Category Archives: Uncategorized


Marking the beginning of OfficeUS’ last issue Bullets Without Ideology, OfficeUS targets some of the projects Partners will develop in the future present. PARK is an investigation on corporate social responsibility and the way it shapes the future of our cities. It analyzes a contemporary product, Disney Citizenship, through the case of Walt Disney World theme park design. Disney Citizenship is a branding strategy and internet portal that materializes the commitment of Disney corporation to promote “the happiness and well-being of kids and families.” Working its way through Disney’s supposedly microcosm, PARK unfolds how Disney Citizenship is a testbed for Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) technology and the shifts it promotes in the spatial organization of the architecture of entertainment,


Standard Working Dinner: LABELS

For our Standard Working Dinner the question of Labor LEED – the challenges of calculated labor ethics – was put on the table through a choice of four menus we developed. Guests were kindly invited to choose between ECO, FAIR, LOCAL and QUALITY. Each person’s night was preset according to her choice. A standard menu consisting of DRINK, SANDWICH, PASTA, SEAFOOD and CAKE was customised, seasoned or subtracted to meet their requested diet. The courses and ingredients were specifically arranged to question and challenge the contradictions of the balance between how friendly is the environmentally friendly,how fair trade pleases the mind, what is supporting local economies, and what is internationally managed with quality.            


And if everyone really believes so much in this and that…

Sometimes we think the word super as a prefix is a little funny, like supercilious for instance. Some people think United States embassies are too supercilious, they try to blow them up, still others feel they’re not super enough, more precisely, that the supererogatory demand for security has superseded something called excellence. Or rather, the somewhat vague position that diplomatic superintendents who work in excellent buildings generally have superior lives. We like to secretly believe in this kind of architectural optimism, but we get self-conscious when asked to justify it to others. Sometimes we don’t know if excellence is really so excellent or maybe it’s just a bureaucratic superlative. Anyway, the thought occurred to us that what’s really super about


LABOR LEED: On architecture’s techno-epistemic wars

The LABOR LEED week at OfficeUS will bring together architects, software developers and academics — including participants from Autodesk and WBYA? — to discuss how we might conceive of new design tools for a more democratic world. Here are some guiding thoughts and speculations for the series of talks, workshops and charrettes that will take place at OfficeUS in Venice from September 18-20. All the events will be open to the public. MS   Can the architect speak? By which I mean, how do we speak and who do we speak for? Can we speak beyond techno-babble or market-babble? Do architects represent anyone other than themselves? Should we speak? (For others or for ourselves?) What constitutes meaningful speech in architecture?   All these questions blazed through



Workshop with Professor Anupama Rao (Barnard College, Columbia University) & OfficeUS Housing Public Good research group Photo: Rehabilitation project in Dharavi Saturday, July 26th, 4-6PM (Venice, Italy) Please join us at the US Pavilion or through Glip Video and Google Hangouts     “Subaltern Urbanism?” will examine contemporary discourses and strategies around housing projects in a global context. We will touch on experimental self-building and self-funding initiatives; the role of the state in conditions of deregulated and informalized development; the privatized planning processes and financial speculations associated with these trends… What prototypes of “citizenship” do different housing models enact and (re)produce? What is the role of architecture –and architects– within these processes?   In preparation for the workshop, please read


Guggenteim and/or the sheer explosion of eternity

The history of Finland extracted from the Guggenheim Helsinki Museum Competition Brief (***in no particular order) ***Poised on the northern edge of Europe, on the seam between East and West, Finland is a country with complex ancient origins, whose modern history reflects a constant tension between empires. Historically isolated from the rest of Europe and speaking a language wholly unrelated to Indo-European tongues, Finland has nonetheless come to embrace and embody European integration. Though located on challenging geopolitical terrain, Finnish creativity and ingenuity have generated a remarkable national success story. ***The ensuing decades were largely peaceful, and, for the most part, Finland thrived. A multiparty system was adopted and, to this day, it is common for the Finnish government to be composed


OfficeUS Interview with Peter Zellner

On 16 June 2014, as part of our special program for “Bodies and Architecture” at KCHUNG radio, I sat down with Peter Zellner to discuss a range of issues we are grappling with at OfficeUS… The resulting conversation turned out to be full of provocative ideas and proposals for how architecture can be thought and practiced today. Here’s the transcript of this thoroughly anti-nostalgic and anti-heroic talk: surely a sign of promise for the profession.     MS: I’m sitting in a small, very functional meeting room, at the headquarters of AECOM in Los Angeles where I just had a short but very intense tour with Peter Zellner, the Principal and Studio Design Leader for AECOM Southern California. Peter Zellner, who I know for a

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OfficeUS + KCHUNG Radio Broadcast

OfficeUS recently developed a one hour radio broadcast from Venice, Italy to Venice, California on KCHUNG radio 1630am in association with their participation in the Made in L.A., Hammer Museum’s Los Angeles Biennial exhibition. The partners collaborated on the recording and editing of a piece which originally aired Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 at 8pm. The program explored the relationship between architectural exports and radio broadcasting. Documenting, among other things, the nature of the musical export as a form of cultural transmission through a collection of original mixes overlaying parallel Venices, the strange alignment of architectural and surveillance grids in SOM’s 1968 US Chancellery Building in Moscow, the recent history “vanity height” radio antennae atop contemporary supertall towers and the mysterious


OfficeUS to lead a workshop at W.A.Ve. 2014

OFFICEUS ISSUE: REPROGRAMING Workshop W.A.Ve. at IUAV, Venice, Italy, 30/06 – 17/06   OfficeUS, a global architecture practice dedicated to the investigation of global histories while mapping aspirations for the future, will teach its first architecture studio on Reprogramming within the context of Porto Marghera at the W.A.Ve. 2014 summer workshop. The workshop is part of the work developed within OfficeUS with its current headquarters at the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. The first studio to be taught by OfficeUS will be lead by one of the founders of OfficeUS, Eva Franch i Gilabert (Architect and Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York), and the 6 partners of OfficeUS: Arielle Assouline-Lichten, Cooking Sections: Daniel


Office Breaks

Working on BEST PRACTICES at OfficeUS!!!! Send us images of menus/canteens/coffee corners/kitchenettes/eating (mis)habits/baking lessons/lunch breaks/leftovers of take-aways/… in your architecture office. partners @ officeus . org