It is workplace (too) that makes us exchange information and knowledge

Harvard Business review published recently an interesting piece by Ben Waber, Jennifer Magnolfi and Greg Lindsay on Workspaces That Move People. The authors describe and discuss a number of examples of new types of workplaces that make people to interact with each other, unexpectedly to bump into other people and to break the routine. Authors discuss concepts of real-time office, permeable office, office networks, office neighbourhoods, office-as-a-service and new guilds. 

The fundamental observation of the authors on the crucial influence of the workplace setting is easy to agree with when thinking about the plethora of workplaces I have visited and studied. Archeological site and its configuration and how people are placed in the space have an impact on what archaeologists observe and how, and how they document their observation and consequently, what we know about the past. The same applies to public and private organisations. The most common source of information is the people sitting next to you and depending on where and how he or she is available, influences our possibilities to interact with him/her.

The observation is highly actual also with students and studying as I recently discussed in a presentation on how students conceptualise their courses (abstract in Swedish) at the NU2014 conference in Umeå. The ways how courses and programmes are organised in the space and place have a major impact on how students conceptualise their learning and interaction with others including fellow students and their teachers, coaches, facilitators and advisors. Instead of trying to make people not to think their physical surroundings there is much to do in designing workplaces that afford particular types of work and knowledge and information exchange as Waber et al. aptly describe.

Archaeology and Archaeological Information in the Digital Society shows how the digitization of archaeological information, tools and workflows, and their interplay with both old and new non-digital practices throughout the archaeological information process, affect the outcomes of archaeological work, and in the end, our general understanding of the human past.

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COST-ARKWORK is a network funded by the COST scheme that brings together the multidisciplinary work of researchers of archaeological practices in the field of archaeological knowledge production and use. The aim of the network is to make a major push forward in the current state-of-the-art in knowing how archaeological knowledge is produced, how it is used and how to maximise its positive impact in the society.

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CApturing Paradata for documenTing data creation and Use for the REsearch of the future (CAPTURE) investigates what information about the creation and use of research data that is paradata) is needed and how to capture enough of that information to make the data reusable in the future. 

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