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part 1 researching community and hypotheses


chapter 1 work comes from space


HYPOTHESES CONSIDERED: Though its product may be immaterial, with more and more work sited in a digital environment, work takes place in a space, and the atmosphere and arrangement of that space has an impact on what is produced. How is space important when much work is conducted in a digital environment, looking into the unreal space of a computer screen. And with the rise of wireless technologies when work can be undertaken anywhere, how are particular spaces dedicated to work important?

Resources Tools

This project begins with the hypothesis that space is a capacity that allows work to be created. COMMUNITIES ENCOUNTERED:


Can work be considered to be produced out of a ‘community’ of people, tools and resources, all set within an specific environment? PROPOSAL EXPLORED: A sparkling tree to enliven the interior environment of an office and provide controlled shade.

Someone sits at a desk all day and compeletes a report. The space is the same, but the atmostphere is animated by the change in light coming through the window. How is the thinking and work related to the environment? Can a dynamic atmosphere stimulate work?

Tree is ‘strapped’ to outside of office tower.

The ‘leaves’ are constrctucted of lightweight reflective materials in a variety of colours.

design no1: SPARKLING TREE

Staring into space...

Space alive with dancing sparkles

TO COME detail drawing - material and construction, of the sparkling tree AND second proposal - the worker moving around building and outside, in order to find different atmospheres

atmosphere changes through the day

immaterial inputs data human contact work


electric lighting

conditioned air

physical inputs electrical power food water air office materials humans

chapter 2 work happens through relationships HYPOTHESES CONSIDERED: physical outputs heat energy materials air waste actions




’ DY O ‘B

immaterial inputs data human contact

Work within organization is fuel by interaction. A community of people come together and through discussion and the dynamics of human relationships different ideas are born and acted on. This relational work goes into creating the product, but an office is also a social space, and the quality of the work depends on the success of the social relationships within the office. Workers have relationships with immaterial ideas, and material objects. These might be notes, samples, models, files, resources. How these are manipulated can affect how ideas are developed and work achieved.

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COMMUNITIES ENCOUNTERED: The community of different workers who come together in one organisation, with one work aim. This community is often sited together in a single space - an office. PROPOSAL EXPLORED: Collaboration desk Responsive environment

‘Branches’ extend, following the movement of the sun across the sky, and the strength of the sunlight, providing shade where required.

‘Flowers’ bloom in relation to the quality of interaction between people.

Tree responding to exterior conditions, but also mechanically connected to the human action inside.

a movement of the spakling tree directed... ‘Leaves’ flutter in relation to the flow of data, creating an alive backdrop to concentration.

a building skin directed by the worker

parametric iterations The parametric programme allows us to imagine how a system of interconnected strings would alter the facade according to the user’s wishes, as they pulled or loosened the strings through the toggles.

THE ‘REACH’ OF THE OPENING POINT - ‘mudulus of attraction’

THE ‘REACH’ OF THE OPENING POINT - ‘mudulus of attraction’

design no2: COLLABORATION DESK This table is designed for workers who share the same space but do not interact. It forces them to collaborate by connecting the two chairs with a see-saw. Other possible designs in this section include the merry-go-round meeting room, photocopying acrobatics.

chapter 3 OFFICE SPACE HAS TO ACCOMODATE CONFLICTING VALUES HYPOTHESES CONSIDERED: An office is often organised around a corporate structure, with management responsible for the priorities of the company, to be achieved through supervising and directing the labour of workers. Here management may frequently have different priorities from the workers, who might be said to be motivated to work by the financial rewards they receive from the company which they invest in their lives outside work. There are several key areas of interest here: - how is an worker’s identity given a space within a corporate identity? - the lives of workers hold many different responsibilities outside their efforts for a company. How are these different potential behaviours given space to be allowed within an office? There is also a potential conflict about how the space is utilised between the owner of the office building and the company who rents the space. COMMUNITIES ENCOUNTERED: Worker’s families, dependents PROPOSAL EXPLORED: Clothes collaging

design no7: COLLAGE-WEAR

What is an office? In trying to define the ‘body’ of the office, is it simply the physical boundary of the office walls? The actors within the space spend a particular time each day inside the office, but the rest of the time they disperse across the city to their different places. Also, the resources that allow the office to function arrive from different places around the city. Frank Duffy estimates that during working hours an average office space is only occupied 60% of the time.

design no: SELF SUFFICIENT COMMERCIAL ZONE Road traffic is removed from The City of London, the commercial heart of the capital, and replaced with arable farm land. Farm buildings are positioned as required in shop premises, and unrented office space. In this way the City can produce more of the food that it consumes, and the office workers can experience a natural activity close by. The air quality will also be greatly improved.

chapter 4 OFFICE construction uses outdated typologies HYPOTHESES CONSIDERED: The real estate practices current in office building in the UK are responsible for a normaltive style of building. Through the plain functional materiality of office spaces, and the atmosphere maintained at a constant temperature and humidity perfectly attuned to a idealised ‘comfort zone’, so that the subject hardly notices that he is in a physical, natural environment. - The interior environment is controlled through more and more sophisticated systems. - The worker is given a specific space, a desk, to occupy, and he/she is expected to be there. These practices cause a environmental issues, as well as affecting productivity. COMMUNITIES ENCOUNTERED: Rebellious worker PROPOSAL EXPLORED: Inhabitable windows

design no2: INHABITABLE WINDOW The inhabitable window is a simple timber frame structure that disrupts the monotonous unitised facade of the office tower, and creates corners, hidden rooms, short cuts and dramatic views to be enjoyed by the office workers. The glazing panel is removed from the cladding panel and the inhabitable window is constructed on site in an organic way.


Accomodating ad hoc programmes




Lightweight hanging structures

timber beams

lightweight frame above

Fabric cladding hangs from the secondary structure to provide insulation and rain protection

inhabitable windows First proposals




design no5: THE HALF/ HALF RULE Half of every office must be converted into a swimming pool for the free use of the office workers. The pools are arranged such that they occupy a portion of each floor of the office building alongside one exterior wall. This allows the existing office windows to be maintained, becoming under water windows.

chapter 5 Silent communities HYPOTHESES CONSIDERED: Office life forgrounds a particular idea of achievement - successful work. Different types of labour that contribute to this work are not recognised. The janitors who oversee the building, cleaners and security personel who work during the night. The building and work practices that it contains have impact beyond the immediate site of the building. The environmental impact is felt at a great distance, in the place where the energy is generated. Or in the fields which produce the food consumed inside the building. The building is home to many other natural inhabitants who are not considered - birds nest on the roof. Mice run through the basements and cellars. Plants grow where they can. The area around Euston station is also semipermanent home to different groups of people. COMMUNITIES ENCOUNTERED: Janitors, Cleaners, security personel Animal inhabitants Plants Those affected by environmental impact PROPOSAL EXPLORED:

Issies raised by zoetrope...

7th handin - Portfolio draft