As we are into Week 5 of this new normal year, we wanted to explore how Oxford Brookes students are managing with remote working, and to share any tips we might have. To kick us off, we have a series of beautiful drawings by Architits Studio.
Studio Work Space
Our first project explores the challenges of being removed from a studio atmosphere during the difficult deadline period and how it’s affected us all differently but how we have taken the time to learn how to adapt and not allow it to get in the way of our studies.
Having to adapt working in a new environment and having the flexibility to take up whatever space I required in the house was more tricky than it sounds. The balance between comfort and productivity was something I never achieved in the studio, however, the armchair in my living room seemed like the perfect balance. The coffee table next to me served as a “desk” and luckily the plug extension allowed me to keep on all my devices, although I do have to agree; having my legs up for so many hours didn’t seem as great when I was crying in pain from lack of blood circulation.
Adjusting to working in my bedroom alone was quite a stark contrast to the conversation filled, late nights we’re used to in the studio. A few months ago I would have never spent 8 hours a day at my desk but it’s crazy what a lockdown will do to you. The change of routine called for a complete change of bedroom layout and subsequently a fresh space to work in. It was quiet and at times more productive than usual but I would have given anything to be back in Oxford with my gals.
Completing second year from my childhood bedroom has been an interesting adjustment, from avoiding the tutors seeing my embarrassing backdrop over virtual tutorials to having no leg space under my desk due to piles of old school work. I miss the studio atmosphere we have at uni, it’s full of my favourite distractions (the people)
This room at home had quite a revamp whilst I was away at uni with 4 different speakers, a vinyl player, an amp and stereo it would appear I’m on the wrong course. However after removing the 29 guitars that resided behind me and replaced them with bags of materials, paper and all my hopes and dreams, I quickly settled into completing the year. This slightly chaotic set up of snacks, pens, trace and models, mixed in between multiple cables which don’t seem to connect to anything, became my ‘studio’ space. I was just missing the rest of the architits to join the all-nighters and midnight snack runs
My work space during lockdown has been quite the contrast to our studio space at uni. The first few weeks of quarantine I began working at my bedroom desk however I found that my room was often quite dark and I really didn’t enjoy working in there as much as I remembered. I eventually transferred my studio into the dining room where daylight was plentiful and close proximity to the kitchen for all the essentials snacks.
The design studio setup has been my dining table during the lockdown period, meaning the family had to eat in the kitchen. My backside has permanently imprinted the seat as I worked 5am-12am for deadlines, sitting alongside the fam who came and left for their 9-5 WFH jobs. It was loud and busy and full of healthy food but I missed the rest of the Architits and the regular trips to the colonnade.
7 months ago when today's reality of Covid-19 and lockdown was a concept we could have never imagined, this is what our studio desk looked like! Before lockdown we never expected to finish our second year outside of the studio, let alone at home. Our work environment was suddenly changed due to the pandemic, all-nighters started to not sound fun as we imagined ourselves working on an outdated dining table; it's not the same without the junk food and laughing about lack of sleep together. Before, our days were defined by strong team work, collaboration and socialization. Luckily technology allowed us to gain some of these characteristics back. Group Facetime crits, digital tutorials and group editable files were a few of the ways we found to deal with the current situation. Even though we understand nothing will ever replace the studio atmosphere we look forward to discovering ways to create and adapt to a new working environment.
We hope soon we can go back to sharing many all-nighters, 10pm giggles in the studio, colonnade snack runs and computer crashes together once again for our final year of Part I.
Architits is a female led design collective formed from a group of six 3rd year Oxford Brookes students. Since finishing for the summer we decided we wanted to begin Architits as a platform from which we could share a project of our own, reacting to the current pandemic and providing future solutions to contemporary issues. Our aim has always been to come together despite the circumstances and use social media to reach out and collaborate with the perspectives of students from all around the globe, who are learning to become our world's next designers.
We aspire to be a voice for the student body and provide an overall positive outlook, encouraging fellow students to join us in exploring the necessary solutions through design that our generation will prepare to provide. We are still at the beginning stages and accepting that our ideas and concepts will continue to grow and change as we learn more over time.
OSA is providing Architits with a new platform from which we can directly interact with Oxford School of Architecture students, we hope to promote a sense of normality and studio culture through our column while physically separated from one another.
By Zanna Krzyzanowska, OSA Magazine