People In Beta

How are coworking spaces an extension of the environment often found in universities? How does competition fare vs. collaboration in a coworking space? Why is coworking a better alternative for freelancers who usually work at home? “People In Beta” begins a conversation on these topics and invites your participation (twitter: #peopleinbeta #futureofwork).

Behind the Scenes

Illustration by John Tenniel, wood-engraving by Thomas Dalziel.

The interviews for People In Beta were conducted using a new process we’ve developed which we call the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. In a playful reference to the scene from Lewis Carrol’s classic novel in which the tea party guests continuously switch seats between cups of tea, we use this name to refer to a simple method of conducting a relatively large number of interviews in a short amount of time.

Autodocumentary Workshop at Open Design City

We led a workshop on autodocumentary techniques in Open Design City. After screening Delivered in Beta and discussing various approaches to autodocumentation, we set up our video camera and lights and had the workshop participants sit in the “hot seat” one by one to be interviewed. The result was that each interview was witnessed by all the other interviewees. This created a high level of continuity in the interviews as people responded to and iterated on each other’s answers.

The so-called interview hot seat

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party technique is a good example of how breaking the rules of traditional documentary filmmaking can lead to innovative results. In a typical documentary interview the subject is isolated from the other subjects to preserve a kind of neutrality or originality of perspective in the interview. While there are many benefits and advantages to this traditional approach, we see an equally compelling case for experimenting with other methods of conducting interviews that make the process more collaborative. In many ways the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is like a performative brainstorm.


Produced by KS12
Directed and Edited by Gabriel Shalom
Title Design by Patrizia Kommerell


Christoph Fahle
Anu-Cathrin Beck
Samsarah Lilja
Markus Quetsch
Dr. Sebastian Olma
Jay Cousins
Pedro Pineda

Contains Excerpts from:

Office Courtesy: Meeting The Public
Encyclopedia Britannica Films

Enable Session X: Designing Public Space
Enable Berlin / Sam Muirhead


Takerui – Flavor Tweet
Implant – Prime
Tracky Birthday – Newish Disco


FabLab Amsterdam
George Alvolante
Harald Amelung
Henrik Moltke
Karsten Kneese
Achim Hepp
Nikolai Longolius
Tim Pritlove

This video was created during KS12’s six-month residency at betahaus Berlin 2010/2011.
Special thanks to betahaus, Cognitive Cities Conference, and Open Design City.

CC 2011 KS12 BY-NC-SA

#peopleinbeta #futureofwork​People-in-Beta

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