Space as an Actor in Innovation

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The aim of this research paper is to investigate how space and landscape provide tangible (i.e. shared resources) and intangible (i.e. shared sense of community) benefits for entrepreneurs. The research question I would like to explore is why are entrepreneurs attracted to and participate in shared space? What benefits does these spaces provide? What are the similar environmental conditions within the physical space? Ultimately, this paper will seek to understand how communal working and co-creation necessary (or not) for innovation.

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Space as an Actor in Innovation

  1. 1. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation“There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat.That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run intosomeone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”1- Steve Jobs on the design of Pixar HeadquartersHeather BlanchardAmerican University of ParisMedia, Stuff and Values: CM 5033 - Spring 20121Isaacson, Walter. "The Real Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs." The Magazine. Harvard Business Review, Apr.2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. Page 1
  2. 2. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033Overview The aim of this research paper is to investigate how space and landscape providetangible (i.e. shared resources) and intangible (i.e. shared sense of community) benefits forentrepreneurs. The research question I would like to explore is why are entrepreneursattracted to and participate in shared space? What benefits does these spaces provide? Whatare the similar environmental conditions within the physical space? Ultimately, this paper willseek to understand how communal working and co-creation necessary (or not) for innovation. To explore these research questions, field research was necessary to collect primarysource data of spaces which entrepreneurs occupy. Three spaces were observed for this paperincluding two in Paris, France, La Cantine and DojoBoost and one in Brussels, Belgium calledThe Hub. Critical theory and secondary research sources are used to provide contextualizationto for the innovation space observations as well as the participants who occupy them. This paper will provide a relationship of the rise of co-working spaces, the role of theworkplace, the role of learning, three observations of innovation spaces and a private sectorapproach to creative space. Through these areas this paper will present arguments whichrelate to the use of adhocracy, experiential learning. Also provided is the concept that both thespace and the interaction between people within that space are both objects which supportmediation and circulation which in turn create its value. insights and illustrations ofenvironmental conditions by which entrepreneurs are attracted to collaboration space. Page 2
  3. 3. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033Through this research an initial set of conditions may be developed for future research tobetter understand environmental conditions which may facilitate a greater probability forinnovation and creativity.The Rise of Co-Working in a Networked World The genesis of co-working can be attributed to an open source software developer,later a Google employee, Brad Neuberg who from 2005 - 2007 who founded and fostered amovement of a new kind of workspace. Dubbed, co-working by Neuberg as “alternative officespace for self-employed developers and writers, (which create) a forum for structure,community, and innovation.”2 Neuberg offered the framework to anyone who was interestingin opening their own space. “Disseminated [the] co-working idea as a kind of Johnny Appleseedby encouraging others to take ownership of the idea and run with it in any direction theywanted. Co-working spaces are now around the world and United States, and is a realgrassroots movement thanks to this unorthodox policy.” As a founder he felt that his role wasto “develop and evangelize the need for new kind of work environment through blog posts,wikis, articles, speeches, and more.”2Neuberg, Brad. "About Brad Neuberg." Resume for Brad Neuberg. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. http://codinginparadise.org/about/. Page 3
  4. 4. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033 The idea for this new kind of environment germinated from the need to connect withothers. Neuberg explained to the New York Times3 that the choice to found a space whatperhaps a simple one. “It seemed I could either have a job, which would give me structure andcommunity, or I could be freelance and have freedom and independence. Why couldn’t I haveboth?”4 Mother Jones 5 offered a more detailed description of the formulation of Neuberg’sfirst co-working space. “In 2005, Brad Neuberg, a software programmer in San Francisco, hitupon a simple solution: He got a few friends together to share a rental space, as well asprinters, fax machines, and wireless Internet, and—like a good start-up founder—branded hiscreation "coworking." As the 31-year-old recalls, "I said, Why cant I have my cake and eat ittoo? Is there a way that I can have community and independence? Its a false assumption thatyou cant have both." Word of Neubergs San Francisco Coworking Space spread, and techies,writers, and entrepreneurs began dropping in. "I urged people to steal the idea," he says.Today, there are 29 coworking sites across North America and a few more around the globe—all listed on a wiki that has instructions for anyone who wants to start her own.” Since these interviews, there are thousands of co-working spaces across the world.Some even created in partnership and supported by local governments such as Fab Labs in3Fost, Dan. They’re Working on Thier Own, Just Side By Side. New York Times. 20 Feb. 2008. Web. 29. Apr. 2012.<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork.html?pagewanted=all>.4Fost, Dan. They’re Working on Thier Own, Just Side By Side. New York Times. 20 Feb. 2008. Web. 29. Apr. 2012.<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork.html?pagewanted=all>.5 Butler, Keira. Practical Values: Works Well With Others. What if a day at the office is actually good for you? MotherJones. 18 Jan. 2008. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/01/practical-values-works-well-others>. Page 4
