Studio leaders: Bridget Lensen and Vlad Doudakliev
Architects are fundamentally interested in people. It is this focus that makes the practice rich, difficult, and complex. To truly incorporate human experience into the process and result, there needs to be a spirit to explore, and battle for what is necessary.
Fieldstudies is a dedicated research group within Fieldwork with a mandate to explore social issues facing urban Australia through architecture. It operates as a long-term program of architectural design studios, currently in partnership with the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne. Each individual studio features a specific and tightly defined scope of exploration. Past and current themes under investigation include housing affordability, models of co-living, innovation precincts and the near future of work. Our research through Fieldstudies deepens our understanding of the areas where design-thinking and architecture can push for greater civic equity.
In Semester 2 2019, the Fieldstudies studio delved deep into Innovation Precincts, exploring the increasingly complex overlap between humans and technology, and how it impacts the mechanisms of the way we live, work and play.
This semester sought to continue this trajectory but filter it through the lens of the Future Workspace, producing a detailed architectural proposition on a city fringe site. The semester posed the question - what is the medium-term future of ‘work’, and what is the architecture that might facilitate it?
A combination of required readings, precedent studies, weekly exercises, design reviews, guest lectures and technical tutor support formed the studio program, which was largely broken into two phases: Group Research, and Individual Design.
Initially students were divided into groups and undertook detailed research of the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs, including precedents based locally and internationally. The overall objectives of this research were to explore the historic, current and future landscape of commercial workplaces in Melbourne; and to learn how to use mapping, diagrams, charts, data, graphs, speculations to reveal urban and design qualities. All work completed during this phase was collated and published into a research book and became a common resource for this and future Fieldstudies Studios.
Students then completed weekly design exercises to develop their own design process and ‘kit of parts’ for office and workspace design, transitioning into beginning the detailed design of a future workspace.
The final assignment of this studio asked the students to combine their skills with the independent and group research completed during the semester into a single, detailed architectural proposition representing their vision of a Future Workspace.