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Pragmatics, Plasticity, and Permission

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Pragmatics, Plasticity, and Permission: a model for creativity in temporary spaces



Deborah MAXWELL and Alison WILLIAMS


This paper considers the case study of a three-day residential knowledge

exchange event, exploring the meaning of the event’s physical environment

for impact on participants’ creativity and design thinking. The event’s mixed

group of academics, design professionals, and entrepreneurs were

encouraged to think and respond creatively together on a thematic call (to

which they responded in the application process) and were observed within

the space. We examine how an unconventional workplace environment (a set

of elaborately decorated Victorian hotel meeting rooms) influences a group

who do not know each other beforehand, observing how participants

appropriate the space, and make changes suitable to their needs. The authors

(from polarised but privileged insider viewpoints of author-organiser and

author-participant) present this through considering Pragmatics, Plasticity,

and Permission and their dynamic interrelationships. These concepts develop

into a new three-staged model comprising space-as-is, space-as-anticipated

and space-as-used, which describes how the interaction over time of space,

its affordances and its users have the potential to expand creativity.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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