The Third Place


WHAT: In 1989, the book “The Great Good Place” was published by Ray Oldenburg. It describes the first place (which is the home), the second place (which is the workplace) and a new concept for that time: the third place, which described gathering places in the core of communities where people go when they want social exchange or creative stimulation. A third place needs to meet seven criteria to function. Constructing “Third places” has also been the utopia that was sought when, for example, a shopping center was built, but which did not achieve the criterion of being a neutral place. Coworking as a phenomenon is also based on the theory of the third place.

SO WHAT: The third place is based on it being a neutral place, that people can develop, have conversations as their primary activity, that it is accessible and accommodating for everyone, has a low profile, has a playfulness in the culture but perhaps above all that the same people return and that it is a home outside the home. As people increasingly use different types of workplaces, this will place greater demands on both actors who run hubs and coworking places, but also on the individual himself if one is to be able to take part in the social capital that exists. This will require new ways to facilitate and build relationships between colleagues as well as with people outside one’s own organization.