  5. 5. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033Manchester and La Cantine in Paris. There are franchise-like networks of co-working spacescalled The Hub which have interconnected locations all over the world. While co-working is akind of open space which often has few restrictions for membership or participation, it is notthe only kind of what one might call an “innovation space” where as Ardvisson points out inhis writings on Information Capital (Ardvisson, 2006: 124) that these spaces are the hubs of thisnew economy. Where the space isn’t the producer, rather its the environment whereproduction is networked and not towards a common goal, but rather enjoy the common valueswhich production needs at any level as Marx points out in his book, Capital. Today there are a vast array of spaces where co-working occurs but often there areother things happening too. Beyond co-working spaces, there are hacker spaces(hackerspace.org) where there is over 1,100 independently run spaces where the hobby ofhacking computers, sharing knowledge and electronics are supported. In essence they makethings. There is another group called Maker who also do this but with temporary spaces calledMaker Faires. There are entrepreneur excellerators which provide initial stage start-up supportsuch as office space, legal expertise and mentorship to connect these small business to venturecapital to scale their product into production. Companies have come into the mix withsupporting the development of community-use space where their product is used byentrepreneurs who might not have been able to access the expensive tools and resourcesneeded such as TechShop in San Francisco which provides the AutoDesk suit of products andmanufacturing prototype machines. In addition, venture capitalists have also begun invitation Page 5
  6. 6. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033only incubation models like the Y Combinator which provides 25 companies with early stageseed capital and resources. There are many methods and models of innovation space out theresince Brad Neuberg began the first co-working space in San Francisco. This paper will providean initial selection of insights based on observations of two co-working spaces and oneexcellerators space. In addition, research will pull from how the private sector is incorporatinginnovation space design in its own workplaces.Role of the Workplace While co-working space may not aim towards group innovation, rather it is anetworked space where innovators can interact, the role of an environment as an actor andrelational construction is possible because the space itself and the interaction of the peoplewithin the space are both objects. In Horgen, Joroff, Porter and Schon’s 1999 book Excellenceby Design: Transforming Workplace and Work Practice offer that the process architect is anobjectified mediation role which allows for interaction. The writers offer that there is a role forspace to be able, through its conditions, set up a platform which will allow for greaterefficiency, collaboration and therefore create a better product or result of that workforce. Thistransformation is facilitated through an mediation object, the role of a process architect, whichthey offer it not a role of one person, but a role of many. “The role of the process architect isnot given, but it must be created. Workplace-making may play itself out in the hands of asingle participant, or it may move from one person to another - or no single person my Page 6
  7. 7. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033actually direct the process. The role of process architect may fall to an organizationalinsider...or it may fall to an outside consultant...any of these people can have significant effectson the play of the game. What they do and how and when they do it is affected by the rolesthey are given or assume, the authority they begin with or accumulate, and their ownnormative frameworks of action. In any case, the process architect enters the game with theaim of directing it toward greater collaboration and co-invention.” (Horgen, Joroff, Porter andSchon, 1989: 91) Horgen, Joroff, Porter and Schon offer that not only that physical space is an actor butthat the act of collaboration itself, the interaction between people can be object of itself andthat it is not owned by a single person. Interaction among people in the space is a medium bywhich mediation can take place. Like in advertising and the objectivation of the brand, theobject has an ability to be an interface of circulation between the producer and consumer.Related to the process architect, a interface point (the physical space itself) is able to act in amediation role which seeks participation and circulation from its environment (i.e. building acommunity-based social structure.) The question of ownership is a complex challenge, it is a question of power. It could beargued that proprietary systems (i.e. controlled) where ownership drives behavior could bepoor environments for the objectified process architect to be used as a mediation tool. Likethe entrepreneur from La Cantine who referenced the traditional private sector environmentand the ability for process architecture to take place. “In economic environments like today Page 7
  8. 8. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033which can be austere, the concept of sharing and creating is a challenge. People don’t want tohelp each other in an environment which is focused on optimization. Information is power.When the economy is booming it’s so much easier to collaborate and work together, but whenjobs are being threatened people tend to keep to themselves. They are scared to loose their jobor their status.” Horgeon, Joroff, Porter and Schon underscore this challenge, although they donot contextualize it in relation to ownership per say. “Fear on the part of the less powerfulplayers coupled with arrogance and blindness on the part of the more powerful ones kept thekey issues undiscussable, preventing them from surfacing soon enough to be productivelydealt with.” (Horgen, Joroff, Porter and Schon, 1989: 99) The role of the process architect (i.e. collaboration) offers that the“game is understood,even if imperfectly at first” (Horgen, Joroff, Porter and Schon, 1989: 92) The ability of theworkplace to transform towards this collaboration construct creates a “reframing of thesituation.” The process of framing is an ability to provide a set of contextual parameters for theparticipants who are interacting and creating flow with an object. Celia Lury explainedframing as “...a boundary within which interaction takes place more or less independently ofits surrounding context. The frame is a communication surface or boundary that bothconnects and separates disunified or disparate spaces (Rodowick, 1994). The interface of thebrand is not, however, to be located in a single place, at a single time. Rather, like the interfaceof the Internet, it is distributed across a number of surfaces...” (Lury, 2006: 50) Page 8
