Process architectures: a historical perspective on organizing work by architectural means
Around 1880, a new architectural concept evolves: the spatial layouts of functional buildings are increasingly being seen in interdependency with the workflows taking place within them. In my talk based on my PhD-project, I reconstruct a typology of architectural constellations through which work processes are architecturally implemented and flows of objects as well as humans facilitated within late 19th century industrial, corporate, and public buildings. Thereby, people and objects are architecturally treated the same. Whether it be the architectural handling of railway travelers at the station, of parcels at the post-office, or of cattle in the slaughterhouse, the main goal is to translate the logic of the underlying workflow into an architectural arrangement in order to provide for smoothly running facilities. Within the production paradigm of the nineteenth century, the phenomenon of architecturally inducing human and non-human circulations is bound to economic efficiency, which is not only seen in the productivity of human bodies but also in the productivity of architectural structures.