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2008 05 22
Mutable Spaces Of Innovation

In a world that is increasingly mediated by online exchanges, it is always refreshing to remember the role well considered architecture plays in the act of connecting people and ideas.

I'm at the MaRs Centre in downtown Toronto attending Mesh08, a conference celebrating the power of Web 2.0. The tag line for this conference is "Connect, Share, Inspire." In its third successful year, Mesh gathers together the people who create the collaborative online experiences we enjoy. Those people are behind a technology-driven social shift that is changing the world—look at the "people-powered" movement of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama for an obvious example.

As significant as that change is, it is important to remember that one of the reasons conferences like Mesh work is that they take place in social spaces like MaRs. A first for Toronto, MaRs' objective is to:
MaRS is a non-profit innovation centre connecting science, technology and social entrepreneurs with business skills, networks and capital to stimulate innovation and accelerate the creation and growth of successful Canadian enterprises.

The symbiotic relationship between this mission and the space that contains its activities is essential to the Centre's success. The designers of MaRs anticipated that too many prescriptive spaces would limit the innovation that might take place here. The spaces here are mutable in that they can adapt needs of the people who use them.

Spaces of impromptu encounter and assembly in the MaRs atrium
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/22 at 01:25 PM

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