Hägerstrand online: A methodical template for the analysis of space-time trajectories in collaborations

Authors: Alice Melchior*, HCU Hamburg, Benjamin Schiemer, JKU Linz, Gernot Grabher, HCU Hamburg
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: Hägerstrand, Time-Geography, virtuality, collaboration, laboratory, studio
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The proliferation of information and communication technologies not only dramatically extended the spectrum of interaction modes. Moreover, the spatio-temporal interaction constraints as conceptualized by Hägerstrand (1970) have been transformed in a thorough fashion: capacity constraints are loosened by possibilities of virtual communication; coupling constraints are at least partially dissolved by the virtualization of objects and artefacts; finally, authority constraints are partially suspended by virtual interaction modes. In order to conceptualize and empirically scrutinize space-time trajectories in virtual and physical as well as in hybrid constellations (synthetic situations) we propose an extension of the time-geographical model of Hägerstrand by a virtual dimension. The aim of our conceptual-methodological extension of Hägerstrand’s model is to adapt the three emblematic modes of constraints by systematically including the affordances of virtual interaction (that alter capacity restrictions), the virtualization of objects (that impact upon coupling restrictions) and virtual communication tools (that transform authority restrictions). We illustrate our proposed conceptual-methodological extension with vignettes from our ethnographic research of collaborative processes in the fields of art and science. More specifically, the objects of our ethnographic case studies are music production in the studio (art) and pharmaceutical research in the laboratory (science).

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