ARC 606-3

ARC 606-3– Situated Technologies Studio: Working Futures

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Course Details

Course No.: 21727

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2018 Spring

Location: Hayes Hall – 410B

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday & Thursday

Meeting Time: 1:00PM - 6:50PM

Faculty: Shepard

Faculty: Shepard

What futures might we imagine for the workplace? As the way we work changes, so do the spatial, social, organizational and technological conditions for where work takes place. With workforces becoming more fluid– increasingly composed of contract and temporary workers–workplaces in turn need to become more agile, flexible, adaptable. At the same time, with the rise of the “gig economy” and the “side hustle,” work becomes more something one does than a place to which one commutes. Workers today are deciding where and how they want to work, and the spaces consumed for work are increasingly distributed across public and private domains. Still, along with the proliferation of technologies enabling remote work and networked collaboration, we see a corollary rise in the desire for physical spaces for face-to-face meeting and team work, where amenities for individual health and wellness are prioritized. How do these forces influence how we reconceive the design of the workplace?


This sponsored design research studio will explore the future of the workplace through the creation of a series of design fictions that speculate on the relations between work, space and technology in the near-future. We will travel to NYC for a week of site visits to contemporary examples of co-working and other workplaces, and meet with specialists from architectural design, workplace strategy, real estate, and technology firms. Projects produced by the studio with be presented at a half-day workshop in New York at the end of the semester, where students will have the opportunity to engage with invited professionals in articulating a vision for the future of the workplace. Travel and accommodations in New York for the initial site visits and culminating workshop will be sponsored by the UB Innovation Forum 2018, a new initiative of the School of Architecture and Planning.