The Office of Human Resources (OHR) is a critical spatial practice operating within the instability of capitalism. We use spatial work in various forms to postulate and question the politics of space, identity, colonial history, and extractive economy to get closer to a new collective future.
Largely started by Robert Owens and Charles Babbage in the late 18th century, the field of human resources is a product of early industrial capitalism. It began with a focus on labor unions and the relationship between quality of life and productivity. However, its ubiquitous current form is vague and often serves as a bureaucratic nightmare. So in an era of technologically advanced capitalism, what does it mean to recruit, train, manage, compensate, yet comply as workers? When western forms of colonization established labor as a way to rationalize violence, how can we deconstruct the legality of labor to immaterial forms such as body and emotions? As precariats, can we combat social inequity while adapting to new systems in flux? OHR operates within this realm of societal questions and provocations.
/// OHR is currently directed by Stephanie Kyuyoung Lee.
image: still from Playtime (1967), Jacques Tati.
Stephanie is a designer and researcher based in New York City. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Studio Art with high distinction from Wesleyan University. She completed her Master of Architecture from Rice University where she was awarded the Morris R. Pitman Fellowship, Margaret Everson-Fossi Award, Mary Ellen Hale Lovett Fellowship, and Brett Michael Detamore Research Grant for Intellectual Studies. She gained professional experience from Shigeru Ban Architects in Japan; OPEN Architecture in China; and managed exhibitions, and fabrication for the artist Lee Bul, among others. She currently collaborates with Carlo Ratti Associati in New York, and Turin, Italy. She is a member of the Architecture Lobby (NY) and the 2020 Fellow for the Future Architecture Platform.
Her writings and past collaborations have been featured in ArchDaily, Architizer, Architectural Record, Design Boom, The Japan Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times, Hyperallergic, Fast Company, The Funambulist Magazine and PLAT 6.0. She has been invited as a design critic and lecturer at several institutions including Parsons School of Design, Columbia University, Rice University, and the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana
image: Hugo Gernsback, The isolator (1925)