New playgrounds for new play

Gerrit Visser blogs about A paradigm for Coworking:

There’s a chapter in the recently published Handbook of Experiential Learning about something called “Junkyard Sports.” The chapter, written by Bernie DeKoven, shows how creative play experiences like Junkyard Sports, can become powerful learning tools for the business world.

Bernie’s Junkyard Sports were originally developed for schools and youth programs. According to Bernie, a Junkyard Sport is any sport that’s played with the “wrong” equipment. He explains that in such events, the “sport becomes a vehicle for the creation of community, where the shared opportunity to play takes precedence over the game itself.”

In many ways, this is a paradigm for effective coworking. People who are seeking out new coworking environments are finding each other in “unofficial” spaces – warehouses, bakeries, lofts, studios, apartments. The people they find in these environments are not all working for the same company or even the same goals. The technological infrastructure is cobbled together from components that were never designed to work together – IM, chat, wikis, blogs, desktop-sharing, shared whiteboards, mindmapping software, calendering software. They share skills when they can, discovering that the diversity of interests, professions, personalities is the source of new insights, new ways to make work better, new opportunities to learn, to work, to play.

more on Junkyard Sports and CoWorking

This is a really interesting way to conceptualize coworking and the value of such spaces… since, after all, it’s not about the spaces themselves, but more about the community and collaborative opportunities that they afford the coworkers.