The Collaboration/Co-work Masquerade

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Collaboration has been proffered with utopian zest since its inaugural appearance in an American architectural journal in 1878. Well over a century later, it remains but a hollow shell into which architects freely invest economic aspirations premised on the collective character of architectural production, while sidestepping efforts to enhance everyday co-work practices with non-architects. I examine the rise of this paradox in the twentieth-century, followed by consideration of how digital collaboration magnifies and extends these historical problems into the present. I conclude by proposing an ethics-based approach to co-work as a first step out of this muddle for academia and the profession.