towards a listing of useful spaces

… we interrupt our planned schedule of strategies for progressive education to bring you this post about finding somewhere nice to sit down…

Right now I’m surrounded by people who are great at clustering together with other people to Make Stuff Happen. Some do it in their spare time outside their work, for others it is their work. All the time I’m hearing of people coming up against potentially plan-scuppering hurdles when they get to the stage of finding the appropriate space.

We spent months trawling around trying to find somewhere suitable for fizzPOP and now BARG‘s having a hard time to find a venue for a planned BARGcamp. On some occasions the solution has been for me to invite people into my home so we had a place to do stuff.

And that’s just my own experiences. Multiply that by everyone else who’s trying to organise events, meetings and coworking sessions and I think it’s fair to say that a lot of time and energy is being wasted on venue-finding when it could be spent on something more productive. We need to get more joined-up about this to save on all the leg-work.

Efforts have been made before in various places: Paradise Circus started a venues page, there have been attempts at mapping free wi-fi in Birmingham and it damn near killed off the first Emergent Game when I set players the mission of locating free internet access near them.

The free availability of Wi-Fi is often important, especially in the case of coworking, but there are other factors as well, including, but not limited to:

  • location
  • general atmosphere
  • who else is likely to be there
  • security
  • number of people it can accomodate
  • kitchen/kettle facilities
  • and the availability of cake

I suspect the intricacies of being able to list the features of different spaces in an easily contribute-to-able way and to allow for people to add comments giving information on more subjective aspects of different spaces will require something custom made. In the meantime though, we need to do a bit of work to figure out what exactly this tool is that we need.

Protovation Round One:

(protovation means I expect this to be not quite right, but when we find out why it’s not quite right we’ll know what Round Two has to be…)

I’ve rustled up a quick google spreadsheet with some of the things that people have already indicated they would like to know about potential spaces. You can either edit the spreadsheet directly, or you can use the form. (The form is also at the end of this post.)

Please can you help me put information about useful spaces in this form?

The idea is that the information should be useful, but we’re also sort of trying to break the form by finding things that don’t quite fit (that’s why I’ve started off with interstice). It’s started off with a coworking brum bias, but once we get that nailed we can start expanding it out.

Please check the spreadsheet first to see if the venue has already been added. If it has, then feel free to add any extra information; if it hasn’t then please start a new entry. If you haven’t got all the information, don’t worry – someone else can come along later and fill in the gaps. If you need a new space for a different type of information, just add a new column. It would also be nice if you could edit the form to include the new column, but failing that, just leave a note here and I’ll do it.

If you’ve found something that breaks the system in any way, please also add a comment on this post so we can learn from it.

Here are those links again:
hashtag: #catel

We are the Interstitials


This post has been brewing for several days now and has just been tipped into existence by the latest post on Museum 2.0 about deliberately unsustainable business models. Other kindling includes: this comment from 2007 where I suggest some metallurgical references for renaming structural holes; Pete Aston’s tweet about being comfortable with the idea that he’ll be doing something completely different come 2015; and the job titles I variously use to describe to people what I do which include “transdisciplinary independent person”, “investigator” and “interstitial”.

We are the Interstitials is a metaphor based on principles of interstitial solutes in metals.

We are the Interstitials:

red interstitial in a grey matrix

We are smaller than the structures around us. We inhabit the gaps the host matrix cannot occupy itself.
Our small size gives us speed and responsiveness and though the sites we may occupy are ultimately determined by the host matrix, we are mobile and select which of the available positions we inhabit.

Our host is rigid; bound to the other similar entities around it in predictable patterns. We are independent; we may cluster around locations or other interstitials, but our interactions shift as required. We frequently move on, jumping between adjacent sites. There’s no problem, it’s just how we are.

Our host may regard us as defects, but though our numbers are small, our effects are wide-reaching and can drastically change the properties of the matrix we operate within. The energy-fields around us, induced by our presence, often make it easy for us to interact with other types of perceived ‘defect’, often impeding their motion or changing the way they in turn affect the matrix.

We are small, we are mobile, we affect. We are the interstitials.

to suggest… there is the dream

Nommer un objet c’est supprimer les trois quarts de la jouissance du poème, qui est faite du bonheur de deviner peu a peu: le suggérer… voilà le rêve.


Copyright and permissions:

General blog contents released under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa license. Artworks and other projects copyright Nicola Pugh 2003-2024, all rights reserved.
If in doubt, ask.
The theme used on this WordPress-powered site started off life as Modern Clix, by Rodrigo Galindez.

RSS Feed.