The Tree X Office, a wooden deck with a desk built around a large tree. Leaves and other trees surround the office.

Instructor: Marcel de Lange

Spring 2016


Students from the ENVD program participating in their praxis semester will design and build a prototype of a tree office / co- working space. The project is funded and vetted through the Museum of Contemporary Arts and Eco Arts. The Tree X office should be fully functional, operational by the end of the Spring Semester and should be open for the duration of summer and early fall. The Tree X office aims to accomplish the following:

  • To create a new kind of public space that inspires, co-working, collaboration, creativity and innovation

  • The creation of more public space (as opposed to the privatization of public space).

  • The Tree X office aims to model new thinking and bigger ideas about how we redesign our relationship to natural

    systems and recognizes and celebrates existing organizations/activities in Boulder (including environmental and social

    justice groups)

  • The Tree X office could/should be designed so that it can be easily replicable via a kit, email-able files, and/or other

    means to be installed in the future at other locations in Boulder, CU, Boulder County, and/or the other 99 Rockefeller Resilient Cities worldwide, etc.

About the Course:

This course is a design fabricate/build class of small to medium scale that encompasses a total, immersive experience around delivering a community based project from design to actually fabricating and building.

Students in the course will be dealing with the following topics; (environmental) design and design thinking, making, fabrication strategies ( digital and analogue ) interactions with “clients”, government and bureaucracies ( presentation, permits, risk management ) society ( people, public ) and nature ( tree, landscape ). Additionally students will be exposed to actual estimating, timelines, lead-times, budgets and much more. 

Seminar Description:View of the wall around the back side of the Tree X Office with light shining through a plastic fence illuminating the green color.

Architecture + Design is an ever-changing profession that (r)evolves around technologies, trends, social systems and cultural developments. What has driven the profession for centuries (locale, proportion, divinity, class and classic orders) has currently taken a different role in the design process and has been substituted (in many cases) by explorations in the field of material and computer science combined with a revolution in digital fabrication/design. This has led to a quickly saturating landscape of vibrant new architectural highlights where one project is flashier, sexier and more undulating than the next one.

This course teaches the student fundamental ideas, methods and strategies dealing with digital design and fabrication. DD+DF is starting to become a growing part of the architectural design practice and allows designers to critically address the way we express ourselves and how things are being build. Especially the building part is very promising and could reshape the way we think about design and building. Additionally this seminar serves as a vehicle to deliver the prototypes and actual building components of the Tree X Office structure, as part of the PRAXIS design build course.