The Learning City

Project Description

Contemporary labor is increasingly placeless, making no use of particular spaces. This immaterial, spatially disparate form of labor leaves no architectural representation or social space for workers.  The Learning City proposes an architectural representation for the precarious creative worker.

We propose a series of large-scale interventions, operating at the scale of infrastructure, providing a new spatial order for urban centers where learning, not simply working, is recognized as the central organizer of life. The project contains spaces for living, working, and education appropriate to the lives of contemporary workers. Rather than a means for gentrification, our proposal is intended to expand the social and economic network of the creative class to urban students who are often educationally excluded from the contemporary labor market.

A simple social contract is at the center of the proposal: Creative workers, often highly educated but precariously employed, are provided housing in exchange for working as educators. This community of workers spends part of its time sharing knowledge in multiple formats and models. This community provides an adaptable, heterogeneous form of education we see as essential for preparing new generations of workers for the contemporary economy.