Work - Third-places of social economy and the relationship work-habitat

Designing Brussels Ecosystems - Metrolab Brussels MasterClass II


This article describes the context of the MasterClass workshop that launched a reflection on ecosystems, with the issue of work as a starting point. Its theoretical approach is intentionally different from the way in which economics typically tackle the issue of work. The goal is not to frame the question in economic terms, but rather to develop — based on concrete cases — a method by which work and the productive city could be placed in an ecosystemic perspective, mainly in order to describe the network of relationships between forms of work and ways of inhabiting and producing territory within a city. This investivation project is tied to three radical premises / goals: overcoming of the idea of homo economicus, upon which contemporary thought on work and territory is based; refusing the urban model built on the functional production of non-places dedicated to work, with no true social existence; and, lastly, the interaction premise, in which the meaning of objects is based on the relationships between people. According to us, this final premise promotes a new ‘ecology of the mind’ through a culture and symbols that emphasises the relationships within and between ecosystems as much as their structures.

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