Today more than ever in our digital era, working and living are intertwined in our daily life without any possibility, confined in our rooms. However, to battle the precarity of today’s workers, we gather them in the same space, enclosed in the forms of the capitalist society but hiding within it the keys for a possible emancipation.
Architectural rationalism has its origins in the factory, thus resonates with production and efficiency; it is about constantly doing more with less. The working class becomes the collateral victim of this mode of production, first alienated by the incessant repetition of the chain of production then made docile and stupefied by the excessive consumption.
We cynically call the last stage in the capitalist history of production the Happiness Factory. Facebook headquarters is one example. As Lordon says, it is about creating joyful affects intrinsic to the worker. They, therefore, experience a spontaneous (and no longer simulated) desire to produce.
Today, as Negri says, labor has escaped the factory to take place in the metropolis. With the arrival of intangible work, the metropolis has become a place of production. Therefore, going back to the origins of the factory to better understand contemporaneity seems more relevant to us than ever.
The projects of the Platform and the Ville Verte aim to make contemporary social and political conditions visible. By imagining a place of co-working, which is also co-living while being co-sleeping, we are bringing to the forefront the notions of instability, uncertainty, and flexibility which precarious employees face. These two projects aim to reflect the contemporary factory.
Although carrying a realistic posture in the face of contemporary conditions, we allow ourselves to be tempted by a certain idealism. We offer a ruse within the platform and the bar; a trojan horse. It is a question of subtly diverting the order and the use of the typical plan to offer an alternative for the reconstruction of the multitude and of the political subject.
Regardless of its site, the platform is established in the generic metropolis which in essence is similar across the globe. More precisely, the platform blends into the urban fabric of industrial zones and takes their shapes while revealing their origins.
Thus, the platform is adorned with the symbolic form of the sheds, which are, support of a technological structure. Having the highest degree of acceptability, the unique surface supports an agitation of individual cells which move and form temporary conglomerates according to the users wishes.
Space of permanence, which are in tune with the rationalist origins of the factory, punctuate the agitation, drawing inspiration from constructivist reflections and Malevich’s compositions. By staging the individual during moments of collective labor, these value spaces, endowed with the same and unique rationalist language, while using the vocabulary of a historic city, attempt to develop a collective awareness of the platform.
While the platform takes the form of a factory as a place of production, the bar tends to Hilberseimer’s Groszstadt, its architecture set as the background of production. With a column-beam structure embedded in a hollow core slab, the typical floor is dedicated to contemporary production. Rows of dormitories are divided into alcoves of a dozen beds, punctuated by spaces of service. The divan becomes the figure of a furniture to do everything. Seated or laid on the divan, we sleep, work and live in these spaces and perhaps will be led to reverie, potential emancipation from contemporary conditions.
On the ground floor, the bar rests on stilts giving way to vegetation. Through composition and mise en scène, elements of permanence try to play the role of social condensers, attempting to depict a sense of belonging to a larger urban structure and thus develop a collective consciousness.