Office 2024

Color ⭛ # Category ⭛ Notes ⭛ Info ⭛
1 Practice Why we make things Architecture is a gradual process, to bastardize a Steve Reich quote. Whatever progress is made happens slowly and through many projects. So we approach similar problems over and over. Maybe that’s why most of our favorite architects are dead — not because they’re better — but because you can see how their work plays out in series of patterns or how they unfold over long periods of time.

Our work often starts with traditional structures — building systems, representational modes, optical properties — and reworks their underlying assumptions to make form. You could call it a derivative practice. This is not meant in a self-deprecating way, but in the sense that we are interested in drawing off or changing course from past constructs. The practice is an exercise that brings out habits for doing this.

Sometimes the projects are buildings, sometimes they’re not. An intermedial approach has the potential to amplify architecture’s ability to be both popular and subversive. The limits of film, installation, music, teaching, and building have been productive in finding different audiences and exploring architecture at different depths.

JaJa Co is an independent architecture practice led by Michelle JaJa Chang. The office was founded in 2014 after Chang worked on a range of residential, commercial, and cultural buildings for offices in New York, Boston, and San Francisco. Outside of the office, she teaches architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Previous JaJa Co employees include Adrea Piazza, Aggie Fielding, Drew Heller, Mark Bavoso, Nima Shariat, Sam Sheffer, Samantha Vasseur, Jacqueline Wong, Taylor Halamka, Adam Strobel, Morgan Starkey, Toshiki Niimi, Jack Murphy, Shinji Miyajima, Sidian Tu, George Hewitt, Stephanie Lee, Amelia Hazinski, and Hannah Perrino.
2 Approach How to make something out of nothing
  • Popular reference + obscure reference
  • Buildings = ideas
  • Construction materials > craft materials
  • Everyday materials > precious materials
  • Screws > nails
  • Wood, metal > plastics
  • Tacky glue > Sobo > Elmer’s
  • Alvin double-sided tape > 3M
  • Colored paper > printed paper
  • Contrast color (blue & red, dark purple & light yellow) > contrast non-color (black & white)
  • No dusty rose, millennial pink unless it’s a standard building material color (e.g. batt insulation pink)
  • Reference industry standards (Graphic Standards, Neufert, Building Code) often
3 External Links Who we make things with Selected press: Texas Architects, Architectural League of NY, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017, MOCA

Recent collaborators: Andrew Holder of the LADG, First Office, David Orkand, Ajay Manthripragada, Cobalt Office, Jia Gu of Materials & Applications, Tag Christof, Sarah Hearne, Bob Dornberger, Michael Osman, Neil Denari, Rudabeh Pakravan of Sidell Pakravan,...

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