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I came across this article via Planetizen and it reminded me of another one about which I was very excited earlier this month.  The subject of collaboration in design, particularly urban design in this article, but the principle can extend to other fields.

This might sound Future-Shock-meets-World-Is-Flat (oh the name dropping) but it seems like a recent major shift in our working culture is toward more mobility – in terms of where work is done, outside the office and on the phone or at home or in a remote location, as well as the number of jobs (or even careers) an individual holds over the course of a lifetime.  The next logical step, then, is to allow this mobility to influence *where* we actually get work done, and with whom.  If one isn’t tied to an office desk, and one can work at home or on a bus or in a coffee shop, is this necessarily better or more productive if one is still alone?  Why not congregate and collaborate in a place of everyone’s choosing in order to be productive, feed off of each others’ creative energy, address and solve problems face-to-face rather than by indirect communication – was this not the point of having office space in the first place?

These articles describe two different collaborative environments and how they promote a positive culture of design.  As I currently work in an environment that is thoroughly stuck in the mid-20th-century in terms of workflows and productivity and their approach to the creative process, it’s really exciting to think that there are alternative work environments out there, that they produce good results, and that *someone* else out there recognizes the importance of people working together, enjoying where they are and who they’re with, and making work an effort rather than a toil!

Fast Company – “PieLab in Rural Alabama” – recent article about a group which seeks to promote community and good design, with a side of pie.

Urban Omnibus – “Work and the Open Source City” – this article really got me excited about collaborative workspaces.  Less excited about the whole “cloud” cliche.