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The experiences of our day to day lives are mediated through the formal and informal places where we live and work. Our understanding of the world is based upon the separation of spatial and temporal boundaries into these places. Places and the activities conducted within them are the building blocks upon which comprehension of our world is built. There are many places that comprise our lived-experience; places of work, places of play, and our homes. However these places are not simply there, as if by magic; we are not born with an innate understanding of these different places. Each of us must engage in a process of placemaking in order to develop these places and to allow for our understanding in a socially constructed place-orientated world. Placemaking, however, as a theoretical construct which is both recursive and hegemonic in nature, remains largely understudied within organizational literature. Furthermore, since the placemaking process happens within the individual, what little study that has been done of placemaking, has generally followed a phenomenological approach: with the individual's self-reports accepted as being authoritative (Heidegger, 1975, p. 10). However, it will be argued that, due to the hegemonic nature of placemaking, subtle changes in the activity of placemaking and its relation to place, may go unnoticed to the individual; thus individual reports of placemaking may not actually reflect the processes being undertaken in order to placemake. Additionally, focus on an individual report at a specific point in time, may not capture the changes in placemaking or of place over time.

Place-making, as a term, first began appearing around the 1970s; however, its use was constrained largely within the architectural and planning community. The term was used to describe the concept of adding ‘place' to structures, consequently it manifested itself into a rule-set of how physical objects should be used or arranged in order to create a ‘sense of place' (Hunt, 2001). This ‘use' of place-making is a physical activity; however, it can be argued that a conceptualization of placemaking is a far more complex phenomenon involving the individual than place-making. The importance of place and placemaking may be seen in the construction of our language and its place-centric nature. As Heidegger and many other philosophers argue (Casey, 1997; Cross, 2001; Cumbler, 1979; Ericson, 2006; Heidegger, 1975; Arlie Russell Hochschild, 1997; Lefebvre, 1991; McMullin, 1982; Philo, 2004; Relph, 1976; Tuan, 1977) place is central to our understanding of our own world; hence understanding how an individual placemakes is a crucial step in understanding elements of social and human activity in places such as the workplace and the home-place.

Thus we need ask a few key questions: How do we placemake? Is current placemaking theory an accurate portrayal of the process? What are the implications for the individual, for society, for work and the management of work given the predominance of work-places in society? These issues will be addressed in the following sections.


Currently, placemaking is thought to be a relation between time, space and activity; and so the following section looks at contemporary views of placemaking. However, in order to understand the process we must work backwards from the components of, what is accepted as, a place. A memory of a favorite childhood fort is an example of a place; it is bound temporally (it happened at a specific time, summer, over a number of years) and physically (the location of the remembered fact was: in the woods behind the house). When we think of places we generally use these two characteristics to ‘position' the place, i.e. to quantify it. Then activity happens in that location giving meaning to that place. This leads us to modern conceptualizations of how we create place: using space and time combined with activity (Casey, 1997; Cresswell, 2004; Curry, 2002; Janz, 2005; Philo, 2004; Relph, 1976). It is argued that space and time are the fundamental elements of place, and therefore are critical components within the placemaking process. Therefore, in the following three sections space, time and placemaking are discussed and shown in their accepted form.


There is general consensus that space and place are inextricably linked (Bechelard, 1964; Casey, 1997; Lefebvre, 1991; Locke, 1975; Relph, 1976; Tuan, 1977). It is first, however, important to understand space before any acuity of placecan be achieved. Space is commonly defined as a periphery encompassed within physical space. For example a country, or the ‘space' that a building occupies (Relph, 1976). However, a more in depth reading of conceptualizations of space informs us that space is actually a relatively amorphous and vague conceptualization, which cannot be directly explained or detailed (Tuan, 1977). One cannot simply point to somewhere and deem it space. Defining space is achieved through negative relations with other spaces (Leibniz, 1956), not direct identification. The individual understand space by what it is not, not by any ‘fixed', or absolute, indicators.

There are two types of space. First, there is the commonly experienced physical space. Physical space is a shared space (Locke, 1975) - it defines the physical world, and the world is comprised of common space. The individual is able to understand physical space due to one's understanding of one's existence within it. This existence provides the negative definition of the second type of space: that is individual space, which is metaphysically bound space. Metaphysical spaces are bounded by their exclusivity (Heidegger, 1959), each individual has their own metaphysical space. This too shall be developed further in the subsequent Metaphysical Space subsection to follow; however, first it is necessary to understand physical space.

Physical Space

Physical space is absolute and therefore has no reference points, or as Locke describes it is ‘pure-space' (Locke, 1975). The first quantification of space is produced through the relation of space to the individual; e cogito ergo sum (Audi, Nelson, Neta, & Nichols, 2005). Due to the individualistic nature of understanding space, a relation is produced through the understanding an individual holds of one's current position in space. An individual is here, a differentiated, and therefore quantified, space. The space of here holds the quality of the individual, allowing for a reference to compare all other space to. There is not-here, because the individual is here. This is the first divide of space into a dimension that is quantified and definitive. Contemporarily quantify space is a process by which space is broken apart through spatial differentiation (Leibniz, 1956). Differentiated space is qualified through the existence, or through the activity, of or by the individual (Cairns, McInnes, & Roberts, 2002). This first divide is not the defining of boundaries; it is the understanding of two areas of space through their quantified periphery, and their qualified substantial relation to each other. There is no clear boundary between here and there. The individual does, however, know that there is a difference between these two through one's existence in one quantified space and not the other. The term here signifies an individual's existence within a space; the term there signifies the ‘other'. In relation to here, everything else is the ‘other.' A more corporeal example is the perception or creation of boundaries in the physical world. The understanding of ‘land' only makes sense if there is an ‘other' with which one may define it against. Therefore you define ocean as being ‘other' to land. Hence space is always relative and never absolute (Lefebvre, 1991), and physical space is divided through relative understandings of various positions within space. It is argued in this section that physical space has two key properties: first, it is communal space, all individuals have the same access to this space (all things equal with no other boundaries); second, it is comprised of relations of understanding, directly as here and there. In the following section the relation of metaphysical space to physical space and to the individual is discussed.

Metaphysical space

Metaphysical space is bounded by its exclusivity (Heidegger, 1959). It is the space of the individual where thought can occur as an activity; much like cutting down a tree is an activity in physical space. While the qualification of metaphysical space may be similar to that of physical space; i.e. a physical activity, the individual's relation to metaphysical space is different. The difference with metaphysical space is that the individual is omnipotent within it (Heidegger, 1975). The only boundary within metaphysical space is that an individual can only occupy one's own metaphysical space. The other difference between metaphysical and physical space is that the quantification of metaphysical space is fluid. Metaphysical space allows for the bringing of multiple places to the forefront of one's understanding (Philo, 2004). Driving a car, while on the phone and thinking about what to make for dinner is a prime example of metaphysical space being multifaceted. Activity is happening in all three of these places simultaneously. Metaphysical space also allows for the ‘holding' of conceptualizations of physical space, and therefore the power of the metaphysical space is superior to that of physical space, due to its multi-qualified nature.

In the previous two sections space has been bifurcated into physical and metaphysical, however, one key component is essential to both spaces; as activity is a key aspect in the qualifying of quantified space (either physical or metaphysical). However, activity requires both thought and physical space; and at some point these two ‘spaces' intersect. It is at this intersection where the phenomenon of the lived experience occurs.

Lived Experience and Space

The creation of the lived experience exists at the intersection of metaphysical and physical space. Yet physical and metaphysical spaces are differentiated differently. To develop the lived experience, first a deeper understanding of the differentiation of physical and metaphysical space must be produced. Undefined physical space has no reference points and the only understanding of this space is through the existence of the individual in one position and not another. From this single reference point, the individual's movement through space quantifies new physical spaces and thus changes what was undifferentiated physical space into differentiated space. The differentiation of this space permits a retrospective look at past differentiated spaces. From the individual's current space the past becomes evident. This quantification allows for yet further division of what becomes bifurcated space (here / there), and so the process continues: space becomes quantified, and more of what was undifferentiated space becomes differentiated as known space.

This quantification allows for the understanding of space through its relation to other space, i.e. here and there. Understanding of new spaces is created cumulatively. However, even then ‘present-space' still remains relative; present-space exists only in relation to past spaces. This movement, through time is the process of creating reference points from which the quantification of future space becomes possible.

However, the world is not truly tabula rasa and movement through the world does not always necessitate the differentiation of undifferentiated space. In the physical world the individual's experience is in media res; and therefore, most physical and metaphysical spaces have been differentiated by previous placemaking activities (Seamon, 1998). For example, individuals are not born with an innate understanding of the spatial boundaries of Rome. This space has been pre-differentiated over millennia. It remains however, to a naïve individual, an undifferentiated space. Only when an individual learns of these pre-differentiated boundaries does individual undifferentiated space become differentiated and a new reference point created. This process reinforces the communal nature of the boundaries of Rome; somewhat hegemonically, as no new physical space has actually been created; its differentiation is simply being replicated (Relph, 1976). In this sense, contemporary Rome is a communal space, continually re-determined on a social basis.

