The multiple trajectories of coworking: remaining space, work and architecture

Publication by Colin Lorne in Birmingham, UK.
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Abstract in English:

Research into coworking has failed to take space seriously. I address this concern by analysing three ‘coworking spaces’ as meeting places constituted as a ‘bundle of trajectories’, following Doreen Massey’s (2005) reimagining of space. Understood as the product of lively interrelations and coexisting heterogeneity, I examine claims that these pay-to-access shared workplaces create the conditions for happenstance meetings between ‘like-minded entrepreneurs’. In doing so, I make connections with feminist and poststructural geographies concerned with relational performances, working bodies and diverse economic practices (Gregson and Rose, 2000; McDowell, 2009 and Gibson-Graham, 2006a; 2006b).

By researching through coworking, I make three interconnected arguments. Firstly, despite attempts to separate spaces of home and work, these boundaries are continuously negotiated and contested. Secondly, amidst claims that these architectural spaces are designed to feel like ‘fast-paced laboratories’ orchestrating chance encounters, I insist that embodied experiences can be far more ambiguous. Thirdly, I consider how the performative ontologies of diverse economies might fracture and infect the coherence of these apparently ‘entrepreneurial’ spaces. Together, this brings a new perspective to recent geographic scholarship on architectural inhabitations addressing concerns that there has been limited attention towards human subjectivities.

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Publication Year 2015

Publisher University of Birmingham