Studio Dror announced yesterday that its founder Dror Benshetrit will be joining The We Company, the parent company of coworking startup WeWork. Benshetrit said in an email that he would be joining the company "as co-founder of its future cities initiative." Quartz reported that The We Company's smart cities initiative will be led by former Google executive Di-Ann Eisnor and will "help address problems spurred by globalization, urbanization, and climate change." According to Dror, the two will "build a team of engineers, architects, data scientists, and biologists who will work to fuse nature, design, technology, and community in our cities in order to measurably improve the lives of citizens." The We Company encompasses a handful of companies, including WeWork, WeLive, a co-living company, and WeGrow, an education arm. Studio Dror was founded 17 years ago and is known for a variety of work, including furniture, interiors, and speculative architecture projects.
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New York based Studio Dror claims their proposal for a public space in Seoul acts as a 21st century platform for public self expression on an individual and community level. Their submission is part of the Sejong-daero Historic Cultural Space Design Competition which is seeking projects to occupy the former site of Seoul’s National Tax Service Building. The project seeks to integrate the surrounding context with the cultural history of the site by creating a meaningful and accessible public resource that touches on private and public experiences. This is achieved via the implementation of raised platforms that offering sweeping views of the area, juxtaposed by lower down areas which offer a much more enclosed space. Eager to amplify the notion of expression at this level however, Studio Dror has included a public stage with in the space creating an amphitheater that also, according to the practice, "doubles as a recording studio to document and maximize exposure." This is aided by the surrounding walls that encapsulate the space and act as an acoustic device. The square will be open 24 hours a day, all year round allowing people to express themselves whenever they want and for all voices to be heard. Recognizing the popular contemporary digital and online formats of expression, a digital archive will be formed, creating an "ever-growing oral history project: an invaluable resource for future generations and a powerful, 21st-century strategy for memorializing the site."