Labour commons and alternative topologies of community-led collaborative workspaces (session 1/2)

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM (PST)
Room: Virtual 39
Organizers: Dimitris Pettas, Janet Merkel
Chairs: Dimitris Pettas


Collaborative workspaces are rapidly evolving around the world and coworking is now a global phenomenon that is based on a number of shared values such as openness, community, accessibility etc. During the last few years we have observed the emergence of profit-driven, commercialized spaces such as incubators, accelerators and big coworking chains. On the other hand, there is an emergence of bottom-up, community-led spaces, such as coworking spaces, hackerspaces, makerspaces, hubs etc., territorializing ‘loose’ communities of professionals, freelancers and small and social enterprises who are driven by desires related to alternatives modes of organizing production through the collaborative use of common pool resources (goods, spaces, skills, knowledge, finance etc.) and new, hybrid labour (re) arrangements. Often resembling the commons, bottom-up and community-led workspaces could constitute an alternative paradigm for the ways labour is organized in the neoliberal context.

Furthermore, beyond the aforementioned hybrid relations that emerge in the ‘core’ of the co-working praxis, collaborative workspaces can have a transformative impact on socio-material elements and processes of the urban environment of hosting neighborhoods and cities. Through both structured/ formal channels and interventions (e.g. community projects, synergies with urban actors originating from the local governments and the civic society, incorporation of the goals of social innovation in their agenda etc.) and unofficial/ informal partaking of their distinct components in broader networks and circuits (e.g. coworkers’ engagement in political and social organisations, coworking outputs’ utilization by actors such as social movements, community members’ engagement in the everyday operation of collaborative workspaces etc.), collaborative workspaces contribute to the diffusion of a collaborative culture to the cities and regions. The ways the latter translates into praxis and transforms seemingly unrelated sets of socio-spatial relations is also of great interest. This session hosts papers that address different material and immaterial aspects of coworking and their transformative political power, through various theoretical lenses (Actor Network Theory, assemblage thinking, the commons etc.), towards exploring new topologies of coworking.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Dimitris Pettas Technical University of Belin 15 9:35 AM
Presenter Celia Zuberec*, McGill University , Sarah Turner, McGill University , Danielle Labbé, Université de Montréal, Creative Hubs in Hanoi, Vietnam: Transgressive Spaces in a Socialist State? 15 9:50 AM
Presenter Jacklyn Weier*, Pennsylvania State University, Cooperative Labor Commons: On the Role of Materiality 15 10:05 AM
Presenter Janet Merkel*, TU Berlin, Institute of Urban and Regional Planning , Coworking Spaces as social infrastructures of care and the politics of interdependence 15 10:20 AM
Presenter Emannuel Costa*, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Sharing workspaces, experiencing places: a look at coworking spaces from humanistic geography 15 10:35 AM

To access contact information login