The objective of communal architecture in society is not only to serve people’s basic spatial needs, but also improve their knowledge about the importance of sharing the gift of space itself, even if it is designed for two different purposes. This project focuses on all that stands between the two most basic purposes of a space: living and working. In more ways than one, those two activities are not so different. However, that depends on the occupation. In some fields of work, offices share common spatial features with dwellings. But on the other hand, they are often too different and physically separate from one another, which weakens the community spirit. Combining the two programs in order to bring together those who are professionally similar is the ultimate goal. In some cases, the formula in the project title, “Live + Work = Unite,” is quite effective. Generally speaking, at home we only unite with our friends and family, and at work we only unite with our bosses and co-workers. But what if those people we know were all able to unite with us in the same neighborhood at all times?
People who share common interests, values and beliefs should always be able to share parts of their property, resources, and workspaces. Those who share similar skills should be physically brought together to work in the same direction and live collectively. But at the same time, individuals should have a satisfying level of privacy and independence. Yes, privacy is a human necessity, but it is quite overrated when it comes to living and working. Certain homes and workspaces should have more limits to isolation and less limits to public connectivity. Social activities should not have to be separated from a functional environment. A socially-generated setting would help workers efficiently learn from each other through their communication and enjoyable activities, which would result in strong team effort and successful production. In the fields of art and architecture, both living and working environments must be healthy, adaptable, enjoyable, and effective. Living spaces are obviously meant to be relaxing and away from work, but theoretically a workspace for architectural design or art creation should have less of an office atmosphere than most people would believe. Artists of many kinds are often expected be present daily in a consistent working environment, so they should be able to enjoy it and feel at home.
The Live-Work concept is a major exploration for this project. The type of live-work condition depends on the scale of the community and what the space is used for. Most small-scale buildings are quite socially and functionally efficient when in a live-work situation. The question is how the relationships between workers in large-scale buildings are affected by the environments in which they work in when conjoined with the ones in which they live. If their residences are grouped together and arranged near their workspaces, their social connections could potentially be stronger than in a regular urban setting where living and working are usually separate things. Typically, large sets of small individual offices and dwellings are seen in historic cities that face population growth and diversity. Modern architects appear to be struggling to acquire methods of creating satisfying live-work environments for residents, employees, and visitors at an urban scale. Some modern homes and offices do not appear or feel so different from one another, so why keep them separate? Mixed-use and multi-functional architecture are becoming more useful in almost any type of setting, but some communities don’t realize it enough to make the effort of developing it for their own benefit and for the outside world.
Kelly, Michael J., "Live, Work, Unite: Housing and Workspaces for Providence Artists" (2020). Architecture Theses. 124.