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Research

  • Outdoor Office
  • GRANTEE
    Jonathan Olivares
    GRANT YEAR
    2010

Jonathan Olivares Design Research, Outdoor conference room (Rendering), 2010, Boston. Courtesy of the artist.

The Outdoor Office is a research and development project that aims to prototype an experimental outdoor workplace for academic, corporate, and public environments. The environmental and economic advantages of working outdoors are clear: temperature and lighting control account for the majority of energy consumption in offices and schools, but are unnecessary during any pleasant day outdoors. Social factors also make the Outdoor Office a timely endeavor since portable digital tools allow us to work virtually anywhere, and the democratic and collaborative work patterns in today's offices and schools thrive under informal conditions. Research on contemporary work behavior, and the challenges of working outdoors will inform the design of an appropriate open shelter and its contained furnishings. Once designed, the Outdoor Office will be communicated through exhibits and publications, and used to encourage universities and businesses to bring their work outdoors.

Jonathan Olivares (Boston, 1981) graduated from Pratt Institute's Industrial Design Program in 2004 and worked for Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design in Munich. Returning to Boston in 2006, he founded Jonathan Olivares Design Research, an office specializing in furniture, product, lighting, interior, and exhibition design as well as design- focused research and writing. The office's clients include manufacturers of design such as Knoll Inc., Danese Milano, Driade, and Artemide. Olivares's products question conventional archetypes and define a culture of function that is specific for today's social activities and technology. His writing on design has appeared in magazines Domus, Abitare, and Dwell. In March of 2011, Phaidon Press will publish his first book A Taxonomy of Office Chairs. Olivares has been a guest professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École cantonale d'art de Lausanne, and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, and he has been a guest critic at Cranbrook Academy of Art and at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. JODR employs three industrial designers and two research assistants.