Distinguished architect Jean Nouvel, Pritzker Prize 2008, has been commissioned to create "Project: offices for living" at the 52nd edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (April 9-14, 2013) that will interpret the changes in living and work spaces.
The French architect will explore contemporary building options freed up by a rejection of cloned, enclosed and repetitive spaces in a dedicated area inside the SaloneUfficio pavilion, with new sectional concepts guaranteed to fire up the exhibiting companies as they take on the national and international markets with even greater gusto.
Nouvel built his first office building - the CLMBBDO advertising agency on the outskirts of Paris - in the late Eighties, giving full rein to the key strands of his vision of the workspace: mobility, conviviality, enjoyment, fun, with offices opening onto both the inside and the outside of the building.
"In 30 or 40 years time we will be stunned to see just how unliveable most of today's offices really were," said Nouvel. "Grotesque clones, standardisation, totalitarianism, never the merest hint of being pleasurable to inhabit."
It is a quest for new materials and new technologies for creating comfortable, effective, user-friendly and ecologically-aware environments. We need to inhabit our offices the way we inhabit our homes and our cities, because we spend just as much time in the workplace as we do in our own apartments, and everyone has a right to small pleasures - light regulation, emplacements, views, the right of expression through furniture and objects.
In the very near future people will work increasingly in apartments, at home, or in existing spaces of various different types. "Project: offices for living" will showcase several different work environments light years away from urban segregation and functional cloning. As Jean Nouvel says, the architect's job is to interpret the technical, cultural and social changes of the age in which we live and to express them poetically in a quest for freedom.
A classic apartment, an industrial warehouse, a private house, a skyscraper, an industrial platform and a theoretical space will be turned into more user-friendly and enjoyable working environments, spaces unfettered by traditional rules, governed by the pleasure taken in working, in which everyone is free to build their own space according to their own needs, full of light and reflections.
The project will include a small compendium of furnishings and designs by great architects, a homage to the objects on which our foundations are built.