Author: Alexandra Kviat
Full Title: Connected and Sociable: Third Places in the Post-Digital City
Published: July 2020. Originally published 2020 by CAMEo Cuts, University of Leicester
This PDF is an identical copy of the original publication, with friendly permission by the author Alexandra Kviat.
The social and economic life of the ‘post-digital city’ is the focus of this latest CAMEo Cut. Alexandra Kviat examines the ways in which ‘third places’ – such as cafes, bars and bookstores – provide an intermediate, loosely defined space between work and leisure, where urban connections can take place, in both a digital and more ‘analogue’ social context. Yet, in challenging any strict separation between digital and analogue worlds, and by using the example of Ziferblat, the world’s first ‘pay-per-minute cafe’, she shows how urban life and third place sociability is becoming both more hybrid and integrated, suggesting new ways of being and living in the post-digital city that move us beyond traditional conceptual binaries. Finally, in the ongoing wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, she also explores some of the implications for the kinds of urban culture and embedded sociability characteristic of pay-per-minute cafes and other, similarly shared, urban spaces.
About the Author
Alexandra Kviat is a postdoctoral research fellow at the CAMEo Research Institute, University of Leicester. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick. Her current project, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, brings together urban sociology, consumer culture research and media studies to further explore the concept of the ‘post-digital city’, introduced in her doctoral thesis as an emerging approach to urban planning, placemaking and creative entrepreneurship that strives to balance the advances of digital technology with the value of face-to-face social interaction. Her wider research interests include third places, cafe culture, the board game industry, collaborative work and living spaces, the sharing economy and social entrepreneurship. Before joining CAMEo, Alexandra was an early career fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick (2018–2019) and a Fulbright visiting fellow at the Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013–2014).