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Similarly, gaming has been embraced not so much as a cornerstone of inhabitation and relation, but rather as a growing industry around creative labor, and as a useful tool for managing the decisions of the many stakeholders involved in the development of urban areas. If in New Babylon there was only play, the architecture of the Netherlands could well be seen as its counterpart. A comprehensive architecture of labor, where city gaming has increasingly been employed to facilitate urban development and organizational processes, is illustrated here in the work of architect and founder of Play the City Ekim Tan. Beyond city games, factories, offices, and productive spaces, traditional recreation areas such as parks are also a result and site of intensive human labor. Amsterdamse Bos—among the largest city parks in Europe—for instance, was created from scratch with a twofold ambition: to respond to the lack of nature in Amsterdam and the high unemployment of the time. Between 1934 and 1940 more than 20,000 people were employed in forestation efforts as part of a work relief program.

The domestic space is not exempt from labor’s sprawl. The bed, in the research of architecture historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina, is rendered as a unique horizontal architecture in the age of social media, a contemporary workspace transforming labor. Colomina takes us on a journey through a variety of spaces and times, from bed to bed, starting at Room 902 of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel, the site of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous Bed-In for Peace, held from March 25 to 31, 1969. More Bed-Ins would follow, in which Lennon and Ono attacked the society of achievement: “Work is a relative word you know. Work is pleasure,” Lennon argued. “I hate that kind of concept because it is ruining the whole society, that is; achievement and result… But that is all hypocrisy. They don’t have to have a result. They don’t have to achieve anything… They don’t have to work hard. Why do you have to work hard?” continued Ono, “It’s an achievement to enjoy.” Yet by conceiving their honeymoon bed as a workspace where they would invite press and communicate with a global audience every day between 9am and 9pm, John Lennon and Yoko Ono also challenged the distinction between work and leisure. They “anticipated the working bed of today,” Colomina stresses, that is, the scattered, pillowy office from which professionals regularly work, assisted by communication technologies and a growing digital infrastructure.

By reflecting on this spectrum of spaces and theoretical viewpoints, Work, Body, Leisure seeks to offer visions that could be deployed in the reshaping of contemporary and future labor structures, and ultimately, our capacity to redesign them according to a different set of ethical principles. Published in conjunction with the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, this book aims to foster new forms of creativity and responsibility within the architectural field in response to emerging technologies of automation, and also to imagine spatial configurations, living conditions, and notions of architecture itself that could engender disruptive changes in our current Cartesian landscape designed for the exploitation of all bodies.

Marina Otero Verzier
Katía Truijen
Amal Alhaag, Beatriz Colomina, Marten Kuijpers, Victor Muñoz Sanz, Simone C. Niquille, Mark Wigley
Jane Chew and Matthew Stewart, Northscapes Collective (Hamed Khosravi, Taneha K. Bacchin and Filippo laFleur), Noam Toran, Giuditta Vendrame, Paolo Pattelli, Liam Young.
Raphael Coutin, Marina Otero Verzier
Hans Gremmen
Christiane Bosman, Eveline Mulckhuyse
Simone C. Niquille
Nick Axel
Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science Creative Industries Fund NL Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Rome, Italy

With the title WORK, BODY, LEISURE the 2018 Dutch Pavilion addresses the spatial configurations, living conditions, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive changes in labor ethos and conditions.