Raumgestaltung und Entwerfen, raumgestaltung.tuwien.ac.at
TU Wien, Architektur und Entwerfen, Karlsplatz 13/253.3, 1040 Wien

Maria Paez Gonzalez: Central Void Against
Endless Interior


Der Forschungsbereich Raumgestaltung und Entwerfen lädt zu folgendem Seminarvortrag:


Maria Paez Gonzalez – Central Void Against Endless Interior
The Pioneer Architectures of Silicon Valley’s High-tech Corporate Headquarters Royal College of Art
Supervisors: Dr. Maria Shéhérazade Giudici and Prof. Jeremy Myerson Sponsored by HAWORTH


Town Square Aerial View, MPK21
Courtesy of Meta; https://about.meta.com/media-gallery/offices-around-the-world/aerial-view-of-mpk-21/


In this lecture we will look at the relation between architecture and labour through three case studies, the global headquarters of the leading-edge technology corporations Apple, Google (now under Alphabet), and Facebook (rebranded as Meta Platforms). The thesis puts forward these projects as critical paradigms to learn how a deeply rooted dialectic continues to recurs and return as an instrument of centralised power: the excitement of a territory without previous history, a frontier to conquer and to move into, against the yearning for a cohesive, and stable, settled world, both seem to find emphatic productive force when compressed in today’s most central places of corporate power and knowledge work. We will explore how in this context a labour subject par excellence, is one that is formed by the intersection of what are effectively distinct forms of production and life, a subject that the thesis puts forward, rather than knowledge worker, or affective worker, is best characterised with the word pioneer, on one hand because it enables us to frame its labour as fundamentally nothing new, not a consequence of post-industrial society, andtherfore to expose the conditions seen in Silicon Valley, rather than as a site of novelty, as a site of history. To help us narrate how this historical subject as it strives in the ‘pursuit to found a new world’, seems to be a foremost agent for the deepening of no new worlds to fundamentally congeal. A process that is economic, political, and crucially, architectural.


Maria Paez Gonzalez is an architect, researcher, and tutor. She has practised architecture for over a decade with Foster+Partners, and led graduate design studios and professional practice courses at the Royal College of Art and the Architectural Association. Her experience in the design and construction of office buildings led her to pursue a PhD in Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Maria’s research aims to explore architecture and the figure of the architect as crucial forms of knowledge by which to read the constitution of modern labour subjectivities, but also to untangle a technology around which more interesting forms of life and work can coalesce.