Research Studio with Hitoshi Abe
M.Arch. Third Year
The Future has been around for a long time, consistently both just out of reach and perceptively closer to where and when we currently live:
Visions of the future living environment have generally been synonymous with the active domestication of environments outside the enclave of the house. A trend that parallels the dissipation of many dichotomies that were characteristic of the modern movement: Inside / Outside, Public / Private, Work / Home, Labor / Leisure, and others.
– Future Living Project
The Future Living Project (FLP) was initiated by Hitoshi Abe and his A.UD research team in 2013 to extract broad but workable themes from an analysis of the Future’s long history and configurations of contemporary living. Previously, the FLP focused on the domestic environment to consider the developing gray zone between the domestic and office life. Starting in 2017, with the support of the Okamura Corporation—a leading office systems company in the Japan, the focus of FLP has shifted to the the workplace, propelling research and continued exploration of the domestic-work gray zone. FLP is powered by xLAB, an international think tank initiative within A.UD that examines architecture’s elastic boundaries and considers new possibilities through interdisciplinary collaboration in the study of the future built environment.
The studio examines the office as an architectural type that is as politically, economically, and culturally charged, as it is technical and tectonic. With technological advancements and changes in labor practices, the workplace was liberated from the domestic realm, causing a spatial, programmatic, and ideological schism. This strict delineation of office and house became a key concept of modernization that motivated architecture and urban design practices. Currently, there is a paradigm shift that reunites these two types, creating a gray zone between domestic and work. To investigate this gray zone, The WORKHOUSE Research Studio explores co-working – a programmatic phenomenon that is under intense critical evaluation, conversation, and experimentation, yet remains indeterminate as an architectural type.
The WORKHOUSE Research Studio studies creative workplaces through the analysis of creative offices and coworking spaces. In the context of the studio, coworking space is primarily understood as a programmatic concept with a new building type that has yet to be determined. Coworking space is currently under intense critical evaluation, conversation, and experimentation. Through projective projects, the studio focuses on the design of a coworking building type. The studio explores:
The potential of coworking as a program and how it can produce new value in contemporary society
The increasingly blurred boundaries around coworking spaces and how these conditions can be harnessed by designers
How coworking reflects the ways contemporary life attempts to domesticate the world around it
Students: Alexander Abugov, Seungbin Choi, Yining Deng, Mark Kamish, Tianyu Kan, Brian Lee, Qiyue Li, Yin Liu, Joshua Nelson, Willem Swart, Xiangru Xu, Ted (Miaojie) Zhang, Can (Claire) Zhou