  9. 9. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033 It could be argued that these innovation space, co-working or otherwise, create a frameby which participants opt-in to participate. These frames provide participants as Horgen,Joroff, Porter and Schon offer as the “game” buy which behaviors within the space arecreated. Innovation spaces have their own personality, set of characteristics and derive itsculture from the framing which occurs to build the community which the space seeks toattract. While Lury may have been speaking of the role of framing as a communicationsdiscourse, framing also could be applied to the communication which takes place within aspace, with the space itself playing an active role in mediation of culture and norms which cancreate contextual reference points for the participants within that environment. Interestingly,much of this framing and contextualization is may not be made through rational decisionmaking, but rather through a set of behaviors. Though this understanding, whether consciousor unconsciously, the frame allows, “The possibility of creative change begins with reframingthe situation.” (Horgen, Joroff, Porter and Schon, 1989: 92) While framing may set contextual boundaries of the innovation space, there is a unsaidset of behaviors which the community exhibits which it normative and not overly prescriptive.In a way it is subconscious which as stated earlier may not involve rational thought. This is akind of shared knowledge, an ethos, which connects the participants within a collaborativeinnovation space. Schephers and van den Berg argue that this kind of knowledge is activelyshared. That the key to collaborative environment is the interaction of people. “Tacitknowledge is often unconscious and effective transfer requires extensive personal contact and Page 9
  10. 10. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033trust (Davenport & Prusak, 1998; Tobin, 1998; Bertrams, 1999).” This kind of interaction alsospeaks to the ability of knowledge sharing between individuals, whether expertial learning ormentorship, it is the ability of people to connect through contextualized space whichinteraction occurs and is mediated. Schepers and va de Berg take this a step further wherethey offer that there is an opportunity for “personalization strategy.” This activity, similar tomentorship, provides one-on-one transfer of knowledge between individuals by buildingrelationships between employees and encouraging face to face meetings. Organizations needto build communities of practice: groups of people who share insight, experience and toolsabout an area of common interest (Wenger, 1998).” (Schepers and van den Berg, 2007: 413) Toprovide a present day contextualization of this notion, Steve Jobs reflected on the importanceof space where people are able to have a social context. “There’s a temptation in ournetworked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativitycomes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you askwhat they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.” 6Interestingly, Jobs evokes a comparison of people collaborating in person verses digitalcollaboration which he strongly views as ineffective.Role of Learning6Isaacson, Walter. "The Real Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs." The Magazine. Harvard Business Review, Apr.2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. Page 10
  11. 11. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033 At a fundamental level interaction, the mediated experience which people negotiatewhen they share experiences, skills and knowledge is an act of learning. This action if placedthrough experience has been labeled, “experiential learning.” Kolb points out in his bookExperiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development that “Experientiallearning theory, however, proceeds from a difference set of assumptions. Ideas are not fixedand immutable elements of though but formed and reformed through experience. No twothoughts are every the same, experience always intervenes.” (Kolb, 1984:28) In the innovationspace area, looking through the lens of co-working, space creates a both proactive approachthrough organized events which are socially rooted (i.e. Come learn how to code!) wherepeople who has “been around the block” come and offer what they have experienced to thosewho perhaps are less experienced or who just might be curious. “Learning is a major part process of human adaption.” (Kolb, 1984:32) He offers that“Knowledge is the result of the translation between social knowledge and personalknowledge. The former as Dewey noted, is the civilized objective accumulation of previoushuman cultural experience, whereas the latter is the accumulation of the individual person’ssubjective life experiences. Knowledge results from the transaction between these object andsubjective experience in a process called learning.” Kolb, 1984:37) However R.D. Lang in hisbook the The Politics of Experience suggest that there is an invisible mediation point where,“experience is not ‘subjective’ rather than ‘objective,’ not ‘inner’ rather than ‘outer,’ not processrather than praxis, not input rather than output, not psychic rather than somatic, not some Page 11
