PinkCloud is an architecture collective founded in Copenhagen by four international designers using architecture as a catalyst for social development. We fabricate designs that effectively engage communities in a world of increasingly divided political spheres and fragmented interest groups. We view environmental context as a crucial medium for contemporary relevance and creative experimentation. PinkCloud seeks to frame architecture not merely as a representation of an abstract ideology, but as a functional, flexible political agency. Rejecting architecture as a pursuit of grand dreams and utopias, our architecture seeks to harness the common-place and the banal, utilizing it as a foundation to engage people. We strongly believe in ingenuity and innovative design as effective media for solving problems, framing debates, and engaging physical and virtual communities.
CREATIVE COMMONS LICENCE
BASED ON WORK AT WWW.PINKCLOUD.DK
WHERE IS PINKCLOUD.DK?
The disappearance of drafting boards in studio has marked the end of having a “fixed” place for design and work. With the advent of personal portable computers and the immense growth in cloud computer data sharing, the “cloud” has emerged as the most critical and resilient form of infrastructure that enables us to practice. It is no surprise that a modern studio today can essentially require only two features: flat surfaces for our laptops and a stable WI-FI connection. Traditional spaces for work now serve as temporary refuge to our corporeal selves.
In many cases of contemporary designs, due to their complexity in geometry and scale, exist much more harmoniously and comfortably in the digital realm. The “cloud” encourages multiple designers to contribute to a design with an equal level of control and has the potential to provide an unprecedented form of democratic decision making. In conventional working environments, decisions and changes are often initiated and presented by individuals; however in the “cloud”, the impossibility to track individual changes, standardized graphics user interface of the applications and overall unbiased representation of the work combine to provide an additional veil of anonymity and dilutes authorship. Communication and critique through modification of a digital model, a drawing, or diagrams, convey fluently in the “cloud”. Rejecting the counter-intuitive process of a “master sketch”, PINKCLOUD.DK encourages the design solution to morph and emerge collectively throughout the network of designers.
Designing and working across multiple time zones is also a novel experience and the “cloud” has provided the tools for an extremely streamlined working environment even for amateur practitioners. During crunch periods, with approximately 6 hours of time difference ahead, collaborators in Europe worked while Americans sleep; embracing time difference can improve production efficiency. Working in the “cloud” could be surprisingly time efficient.
We have long past the era of “isms”, architectural styles or a visionary sketch where the architect alone acts as the master builder. Even as students, we now have unprecedented opportunities for collaboration and decision making. Whether the “cloud” is a testament on the changing nature of the practice of architecture, it is evident that our society shifts towards crowd sourcing and democratic decision making.
Using architecture as a catalyst for social development, PINKCLOUD.DK collaborators in Berlin/Germany, New York/USA and Toronto/Canada draw ideas from existing problems in society and generate designs that engage communities. Constantly shifting between local and global perspectives, we see environmental context as a crucial medium in connecting with the global public. There is no doubt that at times it is difficult to collaborate without any physical contact, but through practice of practicing in the “placeless”, development a strong mutual trust in our individual skills, expertise and working habits, our work has successfully reached a global audience in a world of increasing political divide and fragmented ideals. Operating completely in the “placeless”, we have evolved to be guerrilla and cloudlike: think globally- produce anywhere- and anytime.
WHO IS FLOATING YOUR WAY?
NORTH AMERICA / CANADA / TORONTO
Born in Hong Kong, Leon Lai is completing his graduate degree of architecture at University of Toronto, Canada. He has worked for Henning Larsen Architects (Copenhagen), Kohn Pedersen Fox (New York) and Giannone Petricone Associates (Toronto).
Currently he is working with Lateral Office (Toronto) in researching and developing a new model of Canadian Arctic housing for the 2014 Venice Biennale. Believing architecture is a catalyst for social change, Leon aims to tie simple and engaging designs to basic operations of society. Leon is both a founder and designer at Pinkcloud.DK.
EUROPE / GERMANY / BERLIN
Nico Schlapps studied architecture at the TU-BS University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology in Germany where he graduated with high honors in 2013. His final year project lead to a scholarship by the Helmut Hentrich Foundation which recognizes outstanding final year projects in the field of architecture.
While Nico studied he was working for several design institutes at TU-BS. In 2006 he began teaching groups of 20-30 students in Medial Design Processes at the IMD – “Insitute for Media and Design”, comprising workshops which were exhibited publically in 2009 and 2010. At the IEB – “Institute for Building Design”, Nico was tutoring students in concept finding, model building, drawing, layout and presentation. Nico also worked for the IEX – “Insitute for Experimental Design”, tutoring students in conceptual building design, layout and model building.
Nico prefers to ignore boundaries and hierarchies, working instead with typography, industrial design, photography, graphics, arts, psychology, economy and sociology to research and develop architectural concepts and designs. Strongly advocating team-working and cloud-thinking, Nico values creation above the creator.
NORTH AMERICA / UNITED STATES / NEW YORK CITY
Eric Tan is the founding partner of PinkCloud.dk and a designer focused on developing projects that explores the adjacencies found between urban planning, sociology, the internet, and space. He has been named a “Young Gun” by Curbed real estate site, been included in McGraw Hill Architecture magazine’s “Top 20 Under 40″, in addition to having his work exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Eric’s design background contains a diverse array of award-winning work encompassing urban planning, architecture, graphic design, and event planning. Eric is an active contributor to contemporary design discourse, his project’s have been extensively published nationally and internationally. Through intensive experimentation, Eric seeks to develop design solutions which engage and exploit the ever-changing political climate of today’s urban environments.
Eric has lead three research teams at Gensler New York in addition to working for SOM+CASE, Terreform1, and Henning Larsen Architects. Eric Tan is a graduate of Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and Columbia University GSAPP.
EUROPE / GERMANY / BRAUNSCHWEIG
Fabian studies architecture at the TUBS Technical University Braunschweig in Germany. He works for the Institute for Experimental Design IEX at TUBS, tutoring students in conceptual building design, layout and model building. He collaborated with PINKCLOUD.DK on a couple of projects like: FLIP/CITY Shanghai 2012, DT.HAUS.JP Tokyo 2011 and the EXPLOSÉE workshop and exhibition in Braunschweig 2010. In 2012 Fabian joined pinkcloud.dk
COLLABORATORS AND FRIENDS
Kate Lisi studies architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Kate’s previous experiences working with MOS, Politecnico di Torino, CASE+SOM, and Acconci Studio include a residency at MoMA PS1 and work shown in MoMA, Vice Creators Project, and the Venice Biennale. Kate is interested in pushing the boundaries of technological and analog processes to develop fresh, socially responsible ideas for today’s most pressing design problems. By tackling design challenges through extensive research, technical knowledge, and an open-minded approach, Kate believes in the power of design as a medium for social development.
Sarah Roberts studied architecture at UC-Berkeley, California Polytechnic University, and Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Rome. While working for SAAT in San Francisco and Henning Larsen Architects in Copenhagen, Sarah developed a strong interest in visual communication, underground dwellings, and treehouses. Sarah believes that the most successful built environments are chronically synchronized with their eternally-evolving environment. Using the studio as a laboratory for the crosspollination of architecture, technology, and art, Sarah aims for functionality, flexibility, and vivid aesthetics. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys gummy candy, doodling, and watering her plants. As a founding partner Sarah worked on several projects and did PR from 2011-2012.
CONTRIBUTORS AND FRIENDS
AERA (ALEPH MUSIC)
Aera contributed songs that we used for our videos. Visit alephmusic.net to listen to his music and get information about himself, his label and his past, present and future releases.