Coworking as a Stigmergic and Informal Learning Space

Publication by Carlos Duarte & Fernando Mendes in Lisboa, Portugal.
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Abstract in English:

The term coworking was coined back in 2005 (Neuberg, 2014). Brad Neuberg was and still is a developer looking for more collaborative ways to work. Since then, the number of coworking spaces has grown exponentially and is now doubling every single year. From the very beginning, we realized that coworking spaces — as informal work and learning experiences — defy the traditional office. The members of the professional community working in such places come from various professional backgrounds and fields of knowledge and therefore contribute to the multidisciplinary, intercultural and interdisciplinary dimensions of those spaces. The purpose of this paper is to examine the learning modes that take place in those spaces, especially those resulting from stigmergic learning phenomena, where someone’s activity is continued, in a cumulative and self-organized process (for example, the Wikipedia expands with everybody’s ongoing contribution). These phenomena are studied in several fields of knowledge, from Political Science to Art and Technology, to name but a few. This paper focuses on the informal learning processes that take place in a coworking environment, as well as the potential value of such processes towards a future new Design Education approach. Therefore, we only target the generic higher education classroom here.

Open Access? Yes

Publication Year 2015

English | Discipline Design