New Spaces of Justice: Workshop Series

Stanford students are invited to register for this unique workshop series organized by Nóra Al Haider (Stanford Legal Design Lab) and Oana Stănescu (Harvard Graduate School of Design) in collaboration with Virgil Abloh. The workbook materials are created by Margaret Hagan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made navigating the judicial system even more challenging since restrictions on gatherings have forced accelerated digitization and caused the court structure to be moved online. This multidisciplinary workshop series will focus on re-imagining new court infrastructures for hybrid systems. We will identify and address challenges the courts and its visitors will face in losing the benefits of physical spaces provided by court houses. Together – in interdisciplinary law, design and architecture teams – we will design prototypes for real life case studies to create new inclusive court infrastructures and increase access to justice.

There are 3 main questions that lie at the heart of the class:

  • the loss of the analog – analyzing the essential role of the court house, both in terms of function, experience and image. What does physical space enable, that digital cannot?
  • the (im)possibilities of the digital – the virtual alternative raises crucial issues of resources on the one hand and user experience on the other. How can the system be designed to overcome the first and enhance the latter?
  • hybrid futures – a return to the previous, analog system is not only uncertain but unlikely, in no small part due to economic reasons. This raises the issue of hybrid systems as the best of both worlds, while also creating new opportunities for underutilized buildings. What is the new role of the court house? 

During this workshop students will receive design prompts and engage in conversations with researchers, legal professionals, court staff and users who have been affected by the recently improvised infrastructure.

This workshop is in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Design and is co-organized by Oana Stănescu. With a wide ranging and interdisciplinary practice, Oana’s work is reflecting the pursuit of creative freedom. She is interested in the spatial translation of ideas and environments as reflections of culture at large.
Most recently Oana was nominated for the 2019 MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program. Her projects include the +POOL, a floating, water filtering swimming pool, as well as a wide-range of collaborations with Nike, MoMA, Virgil Abloh, The Office of PlayLab, 2×4, Arup, New Museum, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, Need Supply, Fool’s Gold, Kanye West, and many more. Current projects include the reconversion of a 500m long funicular into a public park in Romania and a house in Canada, amongst others. From time to time she is also writing and teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

We will also have an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with Virgil Abloh. Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil Abloh is a multi-hyphenate creative that often rejects classification on creativity. He operates in the realms of Art, Design, and Culture in conjunction with advocacy, mentoring, and philanthropy in the spaces he occupies. After earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. At IIT, while studying a Bauhaus design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh began to craft the principles of his broader art practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019—one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum’s history. Currently, Abloh is the Chief Creative Director and founder of Off-White™️ and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton, amongst other endeavors.

It’s through these unique collaborations, with architects, designers and legal professionals, that we will pioneer completely new court structures.

Date, time slots, registration link:

The workshops will be held on: Sept 9 – 9:00am – 12:00pm PST / Sept 16 – 9:00am – 12:00pm PST / Sept 23 – 9:00am – 12:00pm PST / Sept 30 – 9:00am – 12:00pm PST / Oct 7 – 9:00am – 12:00pm PST / Oct 14 – 9:00am – 12:00pm PST

Registration link:

All Stanford students are welcome, but we encourage Stanford Law Students in particular to join this workshop series. There are a limited amount of spots; registration does not guarantee enrollment.

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