Co-working, co-learning and culture – co-creation of future tech lab in Namibia

Marko Lahti, Suvi Päivikki Nenonen, Erkki Sutinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Future places for learning and working are digitally and physically integrated hybrid environments. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the co-creation process of the remote presence-based digital and physical co-working and co-learning place. The context is cross-cultural when Finnish space approach is applied and further developed in Namibia. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative case study is conducted of the Future Tech Lab (FT Lab) in the University of Namibia’s main campus. The case study of the FT Lab is about 200m2 space with three different zones in the University of Namibia’s main campus. The physical solution encourages collaboration and technical solutions interlink the place overseas by using the remote presence. The data are gathered by using document analysis, observations, participatory workshops and interviews including structured questionnaire. Findings: The action design research approach is a functional framework to co-create hybrid environments in two ways. It helps to design digital and physical solutions as integrated entity. Additionally, it provides a tool to analyse decision-making processes as well as design initiatives, also from the cultural perspective. Both Finnish and Namibian cultures are normative and feminine, which helped the realisation of the project based on mutual trust. However, the differences in power distance were affecting the process fluency and decision-making processes. Research limitations/implications: The findings indicate that the co-design of the hybrid-learning environment sets requirements for the physical solution such as surface materials for premises and retrofitting of technology, which need to be considered by co-creation from the shared vision to realisation of the space. The co-creation involves many stakeholders, and cultural differences have a different impact on various stages of the co-creation process. Originality/value: The cultural context in the case study provides an interesting comparison between the Finnish and Namibian approach. The remote presence and its requirements provide new knowledge and guidelines for co-creation of hybrid environments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Corporate Real Estate
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Co-creation
  • Culture
  • Digital
  • Environment
  • Global south
  • Hybrid
  • Learning

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Finance

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