg. iterative development, rapid prototyping, co creation, agile approaches, design thinking) that is reshaping the work environment. Case studies will look at how these models alter the ways in which people work, communicate and solve problems. Tandem research will explore the impact of emerged and emerging work models, and their concentration in ‘knowledge cities’ (Barcelona, Bangalore, San Francisco, for example). The end product will be the visual representation of the production process as it applies to a singular building program, and the design of a working environment that encompasses the principles, values and attributes of the new method studied.

The studio will look at the relationship between architecture and emerging modes of economic production and look at the pressure for ‘innovation’ put on by cities and governments to make their cities more creative. In this context, we will also look at who is monitoring innovation, why this has become a key focus in all sectors, and how this interest results in emerging pedagogical models that call for knowledge spaces to facilitate entrepreneurial enterprises.

Our site will be in Amsterdam, and our focus will be to establish a central hub for entrepreneurial innovation, as a prototype that can be absorbed within the local urban community and repeated in other cities. This new prototype of a think-tank will be designed to allow multiple businesses to be involved in joint-ventures; will provide practical tools for researchers in their attendant challenges, and will house a public city database that expands on the digital archive to create a gallery of ‘visual complexity’ that makes legible the cities dynamic workings.

In this studio we try to unpack these ideas and determine how architecture can respond or help shape these shifting ideas – to facilitate innovative entrepreneurship and urban prosperity. It will be our business in the future, but for now it is unfinished work.

Christian Veddeler will be the Teaching Associate for this course.

Irregular Schedule:
Ben van Berkel Studio will be meeting on an irregular schedule. The Studio meeting dates are below:
Thursday, August 29
Friday, August 30
Wednesday, September 11
Thursday, September 12
Thursday, October 10
Friday, October 11
Thursday, October 24
Friday, October 25
Thursday, November 7
Friday, November 8
Thursday, November 21
Friday, November 22