DigiLab as a model for how to work

DigiLab discussionOriginally uploaded by openpadThe Open University Library has developed an area known as the DigiLab as a drop in space to look at and use new technology. Recently we have used this area for a couple of discussions and I feel it could offer a model for how people could work in the future. There is comfy area where you can hook up to large screens or just plug in laptops, behind that a small table and chairs plus two small work areas and a more powerful media area. Finally there is a coffee machine. In one of our sessions other people came in and had a separate chat – without either group disturbing the other too much.P1000665.JPGCan this map on to out new building? I am not sure. Trying to do it at a small scale may well not work as it means that we have to sacrifice individual space to create shared space and if only a few people do that the result is just their loss!

One Response to DigiLab as a model for how to work

  1. Gill says:

    I like the idea of the digilab as a model for informal group spaces. Small groups of people productively follow their own agendas without interfereing with each other in a fairly informal setting.

    Rather than giving up workspace which, as you said, might benefit only one or two, would it be possible to enhance some of the existing planned shared areas along these lines?

    For example, the nexus is already supposed to have coffee-making facilities. Adding wifi coverage and comfy seating with coffee tables would make for useful discussion spaces (this may be already in the plans, I don’t know).

    Fixed terminals (like the macs shown in your second photo) that allowed access via the guest network would enable us to explore things like Second Life that are prohibited by the firewall. A big TV screen, like the one in the CoP room could accept different inputs (DVD, TV, Laptop etc) for collaborative working. The bright light through the roof of the top level nexus might cause a problem, but the lower levels should be OK.

    With most of the building being open plan, I think it’s really important to have provision for informal collaborative spaces as well as formal (meeting room) ones.

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