Towards an Economy of Encounters? A critical study of affectual assemblages in coworking

Mikko Jakonen, Nina H Kivinen, Perttu Salovaara, Piia Hirkman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    80 Citations (Scopus)


    Coworking spaces have been established in great numbers around the globe over the past 10 years. Previous studies on coworking spaces argue that these spaces are designed to enable serendipitous encounters. Here we introduce the concept of an economy of encounters, arguing that both intended and unintended encounters have become a form of production in the knowledge-based new economy. This paper draws upon the critical analysis of three case studies of different coworking settings − two open coworking spaces and a corporate coworking office. Following Deleuze and Guattari, we see coworking spaces as affectual assemblages that create affects that push knowledge workers in flow and motion to enable the formation of new kinds of heterogeneous and con- stantly changing work communities, where serendipitous encounters become a force of production. We argue that this commodification of a social phenomenon, i.e. the intentional use of affectual assemblages of people, objects and ideas to create serendipitous opportunities, ignores the precariousness of contemporary work.

    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)235–242
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • precariousness
    • affect
    • assemblage
    • work
    • coworking
    • encounters
    • Space

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