Addressing the Dilema Between Collaboration and Privacy in Coworking Spaces

Document Type: Review paper


Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand


This paper aims to inform design strategies for regulating privacy in coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are growing at a high rate, yet studies related to the social, psychological, behavioral and physical needs associated with these environments are limited. The growth of coworking spaces is in greater part facilitated by a drive towards greater interaction and collaboration among the workforce. With this apparent intent to promote collaboration and interaction, this study argues that there is need to focus on the conflict between interaction and privacy in coworking spaces. The paper synthesizes extensive environment and behavior literature and extends a conceptual argument of privacy regulation in coworking spaces. The article focuses on privacy regulation through the physical environment and behavioral mediums. The findings demonstrate that features of the physical environment comprising of barriers and fields are powerful tools that can be used to regulate users’ privacy within coworking spaces. The findings also show that understanding behavioral mediums such as personal space and territoriality and their conscious consideration in the design of coworking spaces may allow supportive working environments that respond to a wider range of users’ privacy needs. The ideas discussed in this paper seek to provide architects and interior designers with a guide to address numerous privacy issues, not only in coworking spaces but also other comparable innovation centers that may emerge in future economies.


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