Teleworking and the Adaptive Reuse of Urban Interiors: The Fragmentation and Re-concentration of the Workplace

By Barbara Camocini.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The practice of teleworking, established by the spread of Information and Communication Technology, has taken on even more importance with the current international economic crisis. Some of the workspace lost from offices because of the growth of teleworking has been regained in the form of the so-called SoHo - Small Office Home Office – which is situated within the domestic environment and used either for tele-dependent work or for a Home Based Business. Alternatively this fragmentation of the workplace may also become re-formulated in new formats of space sharing, which evolve from models of co-working.
The design of these interiors is often linked to the practice of adaptive re-use of existing spaces and, therefore, consists of making a transitional arrangement of interiors using objects and furnishings. This approach allows people to continuously reassess the interior’s functional capacity to absorb the consequences of modifications in lifestyle, social relationships and production systems. On a larger scale, teleworking poses a problem for the interplay between the architectural typology and the activities taking place within interior spaces, making it difficult to perceive how the city functions and introducing the need for new tools for investigating and monitoring the way cities work.

Keywords: Teleworking, Workspace, Adaptive Reuse, Urban Interiors, Small Office Home Office, Home Based Business, Hot-Desking, Office Hoteling

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.29-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 753.312KB).

Dr. Barbara Camocini

Research Associate, INDACO, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Architect and Ph.D in Interior Architecture and Exhibit Design, Barbara Camocini is a temporary research fellow and contract professor at INDACO Department, School of Design, Politecnico di Milano. She coordinates research projects and provides consultancy on themes related to the effects of adaptive re-use upon urban evolution and traditional categories of use of interiors, working on design issues for ultimate urban living and innovation features of office spaces. She co-operates - within Laboratory on Innovation and Research about Interiors - on many research projects concerning urban development models and advanced housing research. She also takes part, in conferences and jury of competitions, in the international programme for the development of the Baltic Sea Region, as an expert. She previously worked as consultant for Domus Academy Research and Consulting and, since then, has often cooperated with the Reggio Children’s Institute on projects concerning the design of spaces for children both in Italy and abroad. In 2003 she took part in the City of Culture project led by David Chipperfield Architects Group, dealing with the conversion of the former Ansaldo area of Milan into a cultural museum complex. In 1996 she co-operated on research selecting items for the Permanent Collection of Italian Design at the Triennale di Milano.

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