Sunday, 25 February 2007

Web 2.0 and physical space

Reading December's Update last night (Saturday - how sad is that!) gave me food for thought. Under the banner of "Creative Collaboration" the article, "Overdue author asks us what we think", Charles Leadbeater states:
"Do not design the office around the executive offices but around places where people congregate, mingle and talk: cafes, open workspaces, libraries.
Workspaces should be designed to promote collaboration, self-organisation and interaction."
Placing this in the further education context is quite interesting. My own college has devoted most of its resources to improving the state of its classrooms. Whilst this has been very effective, the communal spaces such as the canteen, common-room and LRC have seen little in the way of expansion. Leadbeater, argues that these physical spaces are going to grow in prominence. Web 2.0 developments will have an impact on physical space and how people work. Leadbeater is currently working on a book on this theme and is inviting people to comment and collaborate on it prior to its publication. You can read more of his fascinating insight at

On more mundane matters I have an idea for a blog in work. One of the problems of having part-time staff is finding a convenient time when we are all in work to pass on information. At the moment I find I have to explain things 5 times over and normally I miss someone out. If I create a blog on the college's intranet, staff should have no excuse about not being informed of the latest developments in the LRC. Of course, it will be meaningless to anybody else (not unlike this blog then) but at least everyone will be informed.


  1. Thanks for your email via the Chartership list. I found this entry on your blog, about working space very interesting. I work foe Warwick University and they ahev developed a "Learning grid" (see which is run by the Library but is a completly different approach to study space from teh traditional Library model.

    Access is 24 hour by swipe card, students are allowed to eat and drink, equipment is available for use as required - smart boards, plasma screens, PCs, etc. and a core collection of reference text books is on hand. The furniture is on wheels so students can move things around to create the environment they want to be in, and the whole atmosphere is very relaxed and informal.
    I wonder what you might think of this idea? It seems to work very well over here, and gets a lot of student use.


  2. Nice Eraserhead pic!

    Hi, hope you don't mind me dropping in here. I found your blog via Katharine's site, and wondered if you would mind me including your url on my own site? That's a reciprocal offer, if you're interested in adding mine - it's

    I'm also an FE librarian, and I can just picture the chaos that would ensue if we had movable furniture and an open policy on food and drink! The college where I work is in line for a brand new build, to be completed in 2010, so the library staff are lucky to be involved in planning the new space. It's a difficult task to try to anticipate how things will work, not knowing if you'll even be there when it's all done. I'll circulate the link to Leadbeater's site to my colleagues though - his book sounds really interesting.

  3. Hi Nice Blog .If your time is less valuable, then it is probably less worthwhile to web time clock .