Stories of Spaces

Stories of spaces are: 

  • the material-discursive apparatus of the surround or setting and the specificities of the décor in terms of the structural layout of the space, furnishing and in regard to that; colors, shapes, symbols, art-pieces, specific materials (wood, tile, metal, etc.). 


  • more than the psychology of the architecture and certainly more than a plain list of inventory or things 

  • the energetic atmosphere or the ‘genius loci’, which is Latin for ‘the spirit of the place’, which also entails the ‘weight’ of the lived practices of the place as it articulates through patina of furnishing, as well as other memory-devices of past generations that figures as part of the furnishing 

  • understood as the congealing of specific actions and performances and thus as agencies of various material-discursive practices through which the space has become and ‘genius loci’ thus engages as co-constituent of the practices to come 

Organizational Scenography


Organizational scenography is a concept coined by Anete Strand. By focusing on the ‘scenography’ or the ‘stage design’ as the entrance to organizational development and change, the concept hints at how any organizational performance is a materialized practice that is accomplished on behalf of a scenography that goes beyond the furnishing itself. The discursive leadership-value-based-level as well as the organizational-division-plan-level together with the practical task-level of the organization forms a between through which the organizational performances are played out. Although these performances – as with any stage performance – is much more than just the furnishing, they are however dependent on the furnishing to accomplish a site of engagement for the cowork. The concept of Organizational Scenography thereby draw on all of the three story modes of the Apparatus of Material Storytelling (Strand 2012) (link); Stories of spaces, Stories of bodies and Stories of artifacts and combines these through the notion of material-discursive apparatus (Barad 2007). Tamaraland organizations (Boje 2001) (link) provide inspiration for this approach and the concept has been employed as a course (link) through the master program of Communication Studies at Aalborg University.

Case Story: The Organizational Scenography of Hjørring City Hall

Master students from the Material Story Lab worked together with the City Hall of Hjørring in the spring of 2014. The goal was to identify spaces in the newly build City Hall, where the environment could be improved in line with the original targets for the building and the everyday experiences of the employees and the citizens.

Creative and Recreative Rooms

Creating New Office Environment

Relaxing when taking a Break

©Material Story Lab since 2014, by Nanna Fischer Topp. Created with

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