Society is not undergoing radical change since the collapse of the financial markets; it has already changed. There are two things that makes the time we live in different. There is an increase in collaboration and communication; there is no economy (or indeed architecture) without social exchange.
This studio proposes that architecture can help construct this new society of exchange through designing a new twenty-first century civic typology: the maker lab — a place for hackers, social entrepreneurs, rapid-prototypers, micro manufacturers, open designers, architects. Students will combine the program of entrepreneurial exchange within the building with the wider urban context and it is this broader context that grounds the studio — this is the social exchange.