Projects

Research

Publications

Authored Texts

Media

Information

Toronto

11 Cavalry Trail
Markham, ON
L3R 9H1 Canada

San Francisco

2830 20th Street, #208
San Francisco, CA, 94110

The Open Workshop is a multidisciplinary design workshop focused on critically re-examining the concept of an open work, first posited by Umberto Eco in 1962. With expertise ranging from architecture to urban design, The Open Workshop uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide innovative, project-specific design solutions. Recognized for its design-research, the office has a record of complex projects that engage multiple systems and stakeholders.

The office has garnered recognition through international competitions, exhibitions, and publications that focus on how design-research can renegotiate the relationship between architecture and its environment. The firm’s approach relies on transcalar design techniques that find opportunities to holistically integrate environmental, political, economic and social factors. The Open Workshop is a licensed architectural practice in the State of California, USA and the Province of Ontario, Canada (OAA).

Leadership

Neeraj Bhatia
Founding Principal

Cesar A. Lopez
Associate + Representation Lead

Bios

NEERAJ BHATIA is a licensed architect and urban designer whose work resides at the intersection of politics and architecture. Neeraj is founder of THE OPEN WORKSHOP, a transcalar design-research office examining the negotiation between architecture, territory, and collectivity. Select distinctions include the Architectural League Young Architects Prize, Emerging Leaders Award from Design Intelligence, and the Canadian Prix de Rome. He is an Associate Professor at the California College of the Arts where he also Directs the urbanism research lab, the Urban Works Agency. Bhatia has also held teaching positions at UC Berkeley (as the visiting Esherick Professor), UT Arlington (as the visiting Ralph Hawkins Professor), Cornell University, Rice University (As the Wortham Fellow), and the University of Toronto. He is co-editor of books Bracket [Takes Action], The Petropolis of Tomorrow, Bracket [Goes Soft], Arium: Weather + Architecture, and co-author of Pamphlet Architecture 30: Coupling — Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism and New Investigations in Collective Form. Neeraj has a Master degree in Architecture and Urbanism from MIT where he was studying on a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo.

CESAR A. LOPEZ is a design researcher who draws from his experiences growing up in the United States-Mexico border region to explore the entanglements between architecture, territory, and the politics that dictate them. Cesar is an associate and representation lead at THE OPEN WORKSHOP, where his primary focus is developing the office's representational project, which aims to frame collateral populations and environments that often go unheard in the discipline. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico, School of Architecture + Planning, where he teaches studios on territorial typologies and seminars on representation as a political tool. Cesar taught architectural design studios, representation courses, and workshops at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design. In 2018, he participated in the Resilience by Design - Bay Area Challenge as the Resilient Design Research Fellow. His writings, drawings, and research have been published in Bracket [Takes Action], Pidgin, Momentum Magazine, Places Journal, and the Art Journal. Cesar received his Master in Architecture from the California College of the Arts (CCA) and a Bachelor of Science of Architecture from Texas Tech University, College of Architecture in El Paso.

Current Team

Haifa Al-Gwaiz, Kayla Bien, Shawn Komlos

Previous Team

Caleb Bentley, Rafael Berges, Andrew Bertics, Tracy Bremer, Mary Casper, Jared Clifton, Carly Dean, Ian Erickson, Zack Glennon, Clare Hacko, Alicia Hergenroeder, Anesta Iwan, Jeremy Jacinth, Hannah Jane Kim, Brian Lee, Douglas Lee, Mikaela Leo, Liz Lessig, Bella Mang, Shirin Monshipouri, Jonathan Negron, Bomin Park, Sonia Ramundi, Katharina Sauermann, Sayer Al Sayer, Blake Stevenson, Fei-Ling Tseng, Laura Williams, Shuang Yan, De Peter Yi, and Wei Zhao.


