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By Jack S. C. Chen

RE[frame] DEFINITIONS: A frame, or 'frame of reference' is a complex schema of unquestioned beliefs, values and so on that we use when inferring meaning. If any part of that frame is changed (hence 'reframing'), then the meaning that is inferred may change.

To reframe, step back from what is being said and done and consider the frame, or 'lens' through which this reality is being created. Understand the unspoken assumptions, including beliefs and schema that are being used. Then consider alternative lenses, effectively saying 'Let's look at it another way.' What can be done?

1)Challenge the beliefs or other aspects of the frame. 2)Stand in another frame and describe what you see. 3)Change attributes of the frame to reverse meaning. 4)Select and ignore aspects of words, actions and frame to emphasise and downplay various elements.

Thus, for example, you can reframe: A problem as an opportunity A weakness as a strength An impossibility as a distant possibility A distant possibility as a near possibility Oppression ('against me') as neutral ('doesn't care about me') Unkindness as lack of understanding

Sandberg Institute, as an educational institution/ research based art academy should be the embodiement of this kind of attitude (reframing). It should be an institution that offers space for reframing and propagates the necessity for such endeavors. It should be a place where ones’ frame of reference is challenged, questioned and investigated. To take this line of thinkng further, it is critical to think about how one encounters the physical building of Sandberg Insitute. Looking at how the user approaches the institute, one must question how does the routing take shape? Does it engage the users’s persepective that they have arrived in a special place, where they have also been reframed in a sort of way. A sort of conscious reframing that allow them to leave the hectic world behind them and prepare themselves to be open and embrace this attitude of awareness and reframing.

Analogy Analogy: Bibimbap = Sandberg A simple but popular dish, bibimbap is a bowl of hot rice served in a bowl topped with a variety of vegetables (cooked and raw) arranged on top. Vegetables can be seasonal, with toraji, bell flower roots, gosari, bracken, bean sprouts, and spinach often served. Other ingredients can include chestnuts, jujubes, ginseng, and a small amount of seafood or meat. An egg may be also served on the top. Most restaurants prepare the dish with a big scoop of gochujang and red pepper paste placed with the vegetables. This dish comes in two ways: A large bowl with rice on the bottom and the other ingredients placed on top, or just the ingredients in the bowl and a separate bowl of rice. Mix all the ingredients together then use your spoon to eat. A bowl of light soup is also served. I make the analogy of Sandberg’s identity and true potential between departments (within the subject of [reframing]) to eating the delicious rice dish Bibimbap. Sitting in the restaurant and anticipating the dish you are already given some tools as framework to what you might expect. You are given chopstick, spoon and red pepper paste in the periphery. When the dish arrives, the color palate and aroma of the dish already puts you in a frame of mind. You can well imagine the taste already. When you observed the dish you are presented with, all the ingredients are very clear to you. You can examine each ingredient and even taste them individually. You can mix the bowl up and create a unified landscape of which all the ingredients are mixed together and a totally different taste occurs. After the mix you can also ponder a spoonful where you decide which ingredients you want to mix together or highlight to create different combinations of taste.

Problem In investigating the Sandberg Insitute’s existing building and program conditions 3 major problems have been identified that relate to the performace of reframing. 1) The Entry: Generic office aesthetic, Single Entry point, compressed elevator experience, vague signage. The entry of the building is the physical threshold of Sandberg. It is the first physical contact a user has that also symbolically can be linked to the act of reframing. Once you enter these doors, you are entered into another world, sheltered from the hectic world outside. The lobby and elevator, while in its present condition is seen as negative due to its compressed and generic character and is the only option of access into the Institution, can also be seen as an opportunity for reframing the user mood for in preparation for learning. 2) Lack of clear spatial orgnization and transition between public, semipublic and private space. While arriving via the elevator to your proper floor, it is still unclear where you should go and which space are public or private. This unsettling feeling creates insecurity and confusion in the user and also denies the user the ability to slow down their own pace pyschologically. Which makes it even harder to shed all the baggage from the outside world embrace the reframing process. This problem can be seen as an opportunity to investigate what visual hieracrchies can be evident to allow for more clear indication between public and private and also what programs should be grouped together physically to allow for more intuitive routing. 3) Lack of psychological cohesion or unity between all departments within the Institute. The lack of cohesion or unity between apartments had been voiced by students from every department. If you see past the obvious plea for a common canteen or social meeting space, you can also conclude that the lack of a clear identity and overview of sandberg as a whole is the source of its dis-cohesion. Without understanding of the existence of all its parts and how they relate to one another, no true understanding of the whole can exist, thus no true understanding of it parts either. This problem can be seen as an opportunity to investigate how each department can relate to the other. Also as an Reframing process. How departments overlap or not and why.

Concept Framing your mood for education: “public vs private� In order to leave the hectic world behind and shape your pyschological mood for learning, there needs to be a sequence of events or spatial experience that reframes your perspective. By the sequence of subtle compression and expansion through routing you can begin to allow the user to slow down and leave the outside world behind. Through a clear and organized system of volume gradients that relate to public and private space, one can make a slow down transition more intuitive. Through the use of materials, colors and sight lines, one can make and remake relationships between different departments.

public mixing

indiviual departments and private studios



rar y

ri ito ud

a media room


Gradient of public to private functions: Reception,Exhibiton Space, Canteen, Auditorium, Library, Offices, Department meeting Area, Temporary Studio, Personal studio.

Fifth floor

Scale 1:200

Sixth floor

Seventh floor

Eighth Floor

Sections Perpendicular


Program Current










Circulation 24 hours

Day Time

Night Time






RE-Thinking Sandberg  

Sandberg Institute is situated in a office typology. Rethinking the essence of an educational institution, redesigning Sandberg for the futu...

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