collaborative communities

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Collaborative spaces in Paris, Singapore and Sydney: so far, so close?

Collaborative spaces in Paris, Singapore and Sydney: so far, so close?

I am just back from a trip in Singapore and Sydney which has been an opportunity to visit 15 collaborative spaces (e.g. coworking spaces, fab lab and maker spaces).

What a strange feeling… going so far, and feeling so close to what I already know.

Firstly, feeling so close to what I have seen in France and other countries. Same pieces of furniture (post-its, acoustic bubbles, iconic ping-pong tables, chalk boards, Ikea seats and tables…), same space design (welcome desk, general L or U shape of the place…), same emphasis on a ‘community’ (see the charter of Stone & Chalk below), general use of open spaces punctuated sometimes by small closed offices…


  • Picture 1: The community charter of Stone & Chalk in Sydney

This makes me realize, again, how global our world has become. People share the same information, the same training (e.g. standardized MBA programs), the same providers and … Read more

Sharing a bottle of wine: back to the roots of the sharing economy?

Sharing a bottle of wine: back to the roots of the sharing economy?

Still in Sydney, where I’ve had the opportunity to share a good bottle of wine today during lunch time. A good bottle of Australian pinot noir. For a wine lover, this is always a great experience. People drink their pint of beer in a pub. People can ‘share’ a bottle of wine. Sharing means both drinking together wine from the same bottle. Often, sharing the cost of it. But it means much more than this. It is a great opportunity for socialization. Firstly, when the waiter comes and asks who will taste first. This is of course a way to test if wine is ‘bouché’. But this also a great opportunity to valorize guests, place them in the ultimate position to judge and open the ritual. Depending on the experience, comments can then enrich the experience. Wine becomes melted into the discussion, part of a great phenomenogical experience. Mediating it, … Read more

Coworking spaces, maker spaces, fab labs: true communities?

After a set of new visits of coworking spaces and fab labs this week, I am more than ever skeptical or at least, lost, about the use of the notion of ‘community’.


You will join a community, share a space, collective events. I’ve even heard the word ‘family’!

Let’s make a short detour. An historical detour again towards the history of western universities. It is often reminded that the word university comes from the latin word ‘universitas, universitatit, f’, which means (among others) ‘community’. Unversities have emerged for the Middle Age period. They are a typical collectivity of the Middle Age. The archetypal community of that time are monasteries (see previous post). With a strong set of rules, a major time and space unity. Monks of that time (and most monks today) are fully involved in collective life, day and night. Everybody is expected to respect the same rules, the … Read more

Après le coworking, le coliving : retour au Moyen Age ?

Après le coworking, le coliving : retour au Moyen Age ?

Depuis plus d’une dizaine d’année, le coworking se développe dans les grandes villes occidentales. La tentation était sans doute trop forte pour certains grands groupes immobiliers et certains acteurs de l’écosystème des tiers-lieux.

Pourquoi se quitter ? Pourquoi ne pas développer des lieux où non seulement on travaillerait ensemble, mais où il serait également possible de partager une vie commune (des « dortoirs pour adultes »)? De dormir, faire la fête, recevoir des amis ensemble ? Dans le respect bien sûr de certaines règles. Parmi quelques autres précurseurs, WeWork a ainsi développé une nouvelle offre sur San Francisco et Washington (« WeLive»). Une unité de temps et de lieu pour le travail, la vie privée et les loisirs dans le cadre d’immeubles réhabilités. Chacun dispose d’un studio. Le ménage et les courses sont totalement assurés par WeWork… La vie ensemble est animée par un community manager. Les indépendants, les entrepreneurs, les artistes, les professions … Read more

Developping new collaborative policies in partnership with collaborative spaces

Developping new collaborative policies in partnership with collaborative spaces

Coworking spaces, fab labs, maker spaces, media labs… What does it mean, what does it bring?

Almost one year since RGCS started.

What about the novely of the phenomenon? Are we entering into a new world? Are we attending to the end of waged employment? Will we all become independant employers and makers in tomorrow’s society? For sure, it is too early to state such a deep, structural, change.

Will we still talk about cowworking spaces in 10 years? Will we talk about maker spaces, media labs, fab labs? Part of the vocabulary will probably disappear, and part of the trend will remain.

But my conviction is elsewhere. Today’s novelty is elesewhere.

These new collaborative spaces link tendencies which for long have been independant: public policies and management, on the one hand. Transformation of societies and transformation of work, on the other hand.

Firstly, I am convinced that the choices … Read more