Future University – Edge Zones
February 5, 2013 – 6:47 pm | Comments Off on Future University – Edge Zones

I’ve been thinking a bit about the future of the university, and it seems to me that a new model may be emerging, one that has something of the traditional sanctuary of a place of learning, but that innovatively engages communities, both local and international. There will, of course, have to be those preserves where students and teachers can contemplate their experience and learn together, but there must also be what, for the moment, one might think of as an edge zone where interactions of many kinds might take place.

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Where Would You Like to Work Today? – On Demand Workplace Sharing

Submitted by on May 15, 2012 – 2:10 pmNo Comment

By Dan Anderson

Dynamic business solutions are emerging to service growth in mobile workforce, including flexible short term access to physical locations for work and meeting spaces.

Much like peer-to-peer car-sharing services, like FlexCar (now merged into ZipCar) and recently Wheelz, new enterprises like Liquid Space, Loose Cubes, and OpenDesks are catering to mobile workers by providing a virtual network of shared workspaces in cities around the world.

Shared workspaces run the gamut from coworking spaces that provide shared workspaces to independent businesses that have available space but want greater flexibility than a traditional sublet allows. Some of these businesses also welcome the informal interactions offered by a share-space, seeking to benefit from outside input for collaboration, generating new ideas or creative problem solving. Increasingly larger companies are looking for alternative solutions to support their mobile employees, provide telecommuting resources, and reduce real estate lease space and overhead in their office headquarters.

These share-space enterprises create and connect networks of hybrid space providers and users using social-mobile reservation systems to provide on demand access to available workspaces. Access is either through a web portal or by a smart phone app that matches supply with demand. Providers can post available offerings and consumers can search for based on proximity or preference. The share-space service will enable one to book and reserve a space immediately. Some services will connect your account to your social media profile and generate suggestions for ideal share-space locations based on your network connections. You can also get a reservation notification and share with your social network.

Increasingly mobile workers are looking for opportunities to work together, leverage the resources of social networks, improve their productivity and save money. Shared-space savvy workers realize that different work settings support different work tasks and behaviors and select the best setting to match their current activities. Sometimes having an active energized space is best for creative collaborative work, other times focused work needs a quiet space with minimum distractions. Having the ability to work more intelligently; choosing the best setting and paying for only what you need when you need it, is a significant asset.

Anderson Porter Design provides workplace strategy and design for emerging work practices. We are interested in your experiences with share-space solutions and welcome your comments and responses.

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