46: No Sweat F/W 2018


This issue of Harvard Design Magazine is about the design of work and the work of design. “No Sweat” challenges designers to speculate on the spaces of work in an accelerated future, and to imagine a world in which a novel ethics of labor can emerge. What scenarios and spaces can we imagine for the next generation of work? How can we anticipate and formulate work environments and experiences that are productive, humane, and ecologically responsible?

From corner office to kitchen sink, from building site to factory floor, from cubicle to car to coffee shop, work shapes our lives and physical world. Whether we produce objects, generate ideas, manage processes, or perform services, work is a hybrid of dedication and alienation, power and oppression. As work spaces morph to integrate machines that mimic, assist, or complement human abilities, the way we perform work, and the way we feel about it, change too.

To work (to put forth effort) and the work (that effort, or the result it generates) are sources of pride and shame, fulfillment and drudgery. As many jobs become obsolete, and as populations are displaced under the pressures of climate change and political turmoil, the boundaries of the workplace are shifting in space and time. Though some claim that a world without work is on the horizon, “labor-saving” innovations are enmeshed with human exploitation, and housework and care work remain at the crux of persistent inequalities.

Paradoxically, the more that work, as we once understood it, appears to be receding, the more omnipresent and ambiguous it becomes. The workplace is everywhere—or is it nowhere?

Table of Contents

Editors' Letter

Labor Pains

Jennifer Sigler


A Small Key, Rotating Along Its Axis

Georgina Voss

Community and the Disavowed Labor of “Participation”

Andrew Herscher

Crisis of Work

Diann Bauer

Expulsion as Liberal Democratic Architecture

Gabrielle E. Clark

Life, Autocompleted

John May

Notes on Eye Tracking

Jonathan Crary

Porn, Work, Place: Beyond the (Set) Shop Floor

Heather Berg

The Business of Pleasure at the Berrics

Jonathan Olivares

The Inches

adrienne maree brown


Agricultural Platforms

Grace Abou Jaoude, Marten Kuijpers, Victor Muñoz Sanz

Almost a City: The Gaeseong Industrial District

Doojin Hwang

Alone like the Horn of a Rhino: Reproduction, Affective Labor, and the Contemporary Boarding House in South Korea

Maria Shéhérazade Giudici

Labor and Work in Architecture

Pier Vittorio Aureli

Planetary Mine as an Archaeology of Labor Futures

Martín Arboleda

Refusal after Refusal

Adjustments Agency

Returns on the City: Detroit and the Design of Late Fordism

Douglas Spencer

The Home at Work: A Genealogy of Housing for the Laboring Classes


The Incorporation of Dissent: Bürolandschaft’s Legacy

Andreas Rumpfhuber

The Incubator Incubator, the Administration of Leaky Bodies, and Other Labor Pains

feminist architecture collaborative

The Missing Unions of Architectural Labor

Peggy Deamer

Work as the Struggle against Entropy in the Anthropocene

Bernard Stiegler

Worlds without Work: From Homo Ludens to UBI Urbanism

Niklas Maak


Designing at Knee Level

Greg Lynn, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Mariana Ibañez

Picketing and Pruning

Dolores Huerta, Irene Figueroa-Ortiz

Pretending to Work

Benedict Clouette, David Graeber


To Manifest

Feminist Art and Architecture Collaborative


A Fine Mess

Miya Tokumitsu

Belief and Baked Earth

Laurie Parsons

Cards on Cords

Emily King

End of the Line?

Justin D. Stern

Kitchens for Wages

Anna Puigjaner

Missed Connections in Bogotá, or Domestic Workers’ Commutes

Valentina Montoya Robledo

Model Building

Reto Geiser

No Free Rides

Alice Bucknell

On the Road to Dagenham

Brendan Cormier

Other Coworkers: Animals in the Workplace

Ned Dodington

Renewing the Model Factory

Nina Rappaport

The New Opacity

J. Frano Violich

Willie Wiredhand: Personal Electrical Assistant

Abby Spinak


Concrete as Weapon

Sérgio Ferro with Silke Kapp, Katie Lloyd Thomas, and João Marcos de Almeida Lopes


“If You Don’t Build Anything, You Don’t Exist”: Cementing the Future of Africatown in Seattle

Sara Zewde

Around the World in Six Coworking Spaces

Alessandra Ponte, Ana Rascovsky, Fig Projects, Merve Bedir, Sean O'Toole, Shumi Bose

Labor Utopia Post-Occupation

Florian Idenburg, Iwan Baan

Recasting Figures: Choreographies of Maintenance

Hilary Sample

Rereading Studs Terkel’s Working (1972)

Saima Akhtar


Editor in Chief
Jennifer Sigler

Deputy Editor
Leah Whitman-Salkin

Production Manager
Meghan Ryan Sandberg

Creative Direction & Design
Jiminie Ha & Immanuel Yang
With Projects, Inc.

Editorial Board
Eve Blau, Neil Brenner, Toni Griffin, Mark Lee, Jeffrey Schnapp, Abby Spinak

Editorial Contributors
FIG Projects

Olivia Casa, Elizabeth Kugler

Rebecca McNamara

Michelle Benoit, Gina Ciancone, Linda Just

AS Printon Trükikoda, Tallinn, Estonia