Office Aesthetics: Labor and Gender in the Contemporary Workplace

Paola Jalili

116 pp

210 x 297 mm 

MA thesis - Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art, Aalto University 

Espoo, Finland 2019

Office Aesthetics is a study about contemporary labor and working spaces, and its visual representations. I use the term “office aesthetics” to describe the visual homogeneity of the architecture, interior and industrial design, furnishings and supplies found in many offices around the globe. This thesis introduces this term and presents, briefly, the history of the office, an analysis of the main concepts that organize the contemporary workplace (gender, race, class, and sexual orientation), and a reflection on my own experiences working in such spaces. The text then delves into a more specific study of contemporary office spaces that I believe best reflect some of the main problematics of work and labor today, and touches upon topics such as post-work utopias, Universal Basic Income, care and immaterial labor, and refusal of work. 

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