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24 September, 2013

Studio: Space of Flows

Sandra Frem will teach this fall an architecture studio at Lebanese American University's School of Architecture entitled: space of flows,exploring network culture and tackling the relationship of architecture and emerging entrepreneurship workspaces.

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.

the studio will focus  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.

The studio 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.