What If Your Office was a Park?
January 9th, 2009
Technology has enabled workers to collaborate from the far corners of the earth, but face-to-face collaboration is still a necessity. So how can we best facilitate that, and make the experience as welcoming as possible?
That’s the idea behind Breakout!, the upcoming “festival of mobile co-working.”
Breakout!, which is planned for the fall, intends to explore that question through a two-week festival of outdoor co-working environments in public places throughout the streets of New York. (The co-working movement is an informal meeting of freelancers who come together to collaborate on new ideas.) It will be part of an exhibition by the Architectural League of New York that will explore the integration of technology into the urban fabric.
According to their online manifesto-of-sorts, the goal is, “to provoke discussion about how urban designers, architects, freelancers and businesspeople can create public spaces that re-integrate the commercial life of knowledge-based cities into public spaces.”
The exhibits – which will be “injecting lightweight versions of essential office infrastructure into urban public spaces” – will offer a combination of three elements: online social networking tools, a set of processes and skills to get people collaborating, and “temporary and mobile infrastructure,” such as new types of portable desks and chairs.
Breakout! doesn’t necessarily see this as a new idea. “If we look back at the city before the office building, the streets were the site of every kind of economic activity,” the online presentation posits. “In the New York of 1900, almost every kind of activity took place in the streets.”By Mike Muller on January 9, 2009, 4:02 am
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