However, abstract differentiated space, existing in metaphysical space, can evolve into an understanding based upon physicality and spatial principles, yet still metaphysically based. The naïve individual is told about Rome. As they have never been to Rome it remains an abstract idea, created in metaphysical space. While Rome's physical periphery is, arguably, consistent (as a geographical abstract), it remains abstract space connected to the name. To quantify Rome, without moving it from the metaphysical, would be to do research on Rome. Thus Rome becomes a quantified and qualified abstract space. Rome may be visited by an individual, only then will the physical space of Rome move from the abstract (for the individual, more accurately pre-differentiated) to the physically differentiated known space. Consequently, Rome becomes both a physically and metaphysically differentiated space. This is the ‘lived experience'; it exemplifies how metaphysical and physical spaces interact to aid in the development of the individual's understanding of the world. It is only when these two different spaces, the physical and metaphysical, come together that the possibility of place exists (Bechelard, 1964). Place however occurs at the intersection of both space and time; therefore an understanding of time is necessary before placemaking can be understood.


We are in the “era … [which] belongs to time, the time when Time came into its own” (Casey, 1993). Contemporarily time is believed to be integral to the further quantification of space, permitting the separation of space into places. As Kant argued in his Critique of Pure Reason(1998), the physical order of the world is an expression of the objective succession of time. This assertion brought about a major shift in physics; space was no-longer looked at as the predominant physical force through which we understand our world.

Consequently, time has become an inseparable component of our lives, just as place has; yet both remain abstract creations with no ‘direct' relation to ourselves. Both physical space and time dictate and govern the lives of individuals through places; the unquestioning acceptance of space and time, grant their right to do so (Halford & Leonard, 2005). However, like space, a more detailed reading of the conceptualizations of time permits a deconstruction of common understandings of time (Moore, 1963). First, it becomes evident that while a linear conceptualization of time is common, it is not ubiquitous. Time includes two different and dichotomized paired conceptualizations. The first is between ‘inner' and ‘outer-time'. This time is the divide between the individual and common time (metaphysical and physical) (Cairns, McInnes, & Roberts, 2002) - time of the person and time of the world. The second conceptualization is that of ‘in-time' and ‘over-time' (Halford & Leonard, 2005); a dividing of outer (common) time between a linear movement of time and a stationary sense of time.

Outer and inner-time allow for the explanation of memory, and how, as a relative creation, time can be controlled within the individual. On the other hand, outer-time is communal time. It comprises a linear movement of time, through time. It is the baseline which is generally accepted as standard time; the standard clock, with one point in-time proceeded by the next. A single individual exist communally with other individuals in this outer-time. Communal time is similar to physical space in this regard; it is shared and experienced by all. Inner-time refers to the time of the individual, a time based in metaphysical space. While inner-time may follow linear time, it can be non-linear and can shift out of linear time. It is in essence the ‘clutch' of time: as it allows for an individual to live in a world of communal linear time, while concurrently having non-linear experiences; hence allowing for memory.

Since all understanding lies in the past (Heidegger, 1975), only through reflection can understanding of the world can be developed; also there is no present-time. Understood time is broken into the past and the current-past. As soon as the present has occurred it has past; and therefore only past ‘times may ever be reflect upon (Weick, 1995). The present cannot be directly understood, it can only reflect upon as what just was. Thus contemporarily speaking, it is argued that there is the current-past, as close to the present as an individual can come, and the past, in which all actions exist. The act of remembering occurs in linear time; it is the bringing forward from the past to a current-past in metaphysical space of content that is, in linear time, from a previous point. This allows for the creation of metaphysical timelessness as inner-time can occur for an individual at any point in outer-time.

In-time & Over-time

Time, by definition, is the temporal movement from one point to another (Moore, 1963). This definition in itself creates a paired conceptualization. There is ‘in-time' the points that exist as a self-contained time. These points are then sequentialized and create a ‘time-line'; this is over-time. The linear movement of one point to another. Over-time, the grouping of different individual points of time, sequentially creates history of times or a ‘time-line'. This time-line, however, requires the use of space in order to exist. A line is made up of sequential dots, which represent different spaces in-time. Therefore, these spaces must have existed before they could be put into order, i.e. sequentialization, and therefore allow us to create our understanding of time (Casey, 1993). While contemporary understanding has dichotomized space and time, with space being the superior theoretical dimension, they must both be considered equal pre-cursors needed for the creation of place.


Edward Casey (1993) talks in depth about the relationship between time and space in his definition of place-location. The discovery of the gridiron pendulum (a chronometer) in 1693 by John Harrision is the crowning development upon which the understanding of location was created (Casey, 1997). The device was based upon an earlier watch by Christian Huygens (Relph, 1976). It was a clock that was able to keep exact time while positioned upon a moving and unstable ship. This ability to keep exact time, mixed with the ability to test speed, allowed mariners to be able to decipher which longitude they were on. While the ability to understand one's latitude had long been understood, the difference between longitude and latitude (being that one was continuous, and the other started and stopped at either pole) meant that each had to be understood in a different way. “It required time to resolve the problem of determining exact location in space” (Casey, 1993). The quantification of time, mixed with the previous quantification of space, allows for a divided area which has ‘place-potential'. Time and space overlap, to create an area that is subjectively created by the individual. Together time and space allow for the creation of a ‘location'; a point where an individual may create their ‘lived-experience;' at a certain-time, in a specific differentiated space, an individual may exist.

Therefore, space in-time creates a place-location. It is not yet a place; it is simply the starting point for placemaking. Location is defined as a fixed position within a relative world. Location lies within physical space and it takes up/occupies space in a fixed and non-moving manner. Place-location is situated at the intersection of time and space. This is the quantified essence of space; that while the physical location of a ship or camp is changing its location, the place-location is not; if it is accepted that place is geocentric, then its place-location is in-time. A Place's location is defined by its currency, not by its location in the past; therefore any place's location is its existing location; as fixed along an axis of time and space. Place-location defines a place's position within space at the point closest to the present. Spatial history, i.e. the changing physical location of the place, is not a dimension of place-location; it is a part of the place's past. Place derives its location through its localized physical position in relation to the ‘current-past'. A ship constantly changing physical location is not actually changing its place-location; it is simply creating a spatial history due to the nature of place's geocentric dependence. At any point in-time a specific place's ‘place-location' is fixed. Thus location is in fact a very important part of the definition of place; whether that be metaphysical or physical locale, all place must have its location fixed to exist; its place-location.


The creation of locale is critical to the placemaking process. Locale is a further extension of place-location. The first step in the creation of place is when it is given a place-location, a point of interception between time and space. Place-location starts with the quantifying of physical space; then the temporal quantification create a place-location. The creation of place-location is the first step in the act of ‘placemaking.' Placemaking happens through a lived-experience at a place-location. For the individual placemaking is the creation of a meaningful conceptualization involving location, time, space, and action. The lived experience is the first qualification of a quantified location. It allows a set of coordinates that would otherwise be meaningless gain meaning by placing an individual at them through lived experiences. The consequences of the lived experience mean that a location becomes more than an arbitrary position, it becomes a place with meaning. It allows for the meaningful differentiation of here and there.

This creates the locale, which has a periphery and is the first instrument in creating place. An individual is here; but here is much more than a location, it has a boundary, a ‘personal bubble'. Within this locale further placemaking could occur. A locale sub-place of sorts; it has all the corporeal requirements to become a placeyet it is not a place. With further placemaking activities a locale can evolve into a place but a locale simply defines the boundaries of a place, it does not in of itself create place. Within this process space has been quantified; differentiated space has been further quantified with time and thus created a place-location; a fixed point where a lived experience, could happen. A locale is created when a lived experience occurs. This created the boundaries for a place, for place-location simply defines the specific ‘point' where placemaking could happen, a locale defines a periphery where placemaking has happened, no matter how insignificant.

Place has now been truly quantified; the definition of its boundaries and how we come to understand what is one place and not another. However, this is only half of the placemaking process. While defining a boundary may seem like placemaking it is actually only a spatial exercise. The term place in our language use is often misused for space; “for to say that the Worlde (sic) is somewhere, means no more, than that it does exist; this though a phrase borrowed from Place, [signifies] only its Exestence (sic)” (Locke, quoted in Casey 1997, p.166). Space and time can only be divided, be quantified; to become a place it must be further qualified by activity and meaning.