Collaborators

Pier Vittorio Aureli / DOGMA, Mark Baechler, Inaqui Carnicero / RICA Studio, Lorena Del Rio / RICA Studio, Alexander D'Hooghe / Organization for Permanent Modernity, Reto Geiser / MG&Co., Christoph Hesse / Christoph Hesse Architects, Richard Hindle, Karen Kubey, Jürgen Mayer H. / J. Mayer H. Architecture, Noemi Mollet / MG&Co., Maya Przybylski / InfraNet Lab, Christopher Roach/ Studio VARA, Mauricio Soto / Studio-LD, Antje Steinmuller, Surface Design Inc.

Events

  • Neeraj Bhatia joins Dominique Davidson, William Leddy and Mariana Martins for the AIA Austin 2022 Design Awards Jury

    2022

  • Aging Against the Machine opens at the Center for Architecture New York, RESET: Towards a New Commons, Ignacio G. Galen, Karen Kubey (Collaborators), Barry Bergdoll (curator), New York, NY, USA.

    April 14 – September 3, 2022

  • HOUSE OF COMMONS opens at the David Ireland House in San Francisco

    March 19-May 31, 2022

  • Neeraj Bhatia lectures at Harvard GSD, Landscape Architecture Dept on Collective Form, Cambridge, MA.

    February 24, 2022

  • Neeraj Bhatia participates in a panel discussion on “A Canadian’s Right to Housing: How Do We Get There” at the University of Waterloo

    February 23, 2022

    Panel Discussion with Adrian Blackwell, Liana Bresler and Lola Sheppard (moderator)

  • Neeraj Bhatia joins The Journal of Architecture as an International Editor

    2022

  • Neeraj Bhatia lectures on “Collective Living” as a Keynote lecturer at the University of Manitoba’s Atmosphere Series

    February 3, 2022

  • Neeraj Bhatia lectures at Texas Tech on “Solidarity through Commoning”

    November 8, 2021

  • Neeraj Bhatia joins Charlotte Malterre-Barthes and Mason White to discuss Taking Action at the After Hope Symposium

    November 5, 2021

  • Neeraj Bhatia joins Brigitte Shim, Annie Lebel, and Alison Brooks for the jury of the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

    2021

  • Neeraj Bhatia lectures at the AA City as a Project Series on “Collective Living as a Way of Life”

    October 20, 2021

  • The Center Won’t Hold: Decentering the Commune into Networks of Care opens at the Chicago Architecture Biennial

    September 17 – December 18 2021

    The Center Won’t Hold: Decentering the Commune into Networks of Care opens at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, The Available City, David Brown (curator), Chicago, IL, USA. On the theme of THE AVAILABLE CITY. Curated by David Brown, the Biennial will explore some of the 10,000 city-owned vacant sites in Chicago. Our Proposal, “The Center Won’t Hold” explores Decentering the Commune into a network of institutions.

  • Neeraj Bhatia serves as an Advocate for the JAE Fellows, supporting BIPOC fellowship.

    2021

  • Neeraj Bhatia lectures at Columbia GSAPP — Entanglements Studio on Commoning Domestic Space.

    June 9, 2021

  • Staking the Land opens at the Venice Biennale of Architecture — Kuwait Pavilion, SPACEWARS

    May 23 – November 29, 2021

    Staking the Land opens at the Venice Biennale of Architecture — Kuwait Pavilion, SPACEWARS, Asaiel Al Saeed, Aseel Al Yaqoub, Saphiya Abu Al-Maati, Yousef Awaad (curator).

  • LUNA opens at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Future Assembly

    May 23 – November 29, 2021

    LUNA opens at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Future Assembly, Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann (curator).

  • Commoning Domestic Space opens at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, How Will We Live Together?, Hashim Sarkis (curator), Venice, Italy.

    May 23 – November 29, 2021

    A series of differential grids organize collective life, private rooms, and objects. Collective life is parsed into vectors of domestic labor, immaterial labor, and recreation. By overlaying ordered systems of differential frequencies, a novel form of diversity is produced.

  • Neeraj Bhatia lectures at Syracuse University on Collective Form/Forums.

    March 30, 2021

Recognition

Press

Awards