B8_#089 // The Studio // Quentin Dauvergne
Architecture students around me mostly wish they could stay at school during the night. They wish they wouldn’t have to go back home, to come back to school in a few hours. They would just stay, because of that nice chair which doesn’t hurt their backs, because of the vending machine close to the studio space, because the light is brighter and more even, and because others would be there too. Everybody has heard the story of this guy who slept in the computer room for two weeks and had even brought his kettle and pillows.
Insidious, the infantilization of the workspace goes hand in hand with ultra-liberal society’s tendency to erase the limit between leisure and work, between home and office. Staying afterhours, on Sundays, having office parties and Friday evening cocktails to make our relationship with our work environment more “informal”.
Nowadays, superior schools can be seen as a first step towards this ambiguous relationship. As they rely on the same system of value, they started adopting the same strategies of marketing and branding to attract customer / students, playing by the rules of the market’s inescapable game.
Cosy and homely, the workspace turns into a soft nest in which our creative minds are safe, and warm. The playful character of contemporary learning processes is emphasized by the diversity of the soft white cork surfaces and spaces created by the open structure, plugged directly on the school’s shared spaces. From the most open configuration at to the most individual, the studio enables its four students to adapt their situation within the structure, according to their mood and needs. Facing each other to debate, sitting alone to focus, standing to produce, lying down in a pillow fort or on an isolated bed.
Protecting millenials from the troubles and offenses of the outside, heavy curtains are replaced by pastel pink wrapping paper that can be rolled up and down at will, or even used as a stress relief device. The outside is then not anymore rejected, but instead filtered and smoothed, deformed by the soft bubbles of childhood’s instant pleasures.
Isolated together, these four students are in the best possible setting to develop nice looking ideas, which will hopefully perpetuate the system they were created in.
Quentin Dauvergne is a Diploma Student from the Architectural Association School of Architecture