Deutscher Kongress für Geographie (DKG) 2023 (Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 13-23 September 2023) Paper Session: New geographies of work and labour within, across and around collaborative workspaces

Organisers: Nikos Gatsinos*, Malte Höfner*, Suntje Schmidt**

*Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
** Leibniz Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung

Reference Nr: 82751

Short description: This session addresses multilocalities of contemporary labour and work and their connection
to collaborative workspaces. Sharing practices within, across and around these spaces challenge (new) divisions
of labour and work.

Keywords: English-language call, Collaborative
Workspaces, Coworking, Sharing, Precariousness, Labour, Economic Geography

Language of session: English

Collaborative workspaces (hereafter CWS) (e.g., coworking spaces, fablabs, open labs, hubs, or makerspaces)
are physical spaces of work, in which workers share (im)material infrastructure and resources. These spaces of
flexible work transform our understanding of labour, placing work into new spatial arrangements often
enacted through practices of sharing between spheres of paid and unpaid work. Besides new spaces for work,
we observe that workers combine different locations for work, such as homes, offices, cafés, libraries, CWS.
Collaborative work and labour are thus organised in a multi-local manner.

In our session we combine understandings on labour practices from the cultural and creative economy
focussing on precariousness and connect them with social practices and cultures of sharing, and provisioning.
Through sharing, manifold forms of work not necessarily productive of economic value become visible. Here,
CWS spatialise paradoxes and tensions: On the one hand, CWS show which resources are necessary between
paid and unpaid forms of work to maintain the CWS itself as a place of work. On the other hand, CWS pose
questions about (new) divisions of labour: how is boundaryless work distributed and (sub)divided in the realms
of labour and work, when work is increasingly liquefying into almost all everyday spheres?

To shed light on these questions, we welcome perspectives on work and labour within, across and around
collaborative workspaces adopting the lenses of labour, feminist, and digital geographies, as well as a focus on
practices of sharing. The purpose of this session is to demonstrate how workers proactively shape economic
geographies through collaborative work such as coworking, co-creating, co-making, co-living, and the like.
Contributions about all forms of work carried out within CWS are welcome, may it be productive and
reproductive (e.g., labouring practices, emotional support, paid/unpaid work, curation), as well as forms of
work carried out around CWS, necessary for their spatial reproduction (e.g., care work carried out by family
members allowing coworkers to deal with work within CWS). Moreover, we encourage contributors exploring
logics and boundaries of sharing within/around collaborative work practices, ways in which coworkers deal
with new divisions of labour, professional maturation, precarious living and (im)mobile working conditions.

We welcome conceptual and theory-driven contributions which explore:

●The role of CWS in professional trajectories of their users,
●Forms of paid and unpaid work reproducing the workers and the CWS (both in and outside as well as across
the spaces),
●Forms of collaboration inside the spaces and between the spaces and other local actors,
●The limitations and potentials of sharing and (non-)reciprocal exchange,
●Multilocalities of collaborative work,
●New divisions of labour through sharing,
●Other contributions around fluid labour and its spatial implications are welcome too.

More information here:

Deadline: 13 March 2023

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.