'Historians have noted that economic clusters always required access to abundant strategic inputs for success. In the 1800s, it was water and raw materials. In the 1900s, it was electricity and transportation. In the 2000s it will be bandwidth and human intellectual capital.'
Thomas Friedman In “ So Much Fun, So Irrelevant” article retrieved on 4.1.2013 nytimes.com
The space of flows was first coined by sociologist and theoretician Manuel Castells to "reconceptualize new forms of spatial arrangements under the new technological paradigm"; a new type of space that allows distant synchronous, real-time interaction. At the global scale, the “space of flows” gave rise to worldwide networks of information, technology, interaction, images and sounds, linking cities and capitals in terms of advanced services, production centers, and markets, and producing a homogenous global urban landscape.
In this semester we will work on materializing a space of flows— a hub for entrepreneurial innovation—using the project to address the relationship of architecture and emerging workspaces facilitated by digital infrastructure.
Taking as precedents worldwide Google campuses, leading technology companies, knowledge cities but also emerging platforms that are reshaping the work environment such as hackatons, innovation incubators, startup accelerators; and emerging modes of production such as customized rapid prototyping, and co-design, the studio examine how the changing notions of workspace can open up new opportunities and generate innovative spatial outcomes.
Using systemic thinking, the studio will investigate the increasing focus on ‘innovation’ in all sectors; resulting in hybrid platforms which merge pedagogical events/ knowledge spaces/social playgrounds and facilitate innovative entrepreneurship.
We will explore how architecture can respond to these shifting ideas in the Bourj Hammoud Waterfront. After 60 years of isolation, the city is looking to reclaim its industrial waterfront by injecting new uses that reconnect the area with the local residents. The studio will study how an innovation think-tank can reinvigorate the existing industrial fabric and open up new prosperous opportunities for the local urban community.