December 9, 2021

Innovative thinking workshop: Hal Far: a Maltese town for 2066

“Architects and engineers, both as professionals and citizens, have a responsibility to question and investigate the current processes of design thinking and methods of working that produce the Maltese environment. More importantly, they have a responsibility to use their skills, training, and intellectual stance to continually engage with the questions of contextuality and identity.”

This was part of the challenge that the final year students of the built environment were set for their Masters’ thesis project of designing a new town in Hal Far, Malta, for 2066.

The workshop was aimed at broadening the concept of innovation and creative thinking. It focussed on developing radically different design ideas for future implementation and not to be restricted in thought by current state-of-the-art. The workshop highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in developing anticipatory systems within which we as citizens will live and operate in the future. The workshop was led by Luis and Jeanette, co-founders of Bureau 105.

November 19, 2021

Periti Act to initiate modernisation of the profession

On Friday, the Kamra tal-Periti, in collaboration with the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects and SACES, organised a conference entitled The Renewal Agenda: Modernisation of the Profession. The event follows the unanimous approval by Parliament, earlier this year, of the new Periti Act: a historic milestone that marks the culmination of a 14 year-long wait.

The Council and the Ministry have now concluded the first tranche of subsidiary legislation necessary to bring several provisions of the act into force, and the transition from the old to the new Periti Act will begin in the coming weeks. This will initiate a long-awaited process of renewal of the profession, with far-reaching effects that will change the way it is structured, as well as the role of the Kamra, the way warrants are conferred, and new obligations on Periti.

Photos, videos, and content extracted from Kamra tal-Periti website

More information about the event

October 29, 2021

Perit Dr Jeanette Muñoz Abela was elected to the Executive Board of the European Council of Civil Engineers.

Perit Dr Jeanette Muñoz Abela was elected to the Executive Board of the European Council of Civil Engineers at the 73rd ECCE General Meeting held on 23rd October. 2021 Dr Muñoz Abela co-founder of Bureau 105 and council member of the Kamra tal-Periti (KTP) since 2016 where she acts as representative on the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE), Fédération Européenne d'Associations Nationales d'Ingénieurs (FEANI) and Inġiniera Malta in their General Assemblies as well as a member of the Union Internationale des Architects (UIA) Committee "International Women in Architecture".

She was also appointed as the Chair of the Permanent Committee on Engineering of the Kamra tal-Periti and is the national representative of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE).Dr Muñoz Abela is also a lecturer at the University of Malta within the Faculty for the Built Environment and sits on the University Senate (2019-2021), the Faculty Board (2019 – to date) and the Doctoral Committee (2019 – to date).

Full article - Times of Malta newspaper and Kamra tal-Periti

September 26, 2021

The art of asking the right questions

Jeanette Muñoz Abela co-founder of Bureau 105 was invited by Dr Gemma John host of the "Anthropology of the Built Environment Podcast" as part of the Anthropology Network Apply Club to talk about "The art of asking the right questions".

Norman Foster once stated that the secret to dealing with clients is “Listening [and] asking the right questions”.

But what are the right questions, today? Should we be asking different questions, and perhaps listening for different answers at a time of growing inequality and climate emergency? What is the role of interdisciplinary collaboration in enabling architects to do so?

Listen to the episode here

July 22, 2021

Portfolio review mentor 2021 D&AD

Our co-founder Luis Muñoz Jean Baptiste will be mentoring in this year’s "New Blood Digital Festival 2021 Portfolio Reviews" organized by D&AD. Luis believes that it is important to guide young designers through what can be a labyrinth of a profession.

New Blood Festival, aimed at supporting graduates as they emerge from study and make tentative steps into the professional creative industries.

The mission at D&AD as a not-for-profit design and advertising association is to bridge the gap between industry and education, uplift the next generation of talent and help you find the creative talent you need for your business.

2021 is the second year of New Blood Festival going digital, and they will be spotlighting university student showcases and end of year exhibitions, highlighting our portfolio picks as judged by industry creatives, as well as providing four days of talks and insights to help the emerging talent of this year as they embark on their first steps into the creative industry.

July 6, 2021

Not all superheroes wear capes.

You may have noticed that we launched our podcast ‘The Human Agenda a few weeks ago. We will be posting our conversations with our superheroes on Fridays – just in time for you to take some time for the weekend to think on what action you will be able to act upon!

The podcast is for everyone – that is why we called it ‘human’ – complex principles of how sustainability and regeneration will help us achieve wellbeing in various aspects of our lives explained simply… business models, education, art, culture, water and waste, engineering, architecture, urban planning, graphic design, communities, equality…

We are responding to questions posed to us from family, friends, and clients… the desire to change their lifestyles in an attempt to start transforming our environment – home, work and leisure spaces – but not knowing where to start.

We are not claiming that we will change the world – we sure would like to – but by instilling the mentality that things – especially design – could cost the same if done well or badly; why would you choose to do it badly?

Our superheroes may not be wearing capes, but they are pioneers in what they are doing, and they are an inspiration to listen to… well, at least we think so… hope you do too!

We would love to hear from you, feedback, comments, and suggestions for information that you would like to have. We are in this together – let us think and talk about making the world a better place, and if you repeat it enough the universe has a way of making it happen.

 

March 29, 2021

It is all about people…

It is all about people… and their wellbeing. We want to be happy and healthy. That is the aim of what we do. The question is how we go about this? What changes are we willing to make to be able to bring happiness and health in our lives?