Place and Meaning

The qualification of a locale leads to the final step in the creation of place. A large part of placemaking is the quantification of space and time, creating place-location and through the lived experience resulting in the locale. However, the final step in place making is the qualification of quantified space & time. Anecdotally, the first step is to draw a drawing (the creation of locale), and then color must be added to the drawing (giving it meaning) to make it a picture (place). In post-industrial thinking, time and space are dichotomized to some degree, with time being the superior force (Casey, 1997). In describing Moores' rhythms, Carines et al., presents place and time as coming together eloquently. The ‘rhythms of production' are the “synchronizing of events such that they occur at the same time in an appropriate place, and the sequencing of action such that events occur in the correct order” (Cairns, McInnes, & Roberts, 2002). However, within this conceptualization they have actually misused the concept of place as space. What is described is the use of space and time, to create a place. From this we may conclude that the systematic use of both space and time to organize the activities of humans is contemporarily thought to create meaning and thus is the process of placemaking. Activity, and resultantly meaning, is an essential part of the qualification part of the placemaking process.

Meaning is the vital element which when added to a locale creates place. Our interaction with a locale in-time (activity) creates meaning, which in turn produces a sense of place. Depending upon the frequency of activity it either strengthens or weakens the meaning given a place. Placemaking is what makes a place more than a locale, with meaning being the relation between the individual and the place locale. Meaning allows for the creation of places, and this creation can range, like space, from the imaginative to the physical. In metaphysical space, thought creates meaning. However, unlike this abstract place, physical space's placemaking involves some sort of physical interaction with the space an activity and interpretation that gives rise to place.


Placemaking over-time allows for the longevity of place through human repetition. Placemaking is developed through the repetition or tradition of activities occurring within a specific place. This is why the tourist, who only understands a place for an instant in-time, does not actually experience the place, but only views the space; the tourist does not understand the place ‘over-time'. Hence, the abandoned Aztec villages of South America, the ghost towns of northern BC, and other abandoned monuments such as Stonehenge do not have a contemporary value. These areas are no longer their original place; they have become a distorted place, a shadow of their former place. “Such withering away and modifications are prevented by ritual and tradition that reinforce the sense of permanence of place” (Relph, 1976).

This recurrence of events reinforces the significance between an individual and a place. However, a place's value does not rely essentially on the continuity of events partaking there, nor upon its timelessness. From the Babylonians of 586 BCE to the Jordanian war in 1948 ("Jerusalem", 2007), Jerusalem has been partially, and in its whole on a few occasions, sacked for over two millennium. With each one of these destructive phases, the immediate place of Jerusalem is destroyed, but it is rebuilt within the same space ("Jerusalem", 2007). The new place that is rebuilt holds some of the same characteristics as the original, or birth place, but is adapted to its new, and current, time to be recreated as a new place of its own. Therefore, the essence of time does not lie specifically with the timelessness of a place. “These are simply dimensions, albeit important and unavoidable ones, that affect our experiences of place” (Relph, 1976).

An example of placemaking

Landscape defines the physical properties of a place that can be seen, however the place of landscape is a vastly more complex creation. Landscape has been presented as possessing the intangible asset of a visual front, which not only exists but adds to and changes the visual setting of its surroundings (Langer, 1953). In this understanding place does not necessarily have a landscape (or a visual front) but the visual form produced by a place, is a place in itself.

The place which a house occupies on the face of the earth, that is to say, its location in actual space, remains the same place if the house burns up or is wrecked and removed. But the place created by the architect is illusion, begotten by the visual expression of feeling sometimes called ‘atmosphere'. This kind of place disappears if the house is destroyed. (Langer, 1953)

In this argument the actual visual ‘frontage' of place changes and interacts with the visual places surrounding it in order to create a landscape. This theory begs to be taken further, and thus becomes the understanding that landscape in itself is a makeup of visual places, that are in themselves properties of other places.

Cresswell (2004, p.10) discards landscapes as being any sort of place by arguing that “we do not live in landscapes - we look at them” (2004, p.11). But is not the landscape of a farm house with fields, a place to an individual. The place of home is felt by an individual living / farming / working there, even though it is looked upon as a landscape, it is a collage of places bound together in one setting. Cresswell looks at landscape from a very individualistic and phenomenological perspective. For landscape to not be a place, then it must have no ‘place meaning' to the individual surveying the landscape. His example of Mathew from Raymond William's (1960) novel Border Country illustrates this. Mathew leaves his home town to go to university, upon returning to his home (which happened to be in a valley) he stands atop the valley edge, looking in, and looks at his previous home as a landscape … it is not a place to him. It is still a place, especially to all the other inhabitants within the valley; the landscape is not a ‘place' because the surveyor (Mathew) no longer has a connection with the contemporary or current place (using time to make the place's location relevant). Landscape is not a place when there is no immediate (in-time) connection with the space that the landscape encompasses. Once the surveyor attaches him/herself within the space, in a timely manner, the landscape stops having little meaning, and through activity meaning is thus re-created qualifying the space.

Through this process, landscape becomes both a part of place, and a non-place. It is dependent upon the surveyor's perspective and recent activity with the space being viewed. This way of looking at landscape is ‘tourism.' Reulph (1976) comments on tourism as,

an inauthentic attitude to place is nowhere more clearly expressed than in tourism, for in tourism individual and authentic judgment about places is nearly always subsumed to expert or socially accepted opinion, or the act and means of tourism becomes more important than the places visited (p.82).

Tourists look upon places as landscapes and not meaningful places because they have not had a significant lived-experience there. A tourist simply views other places, where (in most cases) other individuals have had lived-experiences, in the hope of sharing in that experience.

However, landscapes and places may co-exist. This same ‘tourist' place may be a private place to another. Private places are places that exist as a memory, existing in abstract space and inner-time rather than within our immediate physical surroundings. Such a memory may indicate a ‘happy place' that we return to in-times of stress. This private place serves as a remembrance of previous places and allows us to understand and better create our immediate world. If we did not have the metaphysical ‘happy' place of that favorite Christmas in our minds, we would not be able to aptly critique our immediate circumstance of happiness or sadness. In essence, the good places allow us to ‘know' the bad places; and vice versa. Place is not just an essential part of how we define our world, but also how we emotionally feel about our world.

Place Roles

Our world is not a single place, In order for us to be able to comprehend this sheer mass of places, individuals develop place roles. The world is the accumulation of many different places, contemporarily distributed into a triad of places (home, work and the 3rd place). Each place-type within the triad has its own specific activities. Predominantly place roles are divided into three separate roles: Work, Home and the 3rd place. Work, home and the 3rd place each arbitrate the actions of those who must adhere to each place. Essentially the places each have their own set of guidelines and rules on how to act, as each is an independent place (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000).

Each different place has its own set of role schemas that define specific actions that happen there. These schemes allow for transition to occur more easily between the different places. The creation of these places is a way for individuals to order and simplify their environment. These places generally are grouped together with contiguous, similar and functionally related activities at specific places in-time. For example, the workplace is a set of activities that are related, at the office, during the hours of 8am - 5 pm. This is a contemporary schema of the work-place (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000).

These places each have a role identity for the individual who does activity within that specific place. Thus creating networks: the individuals who share the workplace each fill a different role within the same place; their similarity is the place, and their difference is their role. Individuals then fill their different roles within other places, but are universally linked by the first place, hence a network of places and roles. Their roles have to change as they change places, and have to change depending upon the other roles in their current place. The older sister becomes the acting parent when babysitting due to the absence of the parent(s) or usual supervisor(s). These roles are dependant not just upon the place, but the other members of that specific place that are currently active. Thus places and roles change, yet these are all the makeup of the places of home, work and the 3rd place (Varano, 1999).


The home is a complex creation of both placeness (the essence of place)and sociological factors. Heideger states that it is the fundamental basis upon which our identity and understanding of the rest of the world is built. It is generally accepted that the ‘home' has a profound effect upon an individual's understanding of the world (Brett, 1998; Casey, 1993; Harvey C. Perkins, 2002; Heidegger, 1959; Relph, 1976). The home usually, if not always, has a connection with an individual's kin. It is more than just a place to sleep; it has a ‘place-history' developed over-time. The place of home is one unique creation; while its location may change, the feeling associated with the place may remain unchanged. Thus the ‘feelings' of home can follow from one physical place to another, while the metaphysical place remains relatively unchanged. The implications of the home are profound upon the individual, as is seen in the example given by R.J. Lifton (1976, p.29) in his study of Hiroshima survivors.

I climbed Hijoyama Hill and looked down. I saw that Hiroshima had disappeared … I was shocked by the sight … what I felt then and still feel now I just can't explain with words. Of course I saw many dreadful scenes after that - that experience, looking down and finding nothing left of Hiroshima - was so shocking that I simply can't express what I felt” (Quoted in Reulph, 1977).

The destruction of this man's home was most devastating, the loss of an essential part of his understanding of the world. A deep relational bond between man and place is manifested through a connection with the home. Our existence and understanding, while possible, would be bereft without place, and more importantly a significant center.

Much literature and constructions of the ‘home' point to it being the central reference point of the individual (Heidegger, 1959). However, a further reading may show that this simply signifies that one place is dominant, and that this dominance is necessary in order to reference others. Home has fulfilled this role due to the centrality within the placemaking actions of individuals. It may, however, be not so much necessary that the home is paramount in our understanding but that one place must be significantly dominant, for a significant experience with our world.


