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The Power of Corridors: interaction, organisation and the university estate

Rachel Hurdley Profile Image

This 3-month pilot ethnography for the Leverhulme project explored how the design of ‘public’ spaces in a university affects social interactions, focusing on corridors in a century-old building. The assumption that these foster collaboration and flexible working cultures is founded upon poor evidence, while older buildings are dismissed as backward-looking and detrimental to modern work practices. I analysed how corridors are used, often serendipitously, sometimes deliberately, for informal management and networking, and how organisational cultures are manifested in ‘small arrangements’, such as chairs, pinboards and tea trolleys.

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Dr Rachel Hurdley talks about the findings of her research into what she calls ‘the power of corridors’, BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed

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