  12. 12. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033doubtful data dredged up from introspection rather than extrospection.” He offers that, “Suchtranslations, object relations, interpersonal relations, transference, counter-transference, as wesuppose to go on between people are not the interplay merely of two objects in space, eachequipped with ongoing intrapsychic processes.” (Lang, 1967: 20) Lang offers that thecollaboration itself between two people are mediated through experiences. “When two (ormore) people are in relation, the behavior of each towards the other, and the experience ofeach is mediated by the behavior of each.” (Lang, 1967: 25) This offers that while the spacemay be an actor, another object which can be offered as a mediation device it the interplaybetween two people. That interplay in and of itself is an object which is mediated byexperience itself (and it’s own object and mediation tool). Meaning that in innovations spacethere are two objects at play, one is the physicality of the the environment and the second isthe interchange between people. Both are mediated experiences where circulation as Lurysuggestions creates value.Thick Descriptions of Innovation SpaceSpace Profile: La Cantine (Co-Working) La Cantine, a primarily french speaking space, is one of the oldest co-working spaces inParis. It was designed similar to other spaces located in the San Francisco Bay area and inSpain. La Cantine shares on its wiki, “After Brad Neuberg saw that certain employeespreferred to work in a café rather than in an office because it was more pleasant and there was Page 12
  13. 13. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033more space, La Cantine decided to encourage this work model that encourages exchanges andcreativity, by thinking of the space as a third place somewhere between office and home.” 7The aim of the space is to provide an environment “specifically designed for collaboration andfacilitating cooperation.” Through their wiki, La Cantine promotes that the “aim of La Cantineis to connect those who work in diverse locations, in order to pool resources and skills amongdevelopers, entrepreneurs, users, artists, researchers and students. It is thus a place formeeting, information, exchange and synergy between dispersed individuals, built aroundharnessing the collective intelligence.”La Cantine, verses many of the other co-working spaces in Paris, has the ability for people towalk in and co-work for free in the bar area. If workers want to stay for a half or whole day towork with others at common tables the charge is 7 Euro for a half day and 10 Euro for a fullday. Passes are available for frequent co-workers. This type of model is supported by eventsponsorship and a public-private partnership with the City of Paris and the FrenchGovernment. La Cantine actively promotes social entrepreneurial efforts, training and networkconnection. Observing the space, one primary point is that people cycle in and out during the day.Some stay for the whole day, some just the afternoon. There was about twelve peoplecoworking on two tables. Most of the participation in the space is male, with only two female7"About La Cantine." La Cantine Wiki. La Cantine Co-Working Space. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://wiki.coworking.info/w/page/16583879/La%20Cantine>. Page 13
  14. 14. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033co-workers that day. The space is laid out in a modular fashion. Technically it is one largespace on the first level that is divided three ways. The bar area, the co-working tables and theconference table in the back. From outside you can see into the space as there are floor toceiling windows. On the windows there are post-it notes which create squared objects whichresemble computer game characters circa 1980s. The design of the space is open. Along the entrance way there is a sitting area withcouches and bar stools where co-workers can meet and have a coffee. This space doubles asthe free co-working area. The entire space has free Wi-Fi. There is a bar with beverages, coffeeand wine to the left and upon entry is a large chalkboard (which is the size of an entire wall)which announces upcoming events or just to use to draw ideas. To the right of the entry way isa large open room which is divided by a round sitting area atop a slighted raised stage area.This area is in the middle of the room and acts as a divider between the two areas. One area(in the back of the room) is quieter space with a thirty person white oval table and the otherside of the room is a re-arrangeable space with movable tables which can configure to seating50-70 via chairs people for a presentation (complete with A/V capability) or for daily use aretwo-three long work tables where 20-30 people a day co-work together. Along the far wall is aDJ-booth which controls all of the A/V equipment in the space. The floors, tables and shapedsitting area are black. The conference table is white as well as the screen that can come downto separate the two areas. There are red accents with aluminum, industrial-looking lamps. LaCantine has a second floor connected by a spiral metal staircase with additional conference Page 14
  15. 15. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033rooms and small offices. The second floor is reserved for co-workers who rent offices upstairswhere they have a permanent space. However much of the activity in La Cantine is on it’s firstfloor.La Cantine has strong community with events happening almost daily. When the technologycelebrity comes to town, they often are hosted and stop by La Cantine. For example, Google’sChris Bonilla, the lead of their open source development team visited La Cantine whereparticipants were able to hear what Chris was interested in and connect to Google’s efforts.While french is the primary language used, English seems to be the secondary language usedat La Cantine.Space Profile: DojoBoost  (Incubator) Recently opened DojoBoost builds upon the work of Frederic Dembak who operatesDojoCrea a french entrepreneur incubation space in Paris. DojoBoost is a franchise ofDojoCrea which supports a model of membership where entrepreneurs are selected toparticipate in a five month program to ready their company for first round venture capitalinvestment. While there is co-working space available for about 350 EU a month (not on adaily basis), Dojoboost is primarily focused on attracting and supporting early stagetechnology development companies. Entrepreneurs receive 5 months training program thefacility provides office space, mentoring and training for start up companies in exchange for Page 15
