Endemic Architecture

Tech Plans is a series of drawings exploring themes around the history of the architectural plan, workplace culture, and the tech-sector's need for office and creative space. The drawings prioritize a re-reading of Koolhaas’ “Typical Plan”, Venturi’s “Inside and Outside” and two of Stewart Brand’s seven S’s (Structure and Stuff in this case). Tech Plans consider what this might mean in the context of a Silicon Valley ‘tech building’ where leisure, work, amenity, and collaborations happen at the scale of “Stuff” while the scale of the building itself expands. These “Tech Plans” do not fuss over form – they are all square as they problematize relationships between internal Structure and Stuff as the primary ensemble of workplace environments in the tech industry. More importantly, the intermingling between these two, Structure and Stuff, fosters a “Shuffled” spatial quality characterized by what I call spatial provincialisms. Whereas ‘scattering’ has more to do with the spreading of otherwise unrelated materials (see Confetti Urbanism, for example) within an indeterminate edge, ‘shuffling’ is bounded at the perimeter and characterized by an interior informality that is something between a loose-fit plan and a free plan.  In a shuffled plan interiors within interiors stage fleeting social and spatial provincialisms with episodic in-between spaces. In a shuffled plan Brand’s definition of “stuff” grows beyond the scale of furniture to include rooms, stairs, walls, and even houses, grocery stores, and gyms – once stand-alone amenities now absorbed into the interior of the Tech Plan and simply become the biggest “Stuff” within an even larger room. Free plan is zoned by column grids while at other instances corridors and enfilade conflate into each other, redundant enclosures make rooms within rooms, equipment densifies as leisure expands, and programmatic hybridity maximizes amenity as “Stuff” scales up creating spatial pockets.

These drawings are purposefully rhetorical. They are not intended to be considered as ‘real buildings’, but rather as critical reflections on the relationships between workplace culture in the tech industry, professional leisure, and the architectural plan. The drawings are conceived so as to both spur alternative public and disciplinary imaginaries while reflecting on the contemporary status of Silicon Valley tech building.

Exhibited at A+D Museum. 

Copyright, Endemic Architecture 2024