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Configurations in Spaces of Social Creativity

Each of the sessions was unique in the ideas or works the participants came up with and in the ways they produced those outcomes. In observing the video recordings of the five sessions, however, we noticed patterns, or configurations, of organization and behavior. We use the term configuration in four senses: (a) the participants’ positions in the room and relative to each other during a specific time period, (b) the observable interactions of the participants among each other and with materials in the room, (c) the observable application of behavioral rules, and (d) the creation of shared meaning (to the extent that it can be inferred from the group’s observable behavior and outputs).

To illustrate these configurations and make inferences from them about the use of space for bringing together different kinds of knowledge to generate creative action, we first analyze in depth the pattern of configurations formed by participants in one of the sessions, Session 2. We then relate this pattern to those formed by participants in other sessions. We have chosen this session for presenting our analysis because it is representative in terms of the number and types of configurations and because the entire session is available on video recordings (parts of this material of two other sessions were corrupted, so we can analyze only their soundtracks).

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