IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Global architects: learning and innovation through communities and constellations of practice


  • James R Faulconbridge


It is surprising that, despite widespread interest in the cultural industries, few questions have been asked about the geographies of learning and innovation in architecture. Particularly relevant to global architects are debates about the way stretched relational spaces and ‘global’ communities of practice connect individuals, firms, and regions into networks of learning that ‘perforate’ scales. This paper seeks to apply such debates to the case of global architects and to examine the spatiality of the practices that allow learning and lead to innovation in their work. It is shown that global architects participate in ‘local’ communities of practice that rely on face-to-face interaction, talk, and ‘buzz’. These ‘local’ communities are also part of ‘global’ constellations of practice constructed by forms of circulation: in particular, travel by architects and the circulation of texts and images in the media, which facilitate learning through human – nonhuman interactions. It is, therefore, suggested that in order to more effectively analyse the geographies of learning and innovation—in architecture but also other industries—focus needs to fall on (1) the geography of talk/buzz and communities of practice; but also (2) the geography of human – nonhuman interactions that form constellations of practice. Such a focus reveals that apparently local communities of practice are more often than not connected into global spaces of learning and innovation through constellations of practice produced by nonhumans.

Suggested Citation

  • James R Faulconbridge, 2010. "Global architects: learning and innovation through communities and constellations of practice," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(12), pages 2842-2858, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:42:y:2010:i:12:p:2842-2858

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hautala, Johanna & Jauhiainen, Jussi S., 2014. "Spatio-temporal processes of knowledge creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 655-668.
    2. Capelleras, Joan-Lluis & Mole, Kevin F., 2012. "How ‘buzz’ reduces uncertainty for new firm founders," MPRA Paper 38170, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bruce S. Tether & Qian Cher Li & Andrea Mina, 2012. "Knowledge-bases, places, spatial configurations and the performance of knowledge-intensive professional service firms," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(5), pages 969-1001, September.
    4. von Krogh, Georg & Geilinger, Nina, 2014. "Knowledge creation in the eco-system: Research imperatives," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 155-163.
    5. Julie Cidell, 2014. "Mapping the Green Building Industry: How Local are Architects and General Contractors?," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 105(1), pages 79-90, February.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:42:y:2010:i:12:p:2842-2858. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.