•  
  •  
 

First Page

32

Last Page

45

Abstract

This paper explores how a group of academics arranged and decorated their offices, revealing qualities of academic life of which academics are not usually conscious, such as the connectivity between academics, and the connectivity between practice and artifacts. The research confirms the importance of the sensory and aesthetic dimensions of organizational life, of artifacts and place and demonstrates the sociomateriality of academic practice.

The research took advantage of a situation where academics in the author’s university were given some latitude on how they wanted to arrange their renovated offices. Interviews with colleagues revealed that the way they had (or had not) arranged, decorated and furbished their offices offered a rich source of data about their sense of place, purpose, practice and identity. Many of the things in these offices were embodied metaphors infused with meaning. Responses illustrated the way in which the office of an academic is a temporary construction site of relationships expressed through artifacts to which are delegated many profound tasks and responsibilities. It is a site where, through the material expression of self, that self and its work are theorized and the theories are materialized. Examining the aesthetic and materiality of the academic office illuminates how it is a prime site of “constitutive entanglement” and how the organization is constantly disassembled and reassembled.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.