  16. 16. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033five percent of common shares. Services provided include a graphic designer, communitymanagement, public relations, technical expertise, legal and accounting counsel. DojoBoost is located at 41 Boulevard Saint Martin in Paris in a street level commercialspace. The space is newly opened and renovated with a bright open floor with open space forco-working. There is a small presentation area on the right where companies pitch thereideas. There is a upper level and a lower level with offices. There is a lower level lounge areawith couches. The upstairs is brightly lit while the lower level has low intensity lighting withexposed stone walls. There are blonde wood floors with white tables. There are green accents.While centered in Paris, Dojoboost is actually managed by an American who has lived inFrance for 20 years. On their website, which is all English they offer that, “Even though themajority of our staff is French, we have a strong flavor of the American startup culture.”Space Profile: The Hub in Brussels (Monthly Membership) The Hub in Brussels is a co-working space which is affiliated with and part of anetwork of “The Hub” spaces around the world. Currently 25 Hubs exists in 5 continents. Oneof the spaces connected within The Hub network is The Hub - Brussels. Located in the 37 Ruedu Prince Royal in Brussels the Hub is a co-working space operates as a meeting destinationspace with the ability to co-work on a full time basis. The design of the space is impactfulupon entering. A large cardboard hive-like hanging model is displayed from the ceiling withrows of tables which were handmade to be rearranged in the space. The space is within a Page 16
  17. 17. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033renovated industrial building with other small businesses surrounding it. Like the other twoco-working spaces, The Hub is a large open, brightly lit space however The Hub is focused oncreated a sustainable eco-friendly environment. Free wi-fi is available for co-workingparticipants and events are held almost everyday to provide training and networkingopportunities for entrepreneurs in Brussels. The space is focused on being low to no impact on the environment and is vegetarianby design. Reusable cups, recycling bins and organic food align its kitchen where sharedhealthy snacks are available for any participant. The Hub has a full service kitchen which was aunique aspect of its space. The Hub is membership based at varying levels. From a virtualmembership to be connected to the community in a digital space to the amount of hours thatan entrepreneur might need. For people traveling the Hub provides a free space to work.Environmental Condition: Sense of Community One of the core common themes of these spaces is the ability to connect withcommunity and network with others. These spaces provide an environment for the ability ofpeople to come together, to form community. “Even people who are antisocial feel a need to bearound other people for at least part of the day while they’re working,”8 said Laura Forlano, avisiting fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School who has studied people8Fost, Dan. They’re Working on Thier Own, Just Side By Side. New York Times. 20 Feb. 2008. Web. 29. Apr. 2012.<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork.html?pagewanted=all>. Page 17
  18. 18. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033working in communal offices and cafes.” Learning theory confirms this sentiment as Schepersand van den Berg offer, “In line with social learning theory, we defined knowledge sharing asthe tendency to provide expertise to fellow professionals.” (Schepers and van den Berg, 2007:414) Like Dojoboost, entrepreneurs not only are participating in the incubator but they arebeing actively mentored by others to share knowledge. Related to social learning theory,“According to Vygotsky (1978) cognitive growth is fostered when experts provide guidance andencouragement on tasks that are too complex to be mastered alone: the “zone of proximaldevelopment.” This guidance is helpful for inexperienced, as well as experienced, colleagues.Lave’s (1988) situated learning theory emphasizes social interaction as a critical component oflearning and advocates that learners become involved in a “community of practice.”Communities of practice are groups of people who share insight experience and tools aboutan area of common interest (Wenger, 1998).” (Schepers and van den Berg, 2007: 413) They alsomove towards a wider view of “expertise” to include non-experts as part of their approach.“Our definition embraces guidance of inexperienced employees, as well as interaction amongexperienced employees. Amabile et al. (1996) has shown that work group support fosterscreativity. Work group support is defined as open communication in which membersconstructively challenge each other’s ideas, and trust each other. Work group support shouldlead to creativity because individuals are exposed to a greater variety of unusual ideas. Such Page 18
  19. 19. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033exposure has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on creative thinking (Parnes &Noller, 1972)” (Schepers and van den Berg, 2007: 414)Power Dynamics of Innovation Space Entrepreneurs are often individuals who at some level were frustrated by their ownecosystem within a bureaucratic system (i.e. traditional corporate job). This kind of behavior,simply “dropping out” of the corporate structure perhaps wasn’t on the mind of manymanagement theorists. Stewart quoted Peter Drucker in is book, Intellectual Capital, whereDucker stated, “Only the organization and provide the basic continuity that knowledgeworkers need in order to be effective. Only the organization can convert the specializedknowledge of the knowledge working into performance” (Stewart, 1999:108) This is counterthe finding that Schepers and van den Berg argued where adhocracy, the polar opposite of the“organization” or bureaucracy is the ideal place for knowledge creation, specifically learningthrough experience, experimentation and creativity. “According to Claver, Llopis, Garcia, andMoline (1998), the ideal profile for creativity is an adhocracy. Adhocracies foster creativitybecause they adapt to the environment Cameron and Quinn (1999). Bertrams (1999) states thatan adhocracy is excellent for innovation because people are motivated to learn, experimentand take risks. Accordingly, Nystrom (1990) found that organizational divisions with culturesreflecting challenge and risk taking were more innovative. Brand (1998( showed that an Page 19
