How Can Architecture Influence Office Routines? Princeton University Grad Domenica Massamby Explores Innovative Workspaces
By Sean Joyner | Original article on Archinect
Domenica Massamby is a recent graduate from Princeton School of Architecture. Archinect connected with Domenica to learn more about her final thesis project, which explores how spatial characteristics can influence the typical routines of daily office life.
Archinect's Spotlight on 2020 Thesis Projects: 2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year for architecture graduates. Students were displaced as schools shut down, academic communities had to adapt to a new virtual format, end-of-year celebrations were canceled or changed dramatically, and now these students are graduating into an extremely challenging employment market. To support the 2020 class we're launching a summer series of features highlighting the work of thesis students during this unique time of remote learning amid COVID-19. Be sure to follow our 2020 thesis tag to stay up to date as we release new project highlights.
Briefly describe your thesis/final project and your inspiration.
My thesis was a speculation about a new mode of work that could challenge the tenets of efficiency and productivity that produce very predictable patterns of use of space, and ultimately determine the routine of office life. The project developed from thinking about the role of leisure and the ascribed values of time that dictate the value of work itself. Its an attempt to restructure worker relationships and introduce autonomy in the way they navigate their careers (both spatially and socially).
How did your thesis change as studios transitioned to remote learning?
It’s hard to determine exactly what would have changed, but I do know that the ability to produce models in real time would likely have pushed the eventual design in different directions. Issues like distancing, work-life separation, and balance became more prominent questions in the last couple months. I don’t believe they’ve been totally answered, but it’s made the thesis more dynamic in its development.
Any tips for students working through their thesis?
Although it’s difficult to have to constantly validate your own ideas, and easy to become swayed by other voices—whether it’s advisors, reviewers, peers—I think it’s important to not just submit a cohesive thesis but one that you believe in. Having said that, it’s only an experiment of our ideas, so taking it too seriously as the only/final/pivotal project of your career is a disservice to possible developments it could see throughout the process and possibly later in a professional journey. I wish anyone starting soon the best of luck!