The work-place has evolved significantly in the past and has had, and continues to have, significant implications upon the paradigm of place-referencing. The work-place was originally once part of the home (Thompson, 1967); but changes in societal conceptualizations of time evolved its meaning into its own place. Consequently, its evolution has been paramount in the development of contemporary understandings of place. The work-place has been argued as a place that is subjective, due to the subjective nature of the activity carried out it (Oldenburg & Brissett, 1982). The modern activity of work, in an information economy, is subjective while also operating under prescribed conditions, or set place roles. For example, the place of work will happen at a specified time, in a usually unchanging location or in a routine manner. The office worker works in the same office during the usually allotted time frame; the UPS driver follows a similar delivery route to maximize time. It is argued that work is the expenditure of time mixed with usually other resources (i.e. ‘brain power') in order to receive the necessary items (money) in order to sustain oneself and/or one's family (Harper & Lawson, 2003).

Under this explanation work becomes an essential survivability place. The work-place exists in order to allow for sustenance; its economic value is what gives it its importance. The changes in contemporary attitudes towards the work-place are fundamentally driven by modern society's need for the work-place.

3rd place

The 3rd place is a paradigm that lies between the work-place and the home-place. “3rd places exist outside the home and beyond the “work lots” of modern economic production” (Oldenburg & Brissett, 1982). The 3rd place is defined by being a different place than either home or work. The language used in this description denotes existing ‘outside' the home and ‘beyond' work. The 3rd place is constructed as a primarily social-place. It is this state combined with its ‘otherness' to home and work which makes the contemporary 3rd place. These places include the pub, the country club and even the Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs) of the internet (Steinkuehler & Williams, 2006). A 3rd place characteristic is controlled randomness (Oldenburg & Brissett, 1982). That is, a certain amount of uncertainty while still being relatively controlled. For example, an individual that frequents a pub: He or she goes to the same pub (consistency) where there is a certain level of certainty that specific people will be present. However at the same time there is randomness to the place. Other people may be there, a friend of a friend, a cousin, new people to meet that may lead the activity of the 3rd place (socializing) in a new and unexpected direction. The 3rd place may constitute just a couple drinks and then off home, or it may create a night filled with new and interesting social exercises for the partaker to undertake. This is the essentially differentiating factor from the home and the work environment. The 3rd place is referenced by what it is not: “to speak of the lack of diversity and novelty in the home and the workplace is to point out the prominence of color in the 3rd place” (Oldenburg & Brissett, 1982).

As argued in the previous section the triad of places is a comprehension strategy used by the individual in order to bring order, and therefore meaning, to the sheer mass of places that exist. Through categorization the otherwise masses of different place can be easily placed into one of the three categories: work, home or the 3rd place (Brett, 1998; Casey, 1997; Cresswell, 2004; Harper & Lawson, 2003; Harvey C. Perkins, 2002). This is an accepted theory of how places are broken up, and divided into meaningful groupings thus allowing for the development of place-roles that can be easily and widely applied within each of three divisions. This also helps to facilitate the movement from one type of place to another. The triad of places is a categorization of place, above the placemaking process as it is the generalization and then categorization of places, but not necessarily physically articulated places. In that the triad of places exists due to societies need for categorization of places; it does not exist as a function of the placemaking process.


The previous section has highlighted the key concepts in contemporary theory and conceptualizations of the place making process. Space, time and activity are the three key concepts in the argued placemaking process. In so far as they provide the underpinnings that allow for the formulation of place. Also presented is the division of places into three distinct categories: the triad of places.

However, the theory presented in the previous section could, due to the nature of previous phenomenological studies, be in actual fact not a correct representation of current place making activities. Phenomenological studies are based in-time, however, the placemaking process occurs over-time; thus studying placemaking through such a lens may in fact overlook critical changes in either the constellation of placemaking components (time, space and activity) or the meaning attributed to place from any of these components. The following section describes the methodology used in this study to both circumvent the issues with phenomenological studies and in doing so come to a possibly more accurate representation of the current placemaking process.


As argued in the introduction, the two problematic issues surrounding the concept of placemaking are: its lack of study, and the phenomenological approach of previous studies (Heidegger, 1975; Seamon, 1998). This study hopes to accomplish two goals: first, to add to the body of work surrounding place in order to further the discussion on both place and the placemaking process using a heterophenomenological lens; and second, to explore the implications for understanding the relationships between work, home and the social places we create.

Phenomenological studies accept the account of an individual as being authoritative. The individual's account is acknowledged as an accurate portrayal of the process through which the individual mediates theory and practice. Whereas heterophenomenology is an approach that considers the individual authoritative only about how things ‘seem' to them, not necessarily how things actually are mediated. Thus, in addition to the individual's report, a heterophenomenological study will also take into account historical context. This process can sometimes conclude that while the individual may be correct about how things ‘seem', they are in fact incorrect about the process through which theory and practice are actually mediated; for example, we could determine that a subject is hungry even though they don't recognize it themselves (Dennet, 2003). The similar result in this study would be that the individual believes they are going through the placemaking process a certain way; however, in relation to the theory they used and the actual environment they are in, a logical conclusion would be contradictory to the account the individual has given.

To avoid the challenge of phenomenological based studies produce when looking at hegemonic and recursive processes (Dennet, 2006), within this study individual's accounts will be paired with historical and contextual research. This shall help to develop a more authoritative understanding of the placemaking process over-time. This approach is helpful when studying hegemonic processes, such as placemaking, because the individual may not actually understand the process that is being undertaken and therefore may yield an inaccurate account. However, it is very difficult, especially in a historiographical study, to get direct accounts of the placemaking process; both from an individual perspective and within an epoch. Therefore, the framework illustrated in the previous section; of the three places (home work and the 3rd place) shall be applied to different periods in time, epochs, in order to delineate any differences in the relation between these places.

By studying the triad of places, and the changes in their relations, at different points in-time, we may identify placemaking changes over-time. Through examining these changes we can begin to formulate a theory as to how placemaking has changed due to fundamental shifts in these three places. Thus we can observe the process of placemaking within each epoch, and also compare them to contemporary placemaking theory and processes.

We may observe with little difficulty, some of the general similarities between the three places. First, each place has its own applied general or specific activities. Thus, activity is a key component within these placesand therefore placemaking. Time is also important to our concepts of place. Each place is to some degree bound by time; for example work could be temporally framed as occurring from 9 - 5 each day. Therefore, time and activity are two central concepts of place, and thus placemaking.

With time and activity as integral components in the placemaking process we may conclude that changes to these two components are critical to any analysis of the placemaking process over-time. With the contemporary hegemonic acceptance of both general places, and the placemaking process, a historical analysis is necessary in order to understand the roots of contemporary placemaking practices.

Lieberman's conceptualization for longitudinal analysis and periodization strategies is useful in this regard. The historiographical approach lends itself well to a dual variable causation analysis of conceptualizations (Lieberman, 2001). When adapting this framework to placemaking, time becomes the independent variable while activity the dependent variable; thus we can look at three different distinct periods within the past and analyze the activity within each epoch. The dependant variable is studied through a causational method. Both the product of the placemaking process, places, and the ingredients (time, space and meaning) of that process (analyzed through the use of the triad of places) are focused upon. Doing so allows for the examination of changes within placemaking, either through a change in the product of placemaking - or through a change in the ingredients of the process. Essentially, variable ‘A' combined with variable ‘B' prduces ‘X'; thus if variable ‘A' and ‘B' change than we can conclude that the product ‘X' must also have changed; and vice versa. By doing so, past activities of placemaking can be examined through the activity of individuals within these differing time periods.

The three periods chosen for analysis are differentiated by major shifts in management practices. The first epoch is focused on the pre-industrial era, from 1300 - 1650; as it is herald as a time for the intellectual development in the apprehension of time (Cumbler, 1979). The major shift, from a contemporary management theory perspective, was from task-orientated ideas of time towards the idea of time as a currency, a concept of time where it is accumulated and spent, rather than passed.

The second is the industrial epoch, where we observe the creation and running of a company town called Hopedale, and the Draper family which governed and managed the town (Spann, 1992). This use of a company town mitigates the general instability of management practice during this epoch. A company town is a focused and well developed industrial place, in which formal roles are created and maintained. Thus it provides a suitable contextual environment from which placemaking may be studied.

The final epoch is that of the post-industrial contemporary period. By analyzing our current working methods, this study is able to determine the current state of management practices. When combined with the past analysis of the two previous epochs, a longitudinal and historiographical understanding of the current placemaking process can be developed.

Through examining the evolution of activity over-time and the relation of the triad of places within each epoch, we may begin to deduce a historiographical shift in conceptualization of placemaking. Combining heterophenomenology with Lieberman's theory of periodization provides the framework necessary to support a causational study over-time; creating a study able to mitigate the hegemonic and recursive issues presented by the placemaking process. This is in order to come to an accurate representation of current placemaking activities.

