Agential Spaces of Innovation: A Case Study of Space Ecosystems and the Practices of Establishing Business Partnerships

Thor Svanholm Gustavfson

Student thesis: Master thesis


This paper examines the meaning of space in developing and operating an innovation hub, a co-working space, and the processes of establishing partnerships. In sharing the story of BLOXHUB, a place where mental and social space is as important as the physical space, I delve into a well-functioning and unique Danish example of a global trend, i.e. the innovation hub and the new way of understanding workspace. In my three thematic chapters, I try to concretise the abstract complexities of space as understood by Henri Lefebvre. In the first, “Conceptualising a Space of Protection” I introduce how BLOXHUB is a space of specific imagined and conceived characteristics and value. In the second part, “The Experience of Everyday Life” I present how space is then experienced, also as product of the conceived. Finally, in “The Spatial Practices of a Community”, I examine the ways in which practices of space make up the structures and meaning of BLOXHUB. This three-part analysis sets the scene for the final chapter, “The Role of Space and Institutional Agency” where I discuss spatial meanings and scenarios for the innovation hub in the context of the current order of society. The account of BLOXHUB was developed through a constant exchange of theoretical and empirical reflections uncovering insights in light of existing knowledge of space, co-working and innovation. The purpose of this paper is to illuminate how business partnerships thus innovation is a product of spatial and institutional agency. The core finding in this context is thus how such spatial structures are constructed and utilised in creating an impact that goes beyond the conventional understanding of innovation and start-up oriented growth.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages58
SupervisorsRobin Holt