  20. 20. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033innovative culture stimulates creativity, whereas a controlling culture hinderscreativity.” (Schepers and van den Berg, 2007: 412) In relation to space, these opposing views also relate to each other. In a corporateenvironment (closed contrived, hierarchical space) there can be a hierarchy which createsmeaning for its workforce where in adhocratic spaces (open, organic community driven space)there is a level of autonomy but interest in collaboration and production in ways which cannotbe created within a power structure. The area which these interpersonal dynamics take placeoften create the ethos of the production in that innovation space. Roman Gelfer, a formerequities trader launched his own co-working space in San Francisco remarked to the NewYork Times, “If you build a space from the ground up for co-working and networking as well,you could do a better job and I definitely believe it’s a great business.” 9 This kind ofgrassroots, almost organic nature of how the community as an “opt-in” approach where all ofthe participants seek out its environment changes contribute to the decentralization of powerdynamics of the space. While participants who actively support the development ofcollaboration through this kind of self-selected behavior, within an organization it can be verydifferent even if you provide the open space for collaboration. It could relate to the notion ofthe rights of individuals verses the right of a community of practice. “Effectively, the removalof rights of individuals to space makes everyone a visitor to the building, much as students are9Fost, Dan. They’re Working on Thier Own, Just Side By Side. New York Times. 20 Feb. 2008. Web. 29. Apr. 2012.<http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork.html?pagewanted=all>. Page 20
  21. 21. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033in a campus, or pedestrians are in the city. In this situation it is possible for ‘hidden’ powerstructures to emerge (the bully in the school playground is one example) that can be far moreconservative in their effects than the more explicit power structures embodied inorganisationally sanctioned statuses.” (Penn, Desyllas and Vaughn, 1997:12.23) The sense ofproduct may be shifted because production is singular and not within a group dynamic,although selection of partners can come from the social structure of these spaces. Looking towards theory of capitalism Marx might be challenged by this new kind ofproduction. The power relations that once supported industrial production may have shiftedin the new information economy. Marx creates an illustration in Capital where he offers, “Letus now picture to ourselves, by way of change, a community of free individuals, carrying ontheir work with the means of production in common, in which the labour power of all thedifferent individuals is consciously applied as the combined labour power of the community.All the characteristics of Robinson’s labour are here repeated, but with this difference, thatthey are social, instead of individual. Everything produced by him was exclusively the result ofhis own personal labour, and therefore simply an object of use for himself. The total productof our community is a social product. One portion serves as fresh means of production andremains social. But another portion is consumed by the members as means of subsistence. Adistribution of this portion amongst them is consequently necessary. The mode of thisdistribution will vary with the productive organization of the community, and the degree ofhistorical development attained by the producers.” (Marx, 1955:3) Page 21
  22. 22. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033While Marx offers that production indeed is social, he may not have imagined the role of aninstitution (often created by a collective of consumer turned producers) not as a producer butas a platform by which micro-production is placed individually. There could be, under thesame roof, two competitors who are not collaborating towards a common production. In factthe entire institution specializes on the fact that the producers within themselves aren’tcreating a common product but rather they are creating common skills and value. Producerswithin the collaborative innovations space share in the benefits of proximity. This can betangible such as finding a new business partner, problem solving, learning a new skill or itcould even be intangible by providing mentoring support. The concept of the producerneeding a place to create production in a social environment confirms Marx view thatproduction is social, however not to split hairs, and if you wanted to compare in relation tospace that instead of one producer where work is produced socially today in the informationeconomy this is decentralized where everyone is a producer and still wants to be connected toa social system while producing. Referring back to Schepers and van den Berg theseinnovation spaces provide a home for producers themselves to create in instance a communityof practice around similar interests and often values. It could be argued for the future that,“Asutilization of space becomes temporary and the office society becomes effectively ‘nomadic’,rule systems surrounding space use and cultural devices to allow individuals and groups to Page 22
  23. 23. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033maintain their identity are both likely to become more elaborate.” (Penn, Desyllas and Vaughn,1997:12.24)Creationism verses Optimization One entrepreneur (who anonymously provided input in a candid conversation) fromLa Cantine, a co-working space in Paris, France, reflected on his experience in co-working andreferences how power dynamics are represented in the workplace, especially the challenge ofcreating verses optimization. “We are the first generation who actually has a choice of how they want to work. I left the corporate environment. My office travels with me. Today I might be working here (at the co- working space), tomorrow I might be at home. I like it this way. It fits my lifestyle. The companies I work with all work this way. We don’t have a fixed line. We just use our cell phones. I like working like this.” “Idea is that the kind of people who run companies are sometimes just alike. Often they are similar kinds of people who have been who have been taught to optimize the company (i.e. MBAs). They are there not to create new ideas but to optimize processes and systems which are already there instead of creating a creative process. In effect, what they do is castrate the company from all of its ideas.” Page 23
