Seoul Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism — 2019

5th Studio is one of ten practices invited to participate in the London exhibition for the Seoul Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism, Republic of Korea. The exhibition is curated by Peter Bishop with Isabel Allen as Creative Director. The Biennale is co-Directed by Jaeyong Lim & Francisco Sanin and is open until November.

We are now on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution that will be characterised by a fusion of technologies that will blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. The current speed of these breakthroughs is changing almost every aspect of our lives. London is a city of constant adaptation, which is why it has remained one of the major cities in the world. In this exhibition we will consider London’s key strengths and attributes that it will need to develop in order to remain a paradigm of urban living in the 21st Century; a city that celebrates intense human interaction.

5th Studio have been invited to contribute a proposition around the idea of London as a city to work in, through and beyond the middle of this century.

Challenge/brief

London has successfully evolved from manufacturing to financial services and to the creative and digital economy. This is constantly challenging both the nature of work and the role of the workplace. What will tomorrow’s work environment look like, where will it be located and how will it function? The working environments of the future will have to respond to the increasingly blurred boundaries between professional and social life and the value of human interaction and the exchange of ideas.

Response

London’s future workspace will evolve alternatives to zonal planning in the city, finding creative resolution to conflicts between divergent activities through three-dimensional hybrid space rather than through plan-based segregation.

These spaces, created through the intensified use of land, create a rich culture of possibility, bringing together urban infrastructure, making, design, culture and civic life. This recognises that - in an increasingly individualised and virtual world - exceptional creativity comes through engaging with the physical and the collective.

Located at transport hubs for easy access for people and materials the space illustrated is highly adaptive, with diverse spaces able to bring together ideas, design and manufacture, to prototype and critique, to move rapidly between the big picture and the detail, the strategic and the concrete. They will include rich landscapes as a means to clean and temper the air and provide respite. Creche facilities and resting spaces will make working more equitable and less binary with other aspects of life.

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