ecology, identity, and the future of work

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 4.51.37 PM

“Apple, your products are amazing and often make me feel like I am holding the 21st century in my hands. But your built environment legacy is straight out of the 1980’s. If you’d asked your employees (maybe especially the female ones) about what their work days look like, or what would make this place feel welcoming and productive, you wouldn’t have made this blunder. Instead, you let your–mostly male, I’m guessing–design team build a tech bro Valhalla with a 100,000 square foot fitness center, but no child care on site. In your suburban island that will now cause parents to make four stops a day in silicon valley rush hour traffic. You selected a site far from major transit investments and just assumed the city will be grateful for your descent upon them. I hope I never hear you carp about how difficult it is to hire women in tech. Or about how “the city” (said with disdain) never does anything to solve the traffic nightmare at your doorstep. You get the workforce you build for and workplace you design.”

Jess Zimbabwe, 2017 (founding Director, Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use at National League of Cities)

Terminal Studio 2018

University of Oregon Department of Architecture

Background. January-June 2018, final year students are developing thesis-type speculative proposals for 35,000-70,000sf buildings for global tech cities that contribute ideas for the “future of work” in terms of ecology and identity (race, class, gender).

Studio Structure.

1. Critique of recent workplace construction by Apple, Google, and Amazon, reviewing buildings and neighborhood in terms of ecology and identity.

2. Data mapping to identify fundamental design problems for the future of work in a tech city. Students’ design sites include Shenzen, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Austin, Sunnyvale, California, and Woodburn (agricultural) and Corvallis (watershed/confluence), Oregon.

3. Manifestos to position ethics and intentions for responding to identified design problems. Focal topics include tech industry diversity, gender, women’s labor and the workplace, affordability, eco-gentrification and livability, riparian ecology, pedestrian and bike connectivity, and watershed integrity.

4. Speculative proposals for 35,000-70,000sf buildings for global tech cities that contribute ideas for the “future of work” in terms of ecology and identity.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to UO alumni Gary Aquilina, CAS Architects, Mountain View, CA and to Jeremy Monroe, Freshwaters Illustrated, Corvallis, OR for generosity of time and expertise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s