Hybrid Space

Assignment #3 - Hybrid space.

The hybrid space I’m going to describe/have chosen to write about is the Danish Starbucks-like coffee shop – Baresso (which could have been any coffee shop franchise).
There is an interesting clash between hard spaces and soft spaces. Off course there is the coffee shop. In that coffee shop there is almost definitely WiFi, which is used for all sorts of communication; there will be someone using the WiFi for work, reading the news, writing emails, chatting, updating a Facebook profile or Tweeting. All this can off course be done while you’re sitting at a table drinking coffee and having a conversation with a friend or colleague. In that way the coffee shop becomes a place where “people maintain social relationships and connections that go beyond the physical boundaries of those specific places, trans- forming places in permeable localities” (From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces p. 271)
But the WiFi is not the only source of communication that’s contributing to the hybrid space. There are, naturally, cell phones, which off course are used for texting, and making phone calls. Furthermore you have smart phones, which can do the same, but also provide the user with the same possibilities as the WiFi, but on a cellular network. Other sources that play into the different hybrid - and communication spaces, are iPods, portable game stations and so on. These are a source of music, audio books, podcasts and games (which can be played online with other gamers who are not in the same physical place). These different devices make the spaces “social practices, in which the support infra- structure is composed of a network of mobile technologies” (From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces p. 271)
I also find the contrasts of the place interesting. Newspapers and laptops can in the coffee shop be used for the same purpose and both are a legitimate news source. The act of reading the news in a paper is exactly the same as reading it online on a laptop – it’s basically the same news (and can even be exactly the same). But it is bound to two different spaces. The paper is physically bound to the coffee shop and is the property of the coffee shop. The other is not directly bound to the coffee shop, and can be done everywhere, but it is an ideal place to do so, especially because of the WiFi connection, and naturally the coffee.
In conclusion there is in a coffee shop franchise, a clash between the hard - and soft spaces, in more then one way. These clashes is turned into hybrid spaces, and are present in almost all the modes of communication that is going on there, largely made possible by mobile technologies: “The logic of hybrid spaces mediates this set of relationships of mobile technologies. The connections do not occur solely in physical space but rather in a new type of space that merges physical and digital” (From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces p. 271)

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by simon warnich

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