  24. 24. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033 “Often real leaders who are innovative are people who have have strong sense of what they want to do. They have been told by many people that their idea won’t work. They are dedicated to their vision. These people have a will which push on despite what people say or do. They are focused on achieving their idea regardless if it makes sense or not.” “In effect you have to have an extreme personal bias about your idea. You have to be okay with risk and appreciate it. Companies are often only focused on optimization where the sole focus is to eliminate excess instead of trying to do something that is new. These are different things. They (the companies) don’t have the space to actually exploit their ideas.” “In economic environments like today which can be austere, the concept of sharing and creating is a challenge. People don’t want to help each other in an environment which is focused on optimization. Information is power. When the economy is booming it’s so much easier to collaborate and work together, but when jobs are being threatened people tend to keep to themselves. They are scared to loose their job or their status.”Indeed while the challenge remains for large institutions to reflect a more agile, perhapsarguably more contemporary, even adhocratic environment, the ability of talent who reject the“corporate environment” may be on the rise. Structuralization may prove to be a barrier tothese efforts as, “The concentration is to develop a ‘corporate culture’ conducive to the aims ofan organization, rather than to enforce organizational aims through a management hierarchyand formal mechanisms.” (Penn, Desyllas and Vaughn, 1997:12.3) Page 24
  25. 25. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033Reinventing the Creative Corporate Workspace: A Profile of Pixar Animation Studios While co-working may adopt open space, experiential learning, active networking andflexible environments, the private sector is keenly interested in utilizing the workplace as acompetitive advantage to fuel production, especially in the innovation and creative arts. Onestory is that of the development and design of Pixar, an digital animation studio in California.Pixar is a household name across America responsible for such digital animation classics as aToy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. They are in the business of creativity andinnovation to bring together both artistry in traditional animation and computer science togenerate vivid animation. “John Lasseter, the chief creative officer at Pixar, describes theequation this way: “Technology inspires art, and art challenges the technology.” 10 In the beginning the company was, not unlike many entrepreneur ventures whichsprout up in the Bay Area, bootstrapped driven by passionate people. In the documentaryfilm, The Pixar Story, executives of the digital animation company reflected on the role ofspace had on the company. Steve Jobs, one of the principle investors in Pixar reflected,“Pixar’s facilities grew with the company. Which meant that they were hodge podge.”11 Whilesome offered almost a nostalgia of the space, “The animation bull pen was this amazing10Lehrer, Jonah. "The New Yorker." Steve Jobs: "Technology Alone Is Not Enough" The New Yorker. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.<http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/10/steve-jobs-pixar.html>. The Pixar Story. Dir. Leslie Lwerks. Perf. Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter. Leslie Iwerks Productions, 2007.11DVD. Page 25
  26. 26. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033building. Probably not legal at all because of fire code.”12 Others remarked, “It looked like aplayground. It was loose. It was free. It was rough. It was like 200 people showed up during acollege dorm room.There was this infectious enthusiasm in the building. I can imagine what itmust be like say for the guys in Monty Python to be like sitting around a table writing material.You expect there to be a great creative feeding frenzy at the table. That’s what we had. It was aplace where you could go and draw on the wall or make a hole in the wall and not feel badabout it.” 13 As the company became successful and sought to produce movies on a larger scale, thefacilities needed to be able to accommodate growth of the company. This challenge waslooked at by the leadership of Pixar (especially Steve Jobs) as an opportunity began theintentional open space innovation design of Pixar Studios. Steve Jobs sought to reinvent thecorporate creative workplace. Ed Catmull reflected the drive that Jobs had to create a creativespace, “ Steve had this belief that the right kind of building can do great things for a culture.14The initial conception of the new space was to separate the workforce into separate buildingsfor computer scientists, animators and everyone else. Jobs disagreed. Steve realized that thatwas a terrible idea; that the real challenge of Pixar was getting people from these differentcultures — these computer scientists and these cartoonists — to work together, to really The Pixar Story. Dir. Leslie Lwerks. Perf. Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter. Leslie Iwerks Productions, 2007.12DVD. The Pixar Story. Dir. Leslie Lwerks. Perf. Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter. Leslie Iwerks Productions, 2007.13DVD. Lehrer, Jonah. "Imagine: How Creativity Works: Its All In Your Imagination." NPR. NPR.com, 19 Mar. 2012.14Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.npr.org/2012/03/19/148777350/how-creativity-works-its-all-in-your-imagination>. Page 26
