The Power of Corridors: interaction, organisation and the university estate
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.
Dr Rachel Hurdley talks about the findings of her research into what she calls ‘the power of corridors’, BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed