Relationship between the performative nature of contemporary culture and new workplace architectural forms Essay - 2643 Words



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Relationship between the performative nature of contemporary culture and new workplace architectural forms

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Text Preview This paper will be discussing the relationship between the performative nature of contemporary culture and new workplace architectural forms. The first half would be exploring and illustrating what is the nature of our contemporary culture now and the second half would be about how it could further link it to the new workplace architectural forms nowadays.

In the 21st century, while technology is rapidly developed, everything become faster as the Internet has accelerated everything, and so as our economy. It is “the time when the emergency become the rule.” (Thrift, 2000) According to Thrift, the contemporary management is “an attempt to engineer new kinds of ‘fast ‘subject positions which can cope with the disciplines of permanent emergency. And even the society’s ideal human subject constituted by management today is ‘the one who never stands still’. (Thrift, 2000) It gives the sense that one has to go further and faster.

From Collin’s paper, “Built to Flip”, it is questioned that the companies nowadays built to ‘flip’ instead of ‘built to last’. Indeed, this article shows the significance of the overwhelming phenomenon of fast-moving companies in the contemporary culture, and it is believed that the creative drive behind has transformed our economy, which is known as the ‘new economy’. (Collins, 2000)

So what exactly is ‘new economy’? It is suggested in Thrift’s paper that the ‘new economy’ is a cultural process characterized by speed. Speed is a crucial term here as it changes everything from values, products, services and even the managerial style of managers. It is suggested that the value of every object nowadays is different from the past. Value has been re-conceptualised as always requiring an addition (i.e. added value). Every product or services are to be displayed as extraordinary, and hence bring out the idea of ‘fast subjects’. It is difficult to define what exactly are ‘fast subjects’, but according to Thrift, ‘fast subjects’ are formed through performance and performativity. Everything changes in terms of style and spectacle. It is also suggested that no object stands for its pure functionality alone, for instance, a phone is no longer only a ‘phone’, but also a camera, a music player, app and web browser etc. (Thrift, 2000)

In this fast-paced world, it is to be assumed that everything can go faster, further and better. Not only there is an idealized image of the human subject, but also with an idealized image of the world. It is assumed that everyone can do better, work further, like they have unlimited potential. Looking at the case of Moritz’s Erhardt’s death, which he died from epileptic seizure, due to working 72 hours in a row, we could see that managerialism has gradually succeeded in turning work as a form of self-empowerment, self-expression and self-realisation. Like Moritz, he did not work continuously because he was forced to, but because he felt like to, as he felt self-empowered and self-motivated. (Costea et. Al, 2014) This case could be related to the first part of Thrift’s ‘Performing Cultures in the New Economy’ as it has been stated that the pressures that face by contemporary managers has began to rise, and it seems to be having a great relationship with ‘fast subjects’. (Thrift, 2000)

As what we now see is a great emphasis is being put on fostering the powers of creativity and innovation, creativity has become very valuable itself. As Muoio said, ‘you’re only as good as your last great idea.’ (Muioi, 2000) It is also assumed that everything will always function optimally. In general, the new central value of contemporary culture can be concluded by a word – more (i.e. excess). Not only products and services are expected to get faster or better, but also managers. They are required to become ‘change agents’ able, through acquiring new skills.

First of all, the forcing ground of the ‘new’ managers nowadays are said to be time. One of the increasing attentions given to... Show More

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