Pre-industrial Epoch

The pre-industrial epoch ranges from 1300 - 1650; this first epoch includes an important shift in both conceptualizations of time, and resultant changes in the conceptualization of the work-place (Cumbler, 1979). This epoch is hallmarked as a fundamental shift in the way that work was thought of, practiced and managed. This shift in the perception of time by both management and the employee in part allowed the industrial revolution to take place. The clock, or time-keeper, was instrumental in allowing this shift to occur and establish the foundations of a time-orientated work force necessary for industrialization (Ericson, 2006). Before the mass adoption of the clock, time was measured by relatively arbitrary means. “In Madagascar time might be measured by ‘a rice-cooking' (about half an hour) or ‘the frying of a locust' (a moment)” (E. Evans (1940) quoted in Thompson, 1967). This is event timing, which suffices in cultures that are task-orientated in regards to time. “Such disregard for clock time could of course only be possible in a crofting (sic) and fishing community whose framework of marketing and administration is minimal” (Thompson, 1967).

The irregularity of pre-clock time originates in two areas (Glennie & Thrift, 1996). First, largely due to the agrarian nature of much of the pre-industrial world, a task-orientated time reference was a necessity. This ‘general irregularity must be placed within the irregular cycle of the working week (and indeed the working year)” (Thompson, 1967). Agriculture as an industry does not follow the same time or work conditions as machine-based industries. The work carried out within agrarian cultures is very cyclical and based upon uncontrollable factors such as weather. As such, a predictable and synchronized approach to managing labor time was often ineffective, or counterproductive.

Second, the unavailability of standardized (and accurate) clock time for the majority of classes slowed the introduction of clock time into society; thus restricting the technology's acceptance and utilization in a way that allowed for the synchronization of work. Task-orientated time remained dominant and work was driven by tasks and not by time; for laborers saw time measured not as a unit in and of itself but as a description of a task:

January 12, 1783: “I was employed in preparing a calf stall & fetching the Tops of three Plain Trees home which grew in the Lane and was that day cut down & sold to John Blagbrough”

January 21st: “Wove 2¾ yards. The cow having calved she required much attendance” (On the next day he walked to Halifax to buy a medicine for the cow) (MS. diaries of Cornelius Ashworth of Wheatley, quoted in Thompson, 1967)

It is important to note that within his journal the day is never segmented by specific measurements. The day is split by tasks. The weaving of 2 ¾ yards probably took the morning (4 hours); the afternoon was most likely spent with the cow. However, for Mr. Ashworth, a day was broken up by the tasks, not the amount of time spent at each one. It is a small but critical distinction from our contemporary culture where time is measured on an ongoing basis. In pre-industrialized culture, time was measured by activity. “Central to this transition was the replacement of ‘task-orientation (the organization of time according to the necessity of performing particular tasks…) by ‘time-orientation' (work organized by regular, coordinating time-disciplines” (Glennie & Thrift, 1996). This orientation towards time lead to a “work pattern [of] bouts of intense labor and idleness” (Thompson, 1967).


The task-orientation towards life, for pre-industrial laborers meant they were unlikely to view their place world in a contemporary fashion; i.e. home, work and the 3rd place. One key reason is that work and home were not necessarily separated as being different places. There was no need for a conceptualization separating of these two places. The 3rd place is, however, defined by being ‘other' to both work and home. If there is no differentiation between work and home, then the resulting 3rd place, in pre-industrial, society would not be viewed as being other to work and home; it would be defined in a different way. For this reason, for this section, the 3rd place will be referenced as the social-place, as this is a more appropriate identification of this place and its characteristics within this era. As will be shown, the social-place was not originally viewed as a place to escape, per se, but as a place primarily to socialize. However this was early in this period, the social place did in fact eventually become a placeto escape. Socialization generally was in the ale houses and public houses where heavy drinking was a common activity (Thompson, 1967).

The culture was towards heavy weekend drinking; however the weekend was considered to include Sunday and Saint Monday. Tuesday was generally regarded as a day of half utilization, due to laborer's hangovers from Monday's activities.

“When the framework knitters or makers of silk stockings had a great price for their work, they have been observed seldom to work on Mondays and Tuesdays but to spend most of their time at the ale-house or nine pins … the weavers, ‘tis common with them to be drunk on Monday, have their head-ache on Tuesday, and their'tools (sic) out of order on Wednesday” (John Houghton (1681) quoted in Thompson, 1967).

This binge drinking was a result, and a reaction to heavy systematic labored work. This new form of work was felt to be unnatural and the ale house allowed for an escape from the unnatural.

For nearly six years, whilst working, when I had work to do, from twelve to eighteen hours a day, when no longer able, from the cause mentioned, to continue working, I used to run from it, and go as rapidly as I could to Highgate, Hampstead, Muswell-hill, or Norwood, and then ‘return to my vomit' (Francis Place personal journal (1829), quoted in Thompson, 1967).

The social-place and the workplace were in direct competition with each other for the time of laborers. It is difficult therefore to see these places being anything other than dichotomous. There was a pull towards the ale house as it offered retreat from the drudgery of daily life, and yet the pay from the workplace allowed the means for such escapes. This presented an issue to management as Sir Mordaunt Martin recounts in the 1790s,

while people agree to, to save themselves the trouble of watching their workmen: the consequence is, the work is ill done, the workmen boast at the ale-house what they can spend in ‘a waste against the wall' [drunken stupor], and make men at moderate wages discontented” (Quoted in Thompson, 1967).

The work house and the ale-house pulled at the worker like a piece of iron to two opposite magnets. For individuals that were making the transition from task to time-orientation it can be argued that this transition was not universally embraced. Workers did not see the social-place as being opposite to the workplace, but it was the social-place where they wanted to be and the workplace was the enabling necessary evil. Since time-orientation was relatively new, its adoption by workers was slow, as they resisted aligning themselves with a time-orientated work-place. During this era time-orientation was seen as a black-mark upon work relations; one that forced the worker into time-servitude (Cumbler, 1979).

In this epoch, the home-place was not as directly partitioned from work and the social-place as is done contemporarily. The few mentions of it as a separate entity are generally in relation to the wife coming to the ale-house to badger the husband for dinking; portrayed in usually somewhat comedic scenes. One key reason for this lack of divide was the task-orientated nature of home-work. Hence individuals such as the previously mentioned Mr. Ashworth combined work and home by producing goods at home. Also, the home was not generally considered to be a retreat from work; hence, the proliferation of the social-place (the only true escape); as the majority of workers would be employed at home just as they were in the fields:

and after supper hee (sic) shall either by the fire side mend shooes (sic) both for himselfe (sic) and their Family, or beat and knock Hemp or Flax, or picke (sic) and stamp Apples and Crabs, for Cyder or Verdjuyce, or else grind malt on the quernes, pick candle rushes, or doe (sic) some Husbandly office within doors till it be full eight a clock. (G. Markman (1660), quoted in Thompson, 1967)

So the home-place was not divided from the work-place. It was simply a place of escape from timed-work, yet where home- (task-orientated)-work was still carried out. Consequently, work and the social-place existed in tension within their dichotomous relation.


This era is marked not only by task-orientation but also a dramatic and a fundamental change towards ‘clock' time. “Whenever any group of workers passed into a phase of improving living standards, the acquisition of timepieces was one of the first things noted by observers” (Thompson, 1967). The major shift which pre-empted the industrial revolution was the move away from family run/owned farms and cottages to increased standardization of work (Cumbler, 1979). This resulted in the creation of organizational hierarchies. Thus, farm employment was a critical factor in changing the relations between labor, time and the meanings given to lace.

Those who are employed experience a distinction between their employer's time and their ‘own' time. And the employer must use the time of his labour (sic), and see it is not wasted: not the tasks but the value of time, when reduced to money is dominant. Time is now currency: it is not passed but spent (Thompson, 1967).

Employment required a key shift from task-orientated to timed-labor. This shift in ideological ideas towards timed-labor, allowed for the further standardization of labor which inevitably set the stage for the industrial revolution. The movement from task-orientation to labor orientation set the groundwork for modern thinking on ‘time management': ideas of time now hegemonically accepted, were developed during this period. To workers of this time, these concepts were fundamentally different and new. During the start of this era there was a mixed divide between task- and time-orientation; with the beginning of the period being heavily task-orientated and the end mostly time-orientated. “Attention to time in labour depends in a large degree upon the need for the synchronization of labour” (Thompson, 1967). This development is shown in Carlisle's 1798 petition, “the cotton and woollen (sic) manufactories are entirely indebted for the state of perfection to which the machinery used therein brought to the clock and watch makers” (Carlisle, quoted in Thompson, 1967). The shift to time-orientation allowed for the three pillars of employable time to co-exist and to create the environment necessary to facilitate factory production .

