Cafe space, communication, creativity, and materialism


McCosker, Anthony; Wilken, Rowan

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Coffee, as a stimulant, and the spaces in which it is has been consumed, have long played a vital role in fostering communication, creativity, and sociality. This article explores the interrelationship of café space, communication, creativity, and materialism. In developing these themes, this article is structured in two parts. The first looks back to the coffee houses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to give a historical context to the contemporary role of the café as a key site of creativity through its facilitation of social interaction, communication and information exchange. The second explores the continuation of the link between cafés, communication and creativity, through an instance from the mid-twentieth century where this process becomes individualised and is tied more intrinsically to the material surroundings of the café itself. From this, we argue that in order to understand the connection between café space and creativity, it is valuable to consider the rich polymorphic material and aesthetic composition of cafés.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


M/C Journal, Vol. 15, no. 2 (May 2012)




Queensland University of Technology


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