Dutch architecture firm UNStudio — a longtime Inhabitat favorite — made a surprise announcement this week, revealing that it will shift away from being a traditional design firm and relaunch itself as an open-source knowledge sharing practice. The firm will launch a new online platform that will facilitate the open exchange of ideas, replacing the monolithic structure of most architecture firms. The reboot will encourage new collaborations and it aims to fundamentally change the way we think about architecture.
Under the new plan, UNStudio employees will work across specialised “knowledge platforms,” which will be organized into four categories: sustainability, organisation, materials and parametrics. Architects will continue to design their own projects, but with the launch of a new interactive online knowledge platform, the practice of architecture will become more co-creative.
“From the outset at UNStudio we have continually reexamined and reevaluated our practice, with the result that at certain key moments we have recognised the need for extensive reorganization,” explained UNStudio principal Ben van Berkel in a statement. “We became fascinated by the new initiatives put in place by online start-up companies – such as social networking firms – who have moved from an old economy to a far more innovative economy which celebrates communication, open exchange and co-creation. Believing that architecture can benefit greatly from adopting and adapting such an approach, in recent years we have set about the reorganisation of our studio into an open knowledge-based practice.”
The firm’s new ‘knowledge platforms’ will seek to facilitate the exchange of knowledge within the firm, while expanding UNStudio’s range of co-creation abilities with its collaborators. The new interactive online knowledge sharing platform is currently in the final design stages, and it is expected to be launched soon.