Some Place
Expanding the limits of practice
Vienna, AT; New York, US

Some Place Studio is an architectural design studio interested in the production of physical and virtual spaces. Their practice is defined by an expansive interest in contemporary issues through the lens of architectural discourse and technology. Founded by Bika Rebek and Daniel Prost, Some Place studio works within the virtual realm,  seeking collaboration, flexibility and diversity in our work, our partners and clients.

 

A party in Venice 

We met at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna as students but we were in different studios and never really worked together at the time. We did party together though and that's how you really get to know someone on a deeper level! After graduating, Bika moved to New York City and Daniel moved to Shanghai. Years later we met again at the Venice Biennale and soon started to work on some projects together - over the years we realised that we were really compatible and complimented each other so we made it official and started Some Place Studio together. The name reflects our international outlook and the idea that we can work from anywhere yet have a strong connection to particular places. 

 

Tough negotiations

Our first building was a very difficult undertaking for us and we had a hard time convincing the clients of our ideas. They kept rebuking the most obvious ideas to us and it sometimes felt more like a battle than a collaboration. We were stubborn and convinced of our ideas. It was a special moment for us when the clients explained the very same built ideas back to us at the opening as if it was always their own idea altogether. That's how you know you did a good job. 

 

Working remotely before it was the new normal

Since we are based on different continents our routine happens online - we use slack and other communication tools to chat throughout the day. Because of the time difference we have a few hours of overlap but we also have focused time when people in other time-zones are asleep. We generally don’t work late or on weekends because we believe that a healthy work life balance is extremely important. 

 

Defining a long term attitude

Our studio space is really a laptop and more recently virtual reality. We have headsets and sometimes meet in VR to break up the monotony of sitting in front of the computer because it allows for a direct evaluation and interaction with spaces we design. Both partners also teach, so our time is split between our university environments, working from home or at airports. We also like renting desks in co-working spaces that host a variety of professions, as we get inspired by working in these mixed environments and often end up collaborating with other people. It is hard to predict exactly at this point but we can imagine that this might be a long term solution and attitude for us.

 

Expanding the limits of practice

When we started the studio we decided to have a proactive practice - instead of doing competitions or waiting for someone to commission us we would actively propose and seek out projects. In that sense we are more in control of the process and our clients. 

Perhaps the biggest difference is now how differently we are working than generations before us. When we started we definitely thought that we would set up a permanent office space and have local, long term employees. Another aspect that is very different is how expansive our practice has become - it includes teaching, writing, lecturing, designing virtual reality space, hosting events, curating exhibitions and more. It feels like we will never stop learning and never get bored with it so that’s exciting to us. 

 

Tackling a rapidly evolving virtual reality

Our biggest challenge at the moment is how to stay connected in this increasingly virtual world. Working remotely we are interested in developing techniques and tools for connection and empathy. We believe that some of the changes we are currently facing are here to stay and some of them have potential and could even prove beneficial - having flexible working hours and being able to work remotely when so desired for example. As an office we want to think throughout the consequences and possibilities within architectural design and education in particular. 



SPS team pic Bika Sibila Rebek

DSC0189 Bika Sibila Rebek

DSC1806 Bika Sibila Rebek

Photography Courtesy of Some Place

Photo04 Simon Oberhofer Bika Sibila Rebek

Photography Simon Oberhofer






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