duendepr.com news T&P Work UNit « The Generic Office or The Era of Creative White Collars » at the St Etienne Biennial from March 9 to April 9, 2017.

T&P Work UNit « The Generic Office or The Era of Creative White Collars » at the St Etienne Biennial from March 9 to April 9, 2017.


Invited to the 10th edition of the St Etienne Design Biennial focused on labor, T&P WORK UNit will share the array of its business advisory activities through design by exhibiting its latest project for the BETC agency in Pantin: reconfiguring the offices of 1 000 white collar workers in the premises of the former Magasins généraux buildings. For the Biennial, a « sample » of the office will be moved to the premises of the former weapons manufacturing factory and activated.


For a month, T&P sets up shop on site to prepare its contribution to the St Etienne Biennial; the team will manage projects, teachings, publications and conferences on design and labor. The Generic Office will be staged within the framework of a recent experiment, heretofore unseen in France: from 2013 to 2016, the T&P Work UNit planned and managed the construction and design of an office building for the 1 000 employees of a creative industry player. Under its expert management, a team of designers, new to the office reconfiguration industry, created the furniture. In St Etienne, T&P will exhibit the meeting rooms (U6 by J-B. Vétillard), meeting points Gradins (Bleachers) by A. Rovero, Banc (Bench) by A. Le Henry and S. Breuil, Structure for talking and standing by S. Barbier-Bouvet), desks (Desk 74 by S. Breuil-T&P Work UNit and the Capisco armchair by Håg), tools (Print and Stockhydrique by T&P Work UNit, connection and electric cable housings designed by T&P Work UNit) plus other office necessities.


The on-site installation of the Biennial is the opportunity to discover how design contributes to reconfiguring white-collar workspaces… The « employees » who sought to escape the blue- collar world, found themselves trapped in the rational organization of work in large office buildings: inside, aligned workspaces and the panoptic vision they provided. In St Etienne, the project design team (T&P Work UNit) carries out its activities and invites its partners: clients, designers, architects, students… to attend courses, workshops, meetings, conferences and publications. As a result, within this workspace, the idea is not to examine furniture but rather to make available a material kit that helps to understand office reconfiguration THROUGH design and to pursue the T&P approach to the relationship between design and work.


The BETC office experiment in Pantin deeply modifies the often Manichean approach favored by all too highly business-focused enterprises and by designers dedicated to shapes. Enterprises that accept design in their project approach and the designers who take economic flows into account are the manifestation of how stakeholders understand the role and importance of design in the corporate project. In this sense, the approach refers to the methodology applied to the BETC experiment, beyond premises seen only as a corporate image, and testifies to the interest of design considered as a global project per se, present in the whole building and how it attracts activities and not only so-called « image premises ». The issues underlying the Generic Office are highlighted in the on-site demonstration: can the workspace environment change the work experience? If yes, how? If not, why? Does design, as a major factor of the organizational model and as productivity ally, come out a winner? What are its strongpoints? Does the example presented indicate, precede or result from behaviors? What are the advantages for users-workers?


T&P Work UNit commissions five artists and produces 3 art works

A digital artwork The Planiscope by artists Le Collectif 1.0.3 – (Arnaud & François Bernus, Anne Couzon-Cesca)
Whose labour is beginning on March 8, under construction till March 15.

A film in progress by film director Thomas Bauer, 43’ Permanent screening by the Gradin on site.

A publication for the exhibition by Karl Nawrott: The Generic Office, Texts in FR & ENG., Publisher: T&P Publishing, Paris, 36 pp., 5€.
The booklet is a prefiguration of a wider book to be published in May 2017.

More than 25 lectures, workshop and events on the exhibition site of The Generic Office

1 Launch for the research review Back Office on digital design
2 Heads of industrial furniture European company (Unifor- Italy and SBS – Suede) as speakers.
3 open courses part of seminar od Master on Labour & Design – École normale supérieure – Cachan (ENSC) & Fine Art High School of Lyon (Ensba) as research issue.
4 BETC’s project team members as witnesses and partners, including Rémi Babinet – CEO and Creative Director.
16 architects, artists & designers as lecturers
60 students in design from 4 Fine Art Schools as workshoppers.


« The Generic Office or the Era of Creative White Collars » by T&P Work UNit

St Etienne Biennial March 9 to April 9, 2017

www.tpworkunit.com www.biennale-design.com