Non Architecture competitions is an initiative pointed at finding and bringing forward unconventional and unexplored design solutions in the field of architecture. It practically consists of a series of nine competitions, organized in a time frame of three years. All competitions have their focus on finding innovative approaches to a specific architecture topic, always related to a functional issue.
The aim of the “thinking” competition is to develop design proposals for the office typology, intended as a space to process, organize and generate information. In other words, a place for mental work. It is asked to the participants to create innovative and unconventional projects on this theme, questioning the very basis of the notion of the office.
We want to publish a book for each competition where we will insert the best projects but also a series of material that talks about each topic, a collective research to create an ongoing conversation. The seventh competition is closing on August 31st and 50 projects are being selected. This call for materials has the purpose to collect the rest of the elements regarding this topic and necessary for the book on non-conventional offices.
NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS wants to investigate the effective actions of what the office typology is today and what is becoming. This throughout a series of elements and instruments such as articles, infographics, schemes and ideas based upon studies and personal outlook on the matter. These elements need to investigate the role, not only in one perspective but on many levels such as places to work, meet people, to get inspired and for brainstorm…devices, furniture, versatile or temporary spaces, all the broad range that this element is and represents.
They need to answer the question and arise critics from the history of the office, to what they have become today and what they will be, in order to have a spectrum of ideas that will initiate debates and develop new concepts for this subject. We are looking for a series of elements that narrate the revolution that is happening throughout reporting it, describing it, photographing it, and collecting its data, in order to meet the responsible protagonist of this change.
Office noun [C] A room, set of rooms, or building used as a place for commercial, professional, or bureaucratic work.
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.
Today the classic view of the office as a space to work is being targeted. Other areas, places, venues and so forth have developed and are undermining the typology of this as we all know it.
The question is what is this typology developing to, what is it going to become in the future, will it return to the classical view, will the new systems develop even more or will the scenery change again and create a new perspective and new places to work and think?
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 very mechanical and repetitive intellectual operations? How can a space help making 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?
They need to be key ingredients in a vast study of this ever-changing and socially important element, which also represents a place where body and mind synchronize to work and think in different ways.
The call for materials defines the field of interest of unconventional offices and produces a context in which to situate contributions.
Contributions can be uploaded in the form of:
– Essay: a brief compositions that describe, clarifies, argues, or analyzes a subject.
– Infographic: a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram.
– Photo essay: an account of something told predominantly through photographs, with some accompanying text.
– Illustration(s): a visualization or a depiction of a subject, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, or another kind of image, using a graphical representation.
>For the ESSAY: Your paper must be submitted in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format using the below format: must be between 500-1000 words in A4 papers with a Calibri font of 10 pt. A good reference comes from the Academic Conferences and Publishing International:
>For the INFOGRAPHIC: All the data must have provided sources and proof checked. This must also be submitted in A4 papers and in a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format. A good reference comes from the Office for National Statistics:
>For the PHOTO ESSAY: A series of photos with title and subtitle of the project. An introduction to the work of maximum 300 words in a Calibri font of 10 pt. For each shot, a caption is needed. This must also be submitted in A4 papers and in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). All photos must be taken by the author. A good reference comes from the Time magazine: http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1814377_1723606,00.html
>For the ILLUSTRATION(S): A drawing or a series of drawings with title and subtitle of the project. An introduction to the work of maximum 300 words in a Calibri font of 10 pt. For each drawing, a caption is needed. This must also be submitted in A4 papers and in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx). All work must be done by the author.
>A draft of the submission should be electronically sent to the editor of NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS between the 21th of August and the 21th of September at email@example.com. Accepted proposals will then be published in our book by the editorial board.
>Submissions must be written in English.
>Please ensure your materials are carefully proofread and checked before uploading.
>By submitting a document you declare the paternity of the material submitted and you give rights of publication to NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS. All the articles selected will be published indicating the author’s name. Small changes might be operated by the Non Architecture Team to make the submission a better fit for the publication.
>For questions and inquiries you can contact us on our Facebook Page or you can reach the Non Architecture Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NON ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS TEAM WISHES YOU THE BEST LUCK, CONFIDENT THAT YOU WILL APPROACH THE CONTEST WITH ALL YOUR CREATIVITY AND INNOVATIVE MIND.