  27. 27. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033collaborate." This direction led Pixar in a different direction and collapse the space into onelarge building with “an airy atrium at its center.” 15 The New Yorker continued to chronicle thiseffort, again with Catmull sharing that, “The philosophy behind this design is that it’s good toput the most important function at the heart of the building,” 16 Catmull emphasized, “Well,what’s our most important function? It’s the interaction of our employees. That’s why Steveput a big empty space there. He wanted to create an open area for people to always be talkingto each other.” This was a point echoed several times by biographers and reporters about why Jobswas so focused on the design of the Pixar space, " ... He wanted there to be mixing. He knewthat the human friction makes the sparks, and that when youre talking about a creativeendeavor that requires people from different cultures to come together, you have to force themto mix; that our natural tendency is to stay isolated, to talk to people who are just like us, whospeak our private languages, who understand our problems.” 17 Jobs personally shared hisreasoning to Walter Isaacson, writer of Jobs biography, "If a building doesnt encourage that,youll lose a lot of innovation and the magic thats sparked by serendipity,”18 And it is bestsummarized (again) by Steve Jobs, “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that15Lehrer, Jonah. "The New Yorker." Steve Jobs: "Technology Alone Is Not Enough" The New Yorker. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.<http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/10/steve-jobs-pixar.html>.16Lehrer, Jonah. "The New Yorker." Steve Jobs: "Technology Alone Is Not Enough" The New Yorker. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.<http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/10/steve-jobs-pixar.html>.17Pomeroy, Ross. "The Importance of Good Building Design." Real Clear Science. 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.<http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2012/01/buildings.html>.18Pomeroy, Ross. "The Importance of Good Building Design." Real Clear Science. 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.<http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2012/01/buildings.html>. Page 27
  28. 28. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneousmeetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say‘Wow,” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”19Conclusion The information economy is creating a new workplace for production, the co-workingspace. This space is just one of many spaces which aim to attract a variety of participants suchas entrepreneurs (social and for-profit), writers and developers. The ability of production to belocation agnostic provides the individual with agency to opt-in to a workplace environmentconducive for their needs. As production is inherently a social convention, these spaces aredeveloped through social construction to provide an ability for participants to interfacethrough a mediated structure, the co-working (or other kind of) space. These spaces provideenvironmental conditions such as community-focused, modular physical space and openness.There are two actors in innovation when discussion the physicality of space. First that spaceitself is an actor. It provides meditation and circulation among its participants who haveopted-in to participation, thus creating stronger social connection to the physicalenvironment. In essence the participant has a choice and flexibility to participate or not. Thesecond actor as relates to space and innovation is the mediation point by which knowledge is19Isaacson, Walter. "The Real Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs." The Magazine. Harvard Business Review, Apr.2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. Page 28
  29. 29. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033shared, it is the interaction of experience between people which provides a secondary objectwhich mediation occurs. This again is opt-in and participant selected. No one forces anyone tomeet or talk to each other but the space itself, as pointed out by Jobs can guide theparticipants to share beyond what they intentioned. These two objects act as mediation pointswhich creates the network of community (including skills, language and knowledge) where theenvironmental conditions may be more conducive for innovation to occur. Page 29
  30. 30. An Examination of Space as an Actor in Innovation Media, Stuff and Values - CM 5033BibliographyArvidsson, Adam. Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture. London: Routledge, 2006. Print."About La Cantine." La Cantine Wiki. La Cantine Co-Working Space. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.<http://wiki.coworking.info/w/page/16583879/La%20Cantine>.Butler, Keira. Practical Values: Works Well With Others. What if a day at the office is actually good foryou? Mother Jones. 18 Jan. 2008. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/01/practical-values-works-well-others>.Cohen, D. and Prusak, L. (2001) In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes OrganizationsWork. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.de Certeau, Michel. The practice of everyday life.. London: University of California, 1984.Book.Fost, Dan. They’re Working on Thier Own, Just Side By Side. New York Times. 20 Feb. 2008. Web.29. Apr. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/business/businessspecial2/20cowork.html?pagewanted=all>.Garcia, Cristobal H. Spacing innovation and knowledge creation on design organizations andthe study of working spaces. Diss. MIT, 2006. Cambridge: Unpublished.Glasser, Charlotte. Governing the knowing and innovation space. Diss. Stockholm School ofEconomics, 2005. Stockholm: Unpublished.Horgen, Turid, Michael L. Joroff, William L. Porter, and Donald A. Schon. Excellence by Design:Transforming Workplace and Work Practice. New York: Wiley, 1999. Print.Isaacson, Walter. "The Real Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs." The Magazine. HarvardBusiness Review, Apr. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2012.Kolb, David A. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development.Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1984. Print.Lang, R.D. The Politics of Everyday Experience. New York: Pantheon Books, 1967. Book.Lehrer, Jonah. "Imagine: How Creativity Works: Its All In Your Imagination." NPR.NPR.com, 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://www.npr.org/2012/03/19/148777350/how-creativity-works-its-all-in-your-imagination>. Page 30
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