Tim Ivison, 13 December 2013

Work is a central component of the design of coffee shops. From physical layout to marketing, the coffee shop is a purpose-built node of labour. The general atmosphere of productivity stimulates a feeling of purpose in the abstract and the rhythmic working of the espresso machine seduces the creative industries freelancer with a chrome-plated image of light industrial manual labour. In terms of the ecology of work, there are 4 essential elements: the espresso machine, the wireless internet hub, the mains voltage sockets, and the toilets. Many shops have to balance the need for sales against the utility of their space, and in order to keep customers circulating.

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