Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Being Spaces (Coworking) & Brand Spaces (Pop-Up Marketing)

Thu, 10/12/2006 - 23:23 -- rprice

Thanks to Sull on the Coworking mailing list for posting this article. Very cool.


The article defines "Being Space"...

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg coined 'The Third Place' in his 1990 book 'The Great Good Place', and described it as a celebration of the places where people can regularly go to take it easy and commune with friends, neighbours, and whoever else shows up.

...and "Brand Space"...

BRAND SPACE, a space that capitalises—in the broadest sense of the word—on consumer expectations set in motion by BEING SPACES? Think literally accommodating consumers outside the home and office, becoming a relevant and useful part of their daily lives, offering them surprise, discovery, empathy, transformation. A place to lounge, hang out, try things out, work, or relax. Or all of this at once?

...and proceeds to give real-world examples of each. Both types of space are trying to create a "home away from home" or "office away from work" feeling -- the main difference being that the brand space is explicitly trying to sell you something.

Sadly, San Fransisco Coworking and the dozens of others around the world (check the wiki, we're hoping to get a space in downtown Orlando soon) have been left out of the article as far as I can tell. Other projects like SIGGRAPH's annual Guerilla Studio at their annual convention are also worth mentioning. Spaces that allow consumers and professionals to sample products, get advice from experts, or just get some hands-on time in a non-stressful situation like a showroom. The attitude behind these spaces is a very "open-door, come-as-you-are" feel. Presentations are (if they even exist) solution-driven, instead of focusing on features or competitor's offerings (at least they should be). The idea is to get people to come back, tell their friends, share experiences, and think for themselves.

At least that's how I see it. I am of the opinion that you can't convince everyone of everything. I am also the type of guy who feels less inclined to make a decision when I feel like I am not being allowed to gather all the information first. I didn't get an iPod until I figured out my brother's first. I don't subscribe to any magazines, although I spent several months buying them, "auditioning" the publications. I would also like to try out products (especially the ones that cost thousands of dollars) before I commit.

...but showrooms are intimidating, and even kids with black apple t-shirts don't always stop to listen to what I am asking them.

This may end up being a two-part post, as I have barely gotten into the Third Spaces idea.


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