A good post from Lloyd Alter (with good links too) on how technology and culture are conspiring to alter our urban space and interior environments. The points on the University are especially cogent: more students are asking these questions about traditional lectures. Why do we have to meet in the classroom at a specific time when we can do everything on our own schedule, in a better environment?
Unfortunately, I don’t think the online learning experience is that powerful yet. It’s too static, programmatic and inflexible. Even with video lectures, we lose the visceral, soul-stirring power of new knowledge, knowledge produced in interpersonal contexts. I dream of some cyberpunk equivalent of Plato’s academy or the tribal campfire: can we learn in some less programmatic format? Something more intimate and real, however simulated, yet comfortable and human, personalized and multi-interactive, possibly with the human elder there. Instead of staring at our laptops at Starbucks, can we meet in better space? A coffee circle? A virtual campfire? Second Life?
It also strikes me that so many (non-coffeeshop) commercial environments suck too: the great thing about the internet is that we can now avoid many repulsive, non-human experiences like a video rental store (remember Blockbuster?) But many brick and mortar tortures remain (ever been to Wal-Mart?).
The workplace is next too, right?
Interesting to think how coffeeshopification might transform your business, institution or life.