The irregularity of working days and weeks were framed, until the first decades of the nineteenth century, within the larger irregularity of the working year, punctuated by its traditional holidays, and fairs. Even with the triumph of the Sabbath over Saint Monday in the seventeenth century individuals held strongly to previous beliefs and traditions (Thompson, 1967). Some of which are still visible in the United Kingdom's statutory bank holidays (Glennie & Thrift, 1996).

Industrialization of time had yet to develop outside the workplace. The 3rd-place was still task-orientated, and measured in the amount of time taken to drink a pint of ale, or the time taken at the local farmer's market. The fundamental economic institutions of the pre-industrial era played their role in slowing the invasion of time into the social-place. The farmer's market was the paramount institution for trade for much of the era, and its occurrence was not measured like a shop keepers. As such individuals who wished to gain the supplies necessary for their very sustenance were required to keep to the task-orientated nature of the markets. As such, “this would add the frequent complaints of agricultural improvers as to the time wasted, both at seasonal fairs and (before the arrival of the village shop) on weekly market-days” (Thompson, 1967).


As argued in this section this epoch is characterized by the shift from task-orientation to time-orientation. This epoch also puts in motion the formal separation of the three contemporary places that make up our world. This fundamental shift was facilitated by the combination of invention and need for increased productivity. Land owners changing perspectives on labor and its management combined with the timely invention of the time-piece allowed for the synchronization of labor. The synchronization of time with labor allowed for the industrial revolution, which lead to the standardization of labor to better facilitate the synchronization of time and increase productivity.

In the following section time and place will be placed in relation to the change that occurred within the pre-industrial epoch. Also the importance of timed-work and its relation to space will be shown to be the dominant relation within the industrial epoch.

Industrial Epoch

The industrial epoch extends from 1650 until 1914 (Cumbler, 1979). This was a time of change in the way labor was managed. It also was hallmarked by the invention of the steam engine, which could produce ample amounts of energy to create goods (Thompson, 1967). However, this epoch is rampant with changes in many different areas of placemaking and in labor relations. Therefore, one clear way to look at the origin of industrial epoch is through a company town where industrialization was dominant. Hopedale, Massachusetts is used because of its relative intransience during an epoch where the political and economical environment was unstable. Hopedale started out as a communitarian colony in 1841 run by the community's spiritual leader, the Reverend Adin Ballou (1803 - 90). In March of 1856 the commune sold the entire property and buildings to the E. D. and G. Draper Company (Ballou, 1879).

The main attraction to the Draper Company was the Mill River which ran through the valley in which Hopedale was situated. The river could, and did, provide much of the power needed to run the company's mills. The floor of the valley extended for four miles in length with the river. The river has a north - south trajectory and was bifurcated by the company in order to wield maximum power to the mills (Schlipp, 1984).

The Draper brother's ability to design and build (a skill they had learned from their father Ira Draper) a revolving temple, was the start of the economic prosperity for Hopdale. This machine is a part of the loom that keeps material equally stretched during weaving to create a uniformed product. However even with this innovation the factory was only just breaking-even, and in 1855 only 17 workers were needed to run the loom. Luckily the reengineering of Hopedale's production facilities' coincided with a boom in textile mill construction. Before this time many of the large textile producing factories built their own machinery from scratch, and as such production varied greatly from one factory to the next (Ballou, 1879).

The Draper Company started with manufacturing parts of textile machinery. Through a series of innovations the Draper brothers were able to succeed, and gain brand recognition in the competitive market of the time. During the following ten year period the workforce at Hopedale doubled to thirty-eight hands (not including supervisors, foremen, foundry-men and stablemen) (Ballou, 1879). By 1875 the company employed approximately two hundred men and had 3 main streets to accommodate workers and their families. Despite the national depression of 1873 - 77 the Drapers were mostly unaffected due to the strength of the textiles industry as a whole during the period. Also during times of depression textile producers would go through the process of upgrading their machinery, so if anything the depression had a boosting affect on the Draper's business. Between the 1870's and the 1880's there became a large focus on building large residential estates within Hopedale. During this time there was also a continued expansion of the factories. In 1873 the Draper Company produced the Northrop Loom. It was revolutionary in that it automatically changed bobbins of thread and thus allowed a worker to operate 20 looms, as opposed to two. The product quickly became the strongest selling of the Draper products. By WW1 more than 20,000 of these looms were being produced a year by the Draper company (Spann, 1992). In 1886 there were 926 inhabitants and a decent town by 1916 the population had increased to 2663 and a large town. During this time the town saw strong growths in production and demand. However after 1916 the focus of the Draper Company turned away from Hopedale and moved towards factories constructed in the south. This initiated the decline of the importance of the Draper company, the Northrop loom and Hopedale (Perry, 1970).


As with the majority of highly paternal company towns of this epoch (Allen, 1967) the strongest relationship was between work and home. “The Drapers were ambitious in seeking ways to increase productivity and capital return” (Garner, 1984, p. 165). In this case the relationship is strengthened because of a positive attitude by laborers towards management. This relationship was developed upon three key fundamentals that the Draper family implemented. The Draper family sustained and gave security to its workers in return for increased productivity. While this may seem un-original, it was for its time quite novel. This is because the relations between management and the laborers did not come about as a reaction towards any negative stimuli (for example a strike), it simply evolved organically out of the family's natural interests in their town. The Family, unlike the majority of Company Town owners of the day, lived in Hopedale, which may explain part of their vested interest in the town's wellbeing. For these paternal reasons and the company town setting the home- and work-place were closely related yet sharply divided by time.

The Draper family did provide relatively inexpensive and well built / designed accommodation for its employees, and also provided (for the time) a well funded education system for employees and their dependants. “To uplift the situation of workers [George Draper] firmly believed in education; and in a letter written in 1881 to a business acquaintance, he tells of his experiences in teaching employees to read, write and figure their bills” (Garner, 1984, p. 170). This education allowed company employees to advance to higher positions; however, it never allowed them to enter salaried management positions. These were always reserved for family members and people of special interest. The family also provided sustainability for its employees through the provisions of family housing at sustainable rent prices; as low as $5.00 a week for semi-detached houses in 1883. The Draper's reason for this “was simply a business proposition; good homes attract good workers and keep them healthy and content” (Garner, 1984, p. 205). The houses were outfitted with the latest amenities, including running hot and cold water, and the entire town was serviced by sewage and gas lines by 1885. As imagined this created a lot of good will between employees and management and was the basis of the formation of a strong relationship between the two parties.

The same cannot be said for the relationship between either work or home and the 3rd place during this time in Hopedale. Within the literature written on Hopedale, there is little or no mention of 3rd places. Pubs, worker clubs, and the town hall rarely entered into mention within any of these texts. The town did support a country Club and a Firearms range and club; however both of these institutions were relatively modern additions to the town. It would seem that even with the introduction of fewer work hours, these additional, free, hours were spent at home (Schlipp, 1984). “In a letter to the Special Commission on the Hours of Labor in 1886, a Hopedale worker, George Gray, wrote ‘that since the adoption of the ten hour rule mechanics enjoy many of the comforts of life than formerly.' Before, for example, laborers were ‘too tired to read useful books” (Spann, 1992, p. 182). Workers perhaps used this time towards more ‘useful' ends. A contrastingly different tale of affairs then in European company towns of the same era, where 3rd places played as much a role in the town as the company itself did (Thompson, 1967). Also with the company's lack of concern towards the unionization of its workers, there was ample opportunity for workers to form their own social organizations. Yet if they did exist they are paid little attention to within, even worker specific texts, about Hopedale.

During this epoch the dominant relationship was between home and work. With a general lack of 3rd places, the workplace, would become a quasi-3rd place; a place where socializing was done while working, or during breaks. While it is not surprising that in a company town, the work-place as the dominant place, it is surprising that, at least in this case, that there was little apparent reaction from the townspeople towards such a work-centric atmosphere. It would seem that keeping the employees complacent within the work-dominated environment is enough to counter any resistance to the structure. In addition another phenomenon that would have prevented the creation of traditional 3rd places was pre-World War 1 abolition. This would have forced organized alcoholic venues to operate underground. Two indicators point towards Hopedale not having any underground or illegal establishments. First, the general character and beginnings of the town; it started as a religious settlement and the town has had strong religious ties since its beginning (Ballou, 1879). The second is that even in personal accounts of the town, as in the case of Ruth Schlipp, no mention of such establishments exists. While other similarly scandalous activities are reported, and so there should be no resistance in reporting information about illegal drinking establishments, or other underground 3rd places.


The Draper Company extended a high level of job-security to its employees, a practice nearly unheard of for employees in company towns of the era. These securities included medical-care, disability insurance, and a pension to retired employees and widows with children. Not only was this security presented to employees but the Draper's also championed worker hour conditions. “In 1856 the workday was set at ten hours, whereas other Massachusetts mills operated eleven hours a day, six days a week” (Garner, 1984, p. 182). These efforts were all considered very paternal and were rare in company towns of this time. This limitation of time of laborer was in-fact a way to increase the productivity of laborers while ‘on company time' (Allen, 1967).

