Register: AUG/27/2018, Submit: AUG/31/2018, Eligibility: Everyone; individually, teams up to 5 members, Fee: 30 EUR JUN/01 – JUN/15/2018), 45 EUR (JUN/16 – JUL/15/2018), 60 EUR (JUL/16 – AUG/15/2018), 75 EUR (AUG/16 – AUG/27/2018); included VAT, Awards: 3 Winners 1,000 EUR each, 9 Honorable Mentions, Finalists
The aim of the “thinking” competition is to develop a design proposals for the office typology, intended as a space to process, organize and generate information. In other words, a place for mental work. The participants are asked to create innovative and unconventional projects on this theme, questioning the very basis of the notion of office. Recently a series of new initiatives have emerged in relation to office innovation. While companies like Google revolutionized the way office work and workplaces are conceived, remote work and freelancing are increasing chances for freedom and flexibility, turning living rooms and coffee places into modern offices. In the meantime, digitization and automation not only changed the way work is done, but also the way work is retributed. If working conditions today tend to get better in traditional offices, there is an uprising new class of digital “slaves” under heavy exploitation.
Within this context, with critical thinking and creative attitude, the participants are urged to create an artefact, merging considerable programmatic innovation and valuable design tools. The proposal can be a device, a piece of furniture, an interior design project, a pavilion, a building or a urban plan. Scale of intervention, program dimensions and location are not given and they can be arranged by the participants to better suit their project.
Some basic topics of investigation to approach the competition theme can already be deduced from the definition of the word “office”:
Office noun [C]
A room, set of rooms, or building used as a place for commercial, professional, or bureaucratic work.
As follows, very essential aspects of conventional offices can be questioned:
- Why does the office has to be a room, a set of rooms, or a building? Can’t it be a device, capable to incorporate the entire infrastructure needed to develop work? Alternatively, can’t it be a network in the city, an interconnected system of facilities that can accommodate flexible working environment?
- Being a room, does the office imply interaction or separation from co-workers? How is social-interaction relevant when it comes to intellectual activity and how can design empower that? Or is it instead isolation a value to pursue? What kind of design can favour it?
- What kind of work can be developed in an office and how can an office adapt to accommodate multiple functions? What is, for example, the best environment for a creative work? And what is instead the most suitable context for king them more bearable?
- In a society heading towards automation, how will work change, and what kind of space will be the most suitable to support the work of the future? Will technology be the dominant feature, or will instead separation from technology become a benefit?
These are the questions to suggest to the partecipants as possible fields of investigation. Each project can tackle one or more of the issues suggested, as well as raising new ones in relation to the competition topic. Just try to be as creative and unconventional as possible.
In asking for an unconventional approach, we are also providing one. The rules of the competition and its organization will not limit, but rather allow for the freedom to approach each topic as the participant sees fit.
Therefore there are no given site, scale of intervention or exact program dimensioning. Projects can be developed in abstract locations as well as specific places, and they can go from the scale of interior design to urban strategies. Just remember that every proposal should be focused on a very specific condition, showing one simple concept, clearly communicated and fully developed.