The role and expectations of universities are in flux, with traditional university structures being challenged, budgets being reduced, and a broadening of both academic fields and participants. Academic culture is also changing; the solo scholar working in isolation is increasingly giving way to interdisciplinary teams co-teaching and researching together. The traditional space of the individual scholar in an office surrounded by books, while facilitating a solitary mode of working, can inhibit fortuitous exchange and collaboration. In some cases an office cubicle can be little more than a storage space. The separation of faculty, administrative, and clerical staff also tends to hinder the collaborative approaches that the 21st century academy aspires to. Te Whare Pūkākā —the staff workspace at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University— is a transformative workspace designed in collaboration with Athfield Architects through a participatory design process. Te Whare Pūkākā is a way of testing and prototyping methods of social interaction and productivity within the academic workspace.
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