The relationship between ‘work' and ‘home' in Hopedale was strong; however the place of home was relatively removed within this relationship due to the lack of ownership on behalf of the laborer. While the company did provide the ‘home' to the employee in return for ‘work' the two places are separated from each other due to the strict control over time. This is most noticeable in the relation a long-time worker of Hopedale had:

I first heard the shop bell ring curfew on the evening of my arrival so long ago. I hear it open the gates of day next morning at six. I heard it call people to work at seven, and again at one. I have heard it perform this routing thousands of times in almost half a century, and its sounds fall as pleasantly on my ear as it did when I first heard it (Garner, 1984, p. 118).

Two things may be drawn from this passage. First, it was the bell which symbolized the difference between home and work. When it sounded some people shifted from the place of work and into that of home, and for the replacing work-shift vice-versa. Second, the individual found the sound pleasant, and the bell distinguished temporally the two places, by giving clear and concise boundaries (both temporal and spatial). The relationship between the home-place and the work-place was strong but the spatial and temporal boundaries definitive (Schlipp, 1984).


During this epoch, the continued sequentilization of time allowed for the standardization of labor necessary for an industrial factory production line required for the manufacturing of goods. There is also evidence of a widening gap between the home- and work-place. While the two places are still relatively geographically ‘close' their activity and time are distinctly separated, and because of these two key elements are understood as characteristically different places. In this epoch places are very rigidly separated by space and time. The work-place occurred at the plant and between the hours of 9 - 5; the home-place occurred outside of these hours and at the home.

However, in the following section the removal of special boundaries to placemaking will be shown to be the dominant relation in contemporary terms. This is in accordance with the continuing prominence of time, and the reduction of spatial meaning in the placemaking process.

Post-Industrial Epoch

The post-industrial epoch runs from 1915 until 2007 (Ericson, 2006) and is hallmarked by two important changes in the home-place. First is the emergence or even arguable need for dual-income families. Second is the urbanization movement. Currently more than 80% of Americans live in an urban environment; this in relation to 37.9 % in 1975 (Krumholz, 2003), which shows the emergence of the dominant urban trend in modern living . These two significant changes have had major effects upon all of the places that make up the triad of our lived-spaces.


Within this era the western world has seen a mass-revolution from a manufacturing to a knowledge based economy (Micklethwait & Woolridge, 2003). This revolution to the work-place brings with it major changes to both the home- and the 3rd place. One of the major issues that becomes apparent within the home-place is a result of the stalled equality revolution (Arlie Russel Hochschild, 2003). Women are trying to revolutionize their roles, both in the home and workplace; however social constrictions are making it more difficult than the previous revolution of men's work habits a century prior. Women today are more likely to have roles vastly different from those of their mothers; however men are much likely to have similar roles and jobs to those of their fathers. A century ago the opposite was true, as the factory worker moved from the factory to the city, men were much more likely to have different roles than their fathers (Arlie Russell Hochschild, 1997).

The difference between these two revolutions is rooted heavily in gender ideology, and as a result expedited one revolution while stalling another. The change in the work of men only helped them to be a better provider for the family; this is aligned with a man's gender ideology. For women however the similar work revolution conflicts with their socially accepted gender ideology; working takes time away from their ‘home-time'. The major conflict that arises internally within the home-place is eloquently explained as ‘the second shift' by Arlie Hochschild:

Home changed. But … thorough the nineteenth century, compared to men, women maintained an orientation toward life that was closer to what had been. Thus … we might conclude that during this period men changed more (2003).

Where the issue arises in this case is that the home-place has, arguably by no fault of either gender, become ‘less' important than the work-place.

Hochschild illustrates through couples where both partners have strong egalitarian feelings, i.e. that both partners should work, that the home-place has becomes a burden, a nuisance of necessity. In these partnerships, where it could be afforded, almost all of the house-work was ‘outsourced'. The activity of work is deemed as important whereas the work of the home-place is merely a necessity; required so that one could work. This is a radical and possibly detrimental reduction in the place that Heidegger argued was the central reference point for all other places - the home-place. The major conflict in such relationships seems to be that work is not just a sum of its quantitative segments or its face value. Somehow work done away from the home, or work that is not a part of maintaining the household directly, is valued as being more important than actual house-work.

When asked, the majority of these partners reported there (non-house) work as giving them the ability to support a healthier home-life. The mentality being: ‘I work hard so I may be able to afford a comfortable home'. The fact is not equality or any sense of the word, or a failed revolution; it is simply an illogical connection that these couples make between their wants, and what they feel they should want. They want to work, but only ‘work' which creates monetary value. Their hope is that this monetary value will benefit the home-place. Housework, which is as much ‘work' as are ‘9-5' jobs, is valued as less important by both the male and female partners in these relationship. The difference is between work being valued in a quantitative or qualitative way. On the one hand, if one works at an office from ‘9-5' they get a quantitative monetary value, a pay cheque. This is a clear and measurable way to demonstrate how one is providing for the home. On the other hand, house work is qualitative, there is no monetary benefit or way to quantify, or assign a numerical value to, house-work. And here is the main issue affecting modern households: work has been separated between quantitative and qualitative value systems and because of the difficulty of understanding qualitative value, equal work is not given equal value (Arlie Russel Hochschild, 2003).

The gender strategies of the modern couple do not allow for the home-place to have much relevance. It is marginalized, outsourced, and devalued to the point it become a necessary nuisance subsumed by work and to some extent the 3rd place. Urbanization had also moved the home closer to work. The home-place's location is mandated by work; the home's location is work-centric. The home now exists in relation to work. Work dictates the home, its location, the amount of time spent there, who spends time there. Hence we see the creation of bedroom communities: the name depicting the nature of the community; a place for bedrooms, not for homes. The home has been reduced to one room, its need is no longer to nurture or sustain, but simply to be used as a non-work ‘place'; a ‘place' that is simply used to contain a person in between work episodes.

But the question remains, which place sustains us; if home has been stripped of that role, sustenance must be acquired somewhere. Here we enter into a social divide. On one side we have westernized North America, on the other westernized Europe. Both are considered western countries, both have felt the effects of the marginalization of home, and the increase in dual income families, but each counteracts this change through different ‘places'.

Work has remained an important part of the triad of places that make up an individual's frame of reference. However in the past 20 years a dramatic change has happened within the workplace. Yet these changes have had dramatically different impacts on either sides of the westernized Atlantic. One of the major changes is the introduction of instant communication services. This is more than just the telephone; it includes email, internet capable mobile devices, and most importantly the Blackberry® ("Blackberry", 2007).

These changes in technology have diluted the periphery of the workplace. Work no longer necessarily has to happen at the place of work, the physical boundary has become diluted. Thus, the activity of work is no longer directly connected to the space of work. This has had the adverse affect of allowing the activity of ‘work' to also spill out of the time of work. This spillage or overlap of the activity of work has been inflicted upon the place of home; at least in the western North American example; so the home becomes marginalized yet further.


Not only has the amount of time spent at the home been reduced, so has the amount of home activity done at the home-place which has also been condensed. This almost destroys a place-centric understanding of an individual's frame of reference. Work infiltrates beyond its place boundary, and modern civilization lets it; in a North American context. Work has thus become more involving of our time. It taxes us beyond the more traditional periphery of the work-place. Individuals are using work time differently, but time is becoming a more important constraint than the physicality of the work-place. Contemporarily, some work required of workers is more than the time allowed; that is the work expected to be completed during the day exceeds the actual amount of time allotted to the work-place (i.e. an 8 hour shift).

As such the workplace hours exceed the norm, but in these excess, or over hours, and interesting phenomenon happens. While the activity and the place have not changed, work is still being done at work, since the time is outside the usual work bounds, the rules of work are replaced with a hybrid. Modern workers are being asked to work outside the traditional bounds of the workplace and to compensate, workers are starting to participate in traditionally non-work activities within the workplace (Cairns, McInnes, & Roberts, 2002). For example in such a situation a worker may be inclined to engage in 3rd place like activities. These could include socializing with other colleagues or using MSN Messenger, arguably a virtual 3rd place, to talk with friends completely outside the work sphere.

The only thing that has changed is time, and it has allowed new activities, non-work activities to be introduced. This shows that work is permeating not just our home lives, but it is also moving into what traditionally speaking would have been a 3rd place / home time.

Modern telecommuting is an example of how work is intruding upon the home-place. Telecommuting allows workers to operate away from a central office of a corporation; most usually work from their home. With its roots in the creation of the dumb terminal and the telephone network bridge of the 70's (Nilles, 1998), telecommuting has become a popular method for working as it is supposed to give more freedom to the worker, and help with ‘life-work balance. As technology has advanced since the 1970's telework has become feasible. With the use of Local Area Networks (LAN) and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) many firms are utilizing telecommuting to help accommodate flex-work hours, employees with a need to be at home (i.e. in an infirmary situation) and part time work ("Inovisions Canada", 2007).

