April 24, 2014

Collaboration for Hard Times

LIVING TOGETHER The future campus of Cornell Tech on New York City’s Roosevelt Island will combine academic space, collocated corporate research and development, a conference facility, and housing in more than two million square feet that includes an interior atrium. Construction will start in 2014. Left rendering by Kilograph; right rendering by Morphosis Architects

People have always known that they can often achieve more working with others than they can alone. Today collaboration is a vital feature of organizational life, but finding the right partner for a supportive relationship is still no simple matter. There are risks and costs, along with the tension between self-interest and resource sharing. Once the right partner is found, the team must figure out how to make the relationship work.

Making Room for Innovation

ATTRACTION ABOUNDS At top, the 4th Floor Maker space with its 3-D printing lab was a highlight of the night at the 2013 
Tennessee Library Association annual conference held in the library space; the Labrary storefront (bottom) likewise attracted passers-by into its experimental area to see how future library design might look. 
4th floor photo by Mary Barnett; Labrary photo courtesy of Jennifer Koerberber

Two library service prototyping spaces, in two very different places, have a remarkable amount in common. Nate Hill runs and operates the 4th Floor in Chattanooga, a large public library loft space operating as a flexible community makerspace and event space. Jeff Goldenson co-ran and operated Labrary, a 37-day design experiment occupying a vacant storefront in Cambridge.