There are three points that I would like to make today. The first is that people should be at the centre in all decision making; the second is that we need interdisciplinary design to be able to create awareness and communication to enable people to make a positive change; and the third is that once people know what makes them happy and healthy, they will be able to make the demand for these needs to be met.

So, let us start from the first: People. Taking a pure design perspective, there is no easy answer to this million-dollar question as to what and how something can be designed to make people happy and healthy. Is it a question of changing our built environment? Is it a question of changing the way we think about our environment? Our home? Our workplace? The products we buy? How these products are packed? How we dispose of these when we finish using them? Is our lifestyle a product of the visual communication we see all around us in our cities?. It has already been proven that these uncertainties have a toll on our physical and mental health.

It has already been proven that these uncertainties have a toll on our physical and mental health.

Referring specifically to our built (and unbuilt) environment, the design process needs to involve more people than just the urban planner, the architect, and the engineer (and the latter includes structural, mechanical, electrical engineers, etc.). The design process needs an interdisciplinary approach, and this is the second point I would like to make today. A holistic design should not only include all the disciplines mentioned above, but also psychologists, anthropologists, interior designers, graphic designers, economists, landscape specialists and any other professional, in addressing the fundamental understanding of how people interact with and within their environment, and how this effects their happiness and health. As Massimo Vignelli put it ‘Design is one’, and here we can interpret this as design being the sum of all the collaborative work of these professionals.

Let us put this into perspective and take a city or a town square as an example of a public open space – where life happens between buildings; so to speak. We need to ask ourselves – whom is this space for, and how will they use it. A people-centred approach would be fundamental here to understand the dynamics of the flows of people within the space, how much time they spend there and the reason for their visit. Should a square be car-centric? People-centric? Or both? Should the square just be paved? Should it have a playing field for children? Should it be an escape from an otherwise very small home where you have been quarantined? Is it where you will meet your friends? Or perhaps where you could sit to have a coffee from a nearby shop? We will not get the answers to the questions if we do not involve the people who will be directly affected by these decisions.

And have you realised that here we have mentioned many disciplines that through the design may impact your experience while in this square?! The more obvious ones again are the urban designer, architect or civil engineer. The landscape architect that will create and enhance your connection with nature. What about the graphic designer that has taken care of the visual communication which may include wayfinding and signage? Should you be distressed by the quantity of billboards, posters and other visual media that could plague a public square? And what about the products and their packing that are available from the shops with frontage on the square; not to mention the anthropologist and psychologists that have studied the human behaviour and the interaction between people. All these professionals are responsible to then take this information and create an effective visual, tactile, and auditory experience for all users of this public space.

The same principles may be extended to all aspects of our cities – built or unbuilt – green and blue.

All these professionals are responsible to then take this information and create an effective visual, tactile, and auditory experience for all users of this public space.

So human behaviour should really be the starting point for all design. And once people realise what makes them happy and healthy, then the demand (which is the third point) will trickle to all levels of society and economy. In the construction industry it could be the quality of our homes and work spaces being environmentally sustainable as a demand to developers; in industry it could be the quality of the packaging and how we can make this more sustainable as a demand to business owners; in employment it could be the social sustainability, including equity and equality just to mention a few, again as a demand to business owners; in our infrastructure and urban policies as a demand to authorities and decision makers.

Designers will therefore need to be agents to facilitate the change in mindset for people to demand that their lives include sustainable decisions to be made in favour of their happiness and health. Awareness, information, and communication through design should empower people to learn to help themselves and should enter their heart and not just their head. The individual’s discipline, desire, and determination can then cause an effective change to be made.

We all have the opportunity to make a difference in the world. In Hebrew there is a wonderful phrase ‘Tikkun Olam’ which may be translated as ‘to heal the world’. And what a world that would be! But acting alone is ineffective. Let us all be part of this ripple that will cause a butterfly effect on our wellbeing through acting sustainably in all aspects of our daily lives.

And I leave you with the final question: What are you ready to change to make yourself happier and healthier?

Keynote speech presented at the Women Economic Forum (WEF) Summit 2021 in Malta, organised by WICCI.

 

January 2, 2020

The home of Bureau 105

Our offices may be a nook, but there’s a very good reason for that. See, from the very moment we took over the premises located on Sir Antonio Micallef Street in Balzan, we wanted to create an intimate space bursting with creativity that was designed to give a boutique experience to every client who walks through our doors.

Seeing this venue take shape has been incredibly satisfying, particularly as it brought the whole Bureau 105 team together to ensure the space’s potential was maximised. This included letting more natural light in to keep the team energised throughout the day, creating a system of artificial lighting that helped them in their specific, daily tasks, and turning the bay window into a welcoming space where our clients could unwind before starting their journey with us.

Indeed, the aim of this space was to let creativity and ideas roam free between the different departments that work together on the various projects we take care of. But it is also designed to let the client feel and be part of the team themselves. After all, while our team is made up of specialists in the various fields that come together at Bureau 105, the client’s ideas are invaluable to our work on their project.

Now that the ergonomic chairs have arrived and the coffee machines have been installed, we are proud to say that the Bureau 105 office has officially been completed and is open. But, rather than being a new beginning, the office is actually a continuation of our studio’s ethos: a boutique experience that is tailor-made for the project at hand.

What we believe in

© Bureau 105  2021

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