UNStudio to relaunch as "open source"
architecture studio


UNStudio announces relaunch as "open source" architecture studio

News: UNStudio will in June relaunch as an "open-source architecture studio" inspired by technology start-ups, the Dutch firm announced today.

The new structure will see UNStudio employees working across specialised "knowledge platforms" – self-organised groups designed to allow staff to combine research with practice. The knowledge platforms will be organised into four topics: sustainability, organisation, materials and parametrics.

The challenging business climate encouraged the studio to drastically rethink its approach to collaboration, inspired by online start-up companies, said studio head Ben van Berkel.

"Finding ourselves unable to locate a relevant model from within the profession, we became fascinated by the new initiatives put in place by online start-up companies - such as social networking firms - who have moved from an old economy to a far more innovative economy which celebrates communication, open exchange and co-creation," he said in a statement today.

UNStudio announces relaunch as "open source" architecture studio

Above: diagram of the four knowledge platforms

As van Berkel told Dezeen in an interview earlier this year, the new working model is also intended to help the studio share ideas beyond the office walls.

"We have more or less moved from a network practice - the United Network practice of UNStudio - to a more knowledge-based organisation," he said. "We want to set up this online knowledge platform so that we [can] share this within an open-source system; not only internally within the office but also with the outside world."

The online platform is currently in the final design stages, but in the meantime the studio has updated its pages with information about current research projects generated by the four knowledge platforms.

UNStudio announces relaunch as "open source" architecture studio

Above: the knowledge platforms will be accessible on mobiles

The updated pages allow readers to share their own expertise, rate the usefulness of the information they find and share posts on social networks, as well as allowing mobile and offline viewing.

"What we are going to do is go more public with these knowledge platforms and communicate what we can achieve with our knowledge, and the knowledge others might have, about how we can build more intelligent buildings, for instance," said van Berkel, speaking to Dezeen at the launch of the Canaletto residential tower under construction in east London.

Recently completed buildings by UNStudio include a house in Stuttgart with an inclined profile and a scientific research centre with windows that resemble rows of dominoes – see all architecture by UNStudio.

  • I applaud this bold move by UNStudio. Typically architecture firms are lagging behind in their structure and management practices, and it is so refreshing to see a firm open up to adopt methods from other industries. Best of luck to the team there!

  • Tie

    Sounds interesting, but I’m pretty sure they just wanted to make another overlay diagram.

    • Chris


  • Carlos


    • Carlos I

      I would yawn if I was lame too.

  • bill

    If they’re still charging a percentage fee of the construction budget, then it’s still the same old architecture to me.

  • wolf68

    Saving the firm…

  • flytoget

    They’re obviously out of work and now desperately trying to reinvent their failed concept. This sounds as lame as Facebook Home.

  • Brian

    Surely there are worthwhile things to learn from the technology sector, but I’m not sure this bag of archi-goobledy-gook is it. But thank god I can access it from my mobile.

  • D

    Try to make a photo of Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam and use it for an advert, a big chance Ben will sue you. Not really open source I would say.

  • Gary Walmsley

    Come on—UNStudio is just grabbing a trendy catch-phase “open-source” and misusing it to get a little press coverage.