I have chosen the Imperial Buildings as they are home to the office of the online marketing business, Optimum Results, where I now work. Despite being a regular office space in a regular office building, it is in this space that I have got my first proper job where I am learning so much including how adult life works. Another reason why I have chosen this space is because I do not perceive this space as somewhere where I have to go to earn money, I enjoy what I do and enjoy being in this space with people who think about it the same way that I do.
Generally, buildings like this are typically represented not so much by the space themselves, but by the people and business that occupy them. This is true for the Imperial Buildings. While the building itself has no online representation, the large diversity of businesses that occupy it, all have an online presence that helps to give the space itself representation.
When googling “Imperial Buildings Wellington” nothing about the building itself shows up, however, what does show up is the websites, Facebook pages, and google reviews for all of the places within the building who have the Imperial Buildings stated as their address. The online presence of these spaces embodies Ian Hutchby’s (444) argument of affordances. Hutchby states “affordances are functional and relational aspects which frame, while not determining, the possibilities for agent’s action in relation to an object. In this way, technologies can be understood as artifacts which may be both shaped by and shaping the practices humans use in interaction with and around them.” The businesses in the Imperial Buildings such as Optimum Results, have a range of ways to reach them online affording people the ability to interact with these places online as well as off. This helps to create more of a narrative for the Imperial Buildings as people are able to engage with businesses within the building online as well as physically.
It hard to define who is the authors of the Imperial Buildings are, as there are so many people who contribute to the definition of the space. One might say that authors of this space are the owners of the building as they have the ability to control who works in the building. I personally think that the authors of the space are the tenants that occupy it. I believe that the way that they choose to represent their various businesses is what gives the building its physical and online representation.
Jason Farman (104) reinforces how the affordances of social media and technology have a large impact in defining space and place. He states “Here, we can intervene in the production of space using these devices. If there’s an intimate relationship between materiality, space, and digital media, then the ways that those technologies and spaces get produced offer modes of intervention. We are neither passive in how space is produced nor in how technology plays a vital role in such spatial productions.” From this, we gain a better understanding of the idea that the people interacting within the space both online and off help to define it and give it its representation.
The story that I am telling about this space is the story of my personal experience from working here. While I have only been familiar with this space for a few months, I do see it as more than a boring everyday office building. In my storytelling project, I have tried to convey the way that I experience the space in a different way than most would perceive an office building.
After making my story map I have come to the realization that everybody will have a space that means something to them that others, with no personal, connection will be oblivious to. The fact that I walked past the building so many times without even noticing it at all until I had a reason to, reiterates this. The insight that an audience should have about this space after interacting with my story map, is that while this space may be irrelevant to them, it is where other people spend their time to make a living. Through my story map, I have tried to give the audience an almost immersive insight into why I find this underrated space meaningful.
Story Map: https://arcg.is/1qbyC1
Hutchby, Ian. “Technologies, Texts and Affordances”, Sage Journals, 35, no. 2, 2001
Farman, Jason. “Stories, spaces, and bodies: The production of embodied space through mobile media storytelling”, Communication Research and Practice, 2015