The X Series: An Introduction

Over the last decade, we have been nurturing a growing awareness of the influence that architecture has on societies and people. The physical environment around us can influence our health, happiness and lifestyle. A housing complex can be built for social connection or cause isolation, offices can support healthy habits or make us feel confined, while public spaces can be designed to prioritize either community or commercial interests.

In addition, our environments are becoming increasingly complex, as our daily lives move beyond physical space and into the digital realm. With the need for hybrid digital/physical spaces and integrated technology, it is no longer enough to design merely beautiful facades, or to source innovative materials. We must understand how multiple layers fit together to create a seamless experience, because as an architecture practice, we have a responsibility to understand the role we play in greater systems, from planetary awareness to social relationships. In the midst of a global pandemic and growing unrest with the status quo, change is accelerated and the need to take a holistic approach to design is even more urgent.

At UNStudio, the experience of people and communities has always been an integral part of how we work. As we explored new methodologies and ways of thinking, we built a team that focuses on the connection between all aspects of the built environment, from technology to products to service design. We are now proud to launch UNSx, a multidisciplinary team that designs for the shared human experience. From design thinking to co-creation, and from computational design to BIM research, this new team brings together creative strategists, architects, product designers and sustainability consultants to join the UNStudio ecosystem in pushing innovation in the built environment.

In the upcoming weeks, we will share some of the themes and ideas that the UNSx team is currently exploring. With an approach rooted in experimentation and active engagement, UNSx poses critical questions and encourages lively debate around new ways of living and interacting with space. By working at the intersection of different disciplines and using a prototyping feedback loop to test ideas, UNSx believes in open innovation and learning from failure. We invite you to follow along and connect with us, as we share our vision for UNSx as it manifests through the themes of work, hospitality, retail and play.

Photo: Ashwin Vaswani