Telecommuting is very advantageous to the right group of employers and employees; there are also some key benefits applicable to the larger community. A telecommuter can save money (food, clothing, dry cleaning, bus, parking, fuel, highway tolls, insurance etc.) For example, commuting to work can easily cost $8,468.40 or 47 cents per kilometer per year (Canadian Automobile Association 2002 national average). The ability to discontinue the commuting of the employee can not only save money but time, cutting down on the average 1 hour commute for an employee. This leads to the employee having more productive hours available during the day. Another key advantage is that individuals in remote places have the ability to work, without needing to relocate.

The firm will benefit from the arrangement by having fewer office space and equipment costs, possible increased work productivity per employee, and a lower turnover rate. Canadian employees are also 33% more likely to choose the option to telecommute over a pay raise (EKOS research). There is also usually an inherent improvement of moral in an employee leading to a higher productivity level. In the larger general environment, telecommuting is ‘pro-green' in that it reduces an employee's use of fossil fuels to commute to work. It can enhance economic development in more remote areas where telecommuters can enjoy a higher standard of life at a lower cost of living. There are many benefits to the employee, the employer, and society at large in utilizing telecommuting.

However, as with anything telecommuting must be used in the correct way and instances because it also has some very key and potentially disastrous negative results. Telecommuting can destroy organizational culture, as the decentralization that is inherent with the practice leads to employees becoming isolated from the organization. Also the telecommuter does not have the advantageous ability to network at the office.

As Herman Miller presented in his article 3rd places social networks are vital to the advancement of employees within a firm. In a case study presented in the article it was proven that employees who were actively social within a company and high self monitors were more likely to be promoted than those employees who were not sociable (Miller, 2004). Telecommuting only compounds an anti-social culture, and have can have serious detrimental effects on an employee's moral.

Also Canada's population density and high service based economy allows telecommuting to provide strong benefits to the Canadian economy, allowing workers in the service industries to work irrespective of this issue. shows the constant growth in telecommuting in Canada since 1998. While the growth rate is tapering off, companies are starting to utilize telecommuting to attract employees (Verbeke, 2003). Robert Half Technology performed a poll on 270 Chief Information Officers (CIO) based in Canada and posed the question, "What steps, if any, is your firm taking to retain key IT talent?" The results are presented in , however the second most popular response was “offer flexible schedules or telecommuting options” at 41% of CIO's responding that this was a way to increase employee productivity ("Inovisions Canada", 2007). While telecommuting is becoming a popular choice for employers, and can have strong benefits to both employer and employee, it can also be detrimental to the workers moral and social networks which can lead to a decrease in productivity. It therefore must be chosen correctly for the task at hand, and is not suitable for all work situations.


As argued in the previous section in western contemporary society the work-place has become dominant, the home-place submissive. This latest epoch shows the mass utilization of time-orientate work activities, which are no longer bound by more traditional spatial restrictions. The post-industrial epoch has moved towards a place not built around traditionally accepted notions of placemaking. The fact that within this era the activity of work happens at almost any time and in almost any place indicates one key change: that space has been removed from the mix required to create place; we have moved to activity over time defining place. The industrial epoch was noted for its confining of places both spatially and temporally; however contemporarily we have removed the spatial component thus also removing ideas of ‘in-time' as such ideas require a non-time element to bind them, which traditionally has been the spatial axis. This has been removed and consequently with the deterioration in the importance of space, the meaning generated from it is vastly changed. Space traditionally was an important element within the consolation of place; however its decrease in importance has removed its importance in the meaning development of places. Thus places no longer rigidly obey the spatial boundaries of place, hence explaining the existence of, for example, traditionally non-workplace accepted activities happening within the space of work and vice-versa.


The conceptualization of modern activity over time makes our use of place-roles more complex, and forces transition times to be greatly reduced. Unlike the Hopedale worker who would hear the town bell, and be able to successfully, and in a timely manner, switch between his home-place role and his work-place role, modern individuals must undergo role transitions in a rapid and perhaps more random manner. Time-orientation is essential in the acceptance of the triad of places. During the pre-industrial era, workers resisted the change in working conceptualization and consequently within the industrial period the triad of places is not as clearly bound as is contemporarily normal.

In contemporary society these places have again become diluted, but now for a different reason. These places are socially constructed, and hence allow for change; such as the change in the home-place. These places are all, however, essentially idiosyncratic; in that one individual may allow a large amount of overlap between two places, i.e. bringing work to be done at home (the removal of space as an important placemaking factor); whilst another may have very rigid boundaries for each place with little transference between the two.

This new place structure allows individuals to concentrate on a specific set of activities, and adhere to certain behavioral systems, and yet still shift to a drastically different schema when needed (Arlie Russel Hochschild, 2003). Schemes allow for an individual's ability to manage at work, and then quickly switch to being a parent at home. Each role requires vastly different skills, emotional attachment, and behavior. A place includes a schema that allow transition to occur between them, and allows individuals to ‘wear different hats' (Ashforth, Kreiner, & Fugate, 2000).

This is supported by the pre-industrial notions of home and work as being inseparable. Since the shift from task to time-orientated work patterns was a fundamental change in the comprehension, and therefore creation, of worker's worlds, it can also be assumed that some things did not change. In order to cope with the change workers held onto traditional conceptualizations of the home as the central point from which to understand their world; this as a reaction to the large sociological changes that were happening outside the home (the change in the work-place, and the evolution of the social-place to the 3rd place).

However, the hegemony of industrial time-orientation brings into question the relevance of the home-place. The importance of home appears to hinge on a traditional necessity, not on activity per se. The home is important simply because of tradition, not because our post-industrial understanding of the place world necessitates it. Thus, with an undermining of the rudimentary underpinnings of the home-place, we can see its post-industrial reduction in importance. This is shown through the development of bedroom communities and lack of importance modern couples place on the home portrayed in the analysis of the post-industrial, North American world.

Through a historiographical look at the evolution of place, and what that means in relation to post-industrial placemaking activities, we may conclude that a fundamental shift has occurred in individuals understanding of the world of places. Society has moved from an understanding of ‘worked time' (no separation of home and work, work was simply done for as long as was necessary to complete the task, hence task-orientation) to ‘timed work' (the timing of labor and the strict separation of home and work, time is spent and not passed) to ‘timeless working' (a reduced separation of home and work, where work activities can occur at any time).

While it could be argued that ‘timeless working' also indicates a sense of placelessness, the contrary is true. Timeless working simply indicates a shift in the central orientation of contemporary placemaking activities. Kant argued that space and time have been dichotomized with space losing its importance; I am arguing that space has been marginalized to the point where the meaning derived from space is non-relevant.

As has been argued earlier, one place must always be dominant in order to reference all other places; and the home has traditionally been this central place. With a deterioration of the home-place's importance it is easy to fall into the trap of saying that contemporary placemaking is placeless, due to the lack of importance placed upon the home-place. However doing so would indicate a failing to question the hegemonically accepted understanding that the home is the one and only central place. None of the research conducted within this analysis has indicated that this is a necessity of the placemaking process. What is indicated is that one place must always remain dominant, but that place does not necessarily have to be the home; simply in the contemporary place world the dominance has shifted from the home-place to the work-place, as the traditional importance of the home-place is undermined and the economic value of the work-place is endorsed timelessly.

A second conclusion is that this change has occurred through a fundamental change in laborers' perception of time. While this change could be accredited solely to the change in work; however, first the change in time was necessary to facilitate the required conceptualizations of labor to be developed to then allow the change in working patterns.

As such, time is the central factor along which all of the change in labor thinking has been developed over the discussed three epochs, and modern management theory is based upon an industrial theory of placemaking where spatial meaning would have relevance. However, this study indicates that contemporary places do not give relevance to meaning developed through spatial elements. Thus a conflict is exposed between management's understanding of how places should be defined, and how places actually are defined. We may therefore conclude that, there is a disconnect between management's and worker's understandings of what are acceptable and unacceptable activities for the workplace. Thus, management must take into account the changes in employee's perception of the workplace, due to the change in placemaking, when developing working practices. This may explain why organizations are now faced with managing employees who are increasingly partaking in non-work related activities, activities normally restricted to the home-place, while they are employed in what was traditionally thought of as the workplace

Management practice usually prohibits such activities. However, this phenomenon is a reaction to the industrial and managerial frameworks for placemaking. Post-industrial placemaking occurs sans space-meaning, yet management still engages in practices based upon industrial spatial, place, and placemaking concepts. Consequently, the meanings attached to our workplaces are distinctly different from the industrial epoch, due to the practices of the control and enforcement of activity within space; that is management's use of industrial concepts of activity, time and space, operate against a worker's post-industrial sense of place.