Architecture and Social Architecture: Disturbing Notions of Structure in Organizations vol:CD-rom
EIASM location:Brussels date:15-16 May 2008
In this paper we will examine the relationship between architecture and long-lived companies. The aim is to offer another perspective on organizational behaviour, i.e. an organization which operates with the environment instead of within. The main source of inspiration is the Cité Radieuse created by Le Corbusier some fifty years ago. At that time he had to find a new architectural response to the problem of collective housing when France was experiencing a severe housing shortage. His idea of architecture comes very close to what nowadays would be called socially responsible. He created a social space in which the individual and the collective were equally balanced. The Unité is organized in such a way that the integrated services it offers enriches social life in the building. By doing so, Le Corbusier invented a town object that transcends the ordinary functions of housing. With the help of photo ethnography we will extend this idea to long-lived companies. The architecture of their main buildings was more than allowing space for their employees. It was more than a site, but an entire ‘cité’ where people could roam about.