Office Design Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Status: Completed, May 2018 Awards: Dezeen award 2018, Emerging Interior Designer of the Year
FRAMING THE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY WORKSPACE The new workspace for and by Spacon & X is, just like the overall approach from the architecture- and design studio, a place where the multi-disciplinary and cross-function is in focus. This goes both for the studio’s work, which seamlessly ranges from small scale like product design to larger scale building complexes, and for the office itself – consisting of a wide range of different people with different backgrounds.
A SPACE FOR COLLABORATION
As demonstrated by its name and the open-plan office, Spacon & X (short for ‘spatial conversion and cross-functionalism’) is a multi-disciplinary studio where collaborating with others – and each other– gives rise to broader, more holistic results. Spacon & X believes that spatial optimization – making space suitable to support multiple functions and activities - will in turn provide optimized, sustainable solutions for an improved urban life. In this way, the studio works towards their ultimate goal: to provide better ways of living and working in an urban context, where shortage of space is a key issue.
THE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY STUDIO When looking for a new studio space that could provide flexibility and function as a testing ground for their work, Spacon & X found the perfect opportunity in an old and worn-down industrial workshop, previously used by a blacksmith. Here, in the very heart of Østerbro, Copenhagen, Spacon & X had the chance to fully rethink the frameworks of a studio, pushing the boundaries for what a creative workspace might look like, and exploring the space as a dynamic platform for experiments, get-togethers and cross-disciplinary collaborations.
The Labrary is an important part of this, being both a digital laboratory for shared knowledge and a physical material library. In many of today’s creative offices the computer and the digital world becomes the most important tool, however, Spacon & X believes that the key for dynamic processes is the constant shift between digital and analogue methods. The ‘hands-on’ physical approach is crucial for the creative process, in addition to new and up-coming technology, and this is why the studio has its own workshop, with the possibility to built mock-ups and test and try materials on a 1:1 scale, the gallery wall for an on-going physical mood boarding and the physical Labrary with all its material samples for direct haptic and visual experiences.
RETHINKING THE WAY WE CONSUME SPACE When approaching the design of the studio, Spacon & X has put an effort into exploring how the space itself could reflect their work and processes. As these workflows rarely are ‘straight-forward’, predictable and static, the space should provide a wide range of spatial opportunities and flexible areas. By ensuring that the same space always has more than one possible function and use, the studio can be used and inhabited in a number of different ways, according to varying needs. The series of multifunctional zones allows for social interaction, meetings and workshops to occur side-by-side with different working positions, the studio finds the everyday working conditions are optimized as well as constantly challenged and enriched. The different areas are marked by bright colour-blocking, which stands in contrast to the raw walls which are kept as they were from the old blacksmith workshop, creating a tactile material palette of new and old. This allows for a mutual meeting-ground for discussing and sharing knowledge, both internally and externally with collaborators and clients.
A PLAYGROUND FOR PARTICIPATION A key element in the overall design approach has been to ensure a constant participation by the visitors and users of the space, allowing for an on-going dialogue and a studio shaped by its people. In this way, the studio becomes an open playground – there are always different elements ready to be explored and always the possibility for co-creation. With its crossfunctional interior – comprising offices, laboratories, meeting- and workshop areas – the studio is characterized by fluidity, efficiency and instant adaptability. The space is both changeable and dynamic: meetings with clients can for example occur in the meeting room, the workshop or as well over the BBQ in the backyard.
OPEN PROCESS Open processes are an important aspect for the multi-disciplinary studio, as it provides the framework for participation and co-operation between different scales, projects and fields. In addition, open processes are also used by the studio as a visual approach and identity: all projects take use of honest raw materials and flexible systems are often created as a spatial base. In this way the projects are never fully finished when handed over to the client, which allows for a continuously use and re-use of the same space and materials. (Examples DDC, wood wood). This is also visible in the Spacon & X studio, with metal framework as the structure for both the working area and the gallery wall. The materials are kept raw and honest, and the concepts of use and re-use are clearly visible in the overall aesthetics, showing that possibility for re-assembling is made easy and available.