The Open Workshop
The Open Workshop is an architectural urbanism practice that focuses on the relationship between collective form and territory. Specifically, the firm is interested in the agency of form to impact political, economic, and ecological systems. Using a trans-scalar approach to design research, the office straddles the line between permanence and ephemerality, control and choice, legibility and illegibility, the individual and collective, determinacy and indeterminacy, as well as figure and field. Its name is a reference to Umberto Eco’s 1962 treatise The Open Work; its goal is to evolve Eco’s concept into architecture by expanding the subject to include the pluralistic public realm and the transforming environmental context. The work of the office has been exhibited widely, most notably in the 2021 Venice Biennale, the 2019 Seoul Biennale, Documenta 14, the 2017 Seoul Biennale, and the 2016 Lisbon Triennale. The office has received numerous awards including the Architectural League Prize’s Young Architects distinction, the Emerging Leaders award from DesignIntelligence, and the Canadian Prix de Rome. The office published a monograph entitled New Investigations in Collective Form (Actar/ CCA Architecture Books) in 2019, capturing the first five years of the practice. The Open Workshop is directed by Neeraj Bhatia with associate Cesar Lopez.