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Global architects : learning and innovation through communities and constellations of practice.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Journal number12
Volume42
Number of pages17
Pages2842-2858
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

It is surprising that despite widespread interest in the geographies of innovation in cultural industries, few questions have been asked about the geographies of innovation in architecture. Particularly relevant to global architects are debates about the way stretched relational spaces and ‘global’ communities of practice connect individuals, firms and regions into networks of learning that ‘perforate’ scales. This paper seeks to apply such debates to the case of global architects and to examine the spatiality of the practices that allow learning and lead to innovation in their work. It is shown that global architects participate in ‘local’ communities of practice that rely on face-to-face interaction, talk and ‘buzz’. They are also part of ‘global’ constellations of practice that rely on forms of circulation, in particular travel by architects and the circulation of texts and images in the media, which facilitate learning through human – non-human interactions. It is, therefore, suggested that in order to more effectively analyse the geographies of learning and innovation – in architecture but also other industries - focus needs to fall on both the geography of talk/buzz and communities of practice and the geography of human – non-human interactions and constellations of practice.