By Andrew Laing

Two recent conferences highlighted the exploding world of the networked city: Festival of Ideas for the New City, where DEGW Founder, Frank Duffy presented the Reconfigured City, and WorkTech. Both reinforced the idea of ‘the office is the city’. Technology is everywhere, enabling an exciting if contradictory perspective on places, community, and knowledge.

At the Festival of Ideas for the New City, much of the talk was about:

  • The world of connecting things- The huge number of built in sensors open our cities and activities to observation and control. They may have the capacity to open up information and ideas for public participation. (Adam Greenfield)
  • Peer to peer communities- Through bypassing the conventional supply chain (Robin Chase), these same networks of people, devices, things and places allow users to create collaborative models of consumption.

This is one way in which Frank Duffy’s challenge to end the tyranny of supply is now happening. We can obtain space when and where we need it through geolocation software.

Services such as Worksnug and Liquidspace  and Loosecubes are tying together the intelligence of social networks, physical places, geolocation services, and mobile devices to create an augmented urbanism. The services are used mostly by freelancers and individual contributors now but there is no reason why larger corporations would not want to explore this kind of flexibility for their demand and supply of space. I like the idea of the conventional supply chain of office space being turned inside out by these capabilities. It opens up future opportunities, don’t you think?

Read Part 2 and Part 3 of this post called The City is the Office

Photo Credit: Laura Forlano