We We We All The Way Home: The “We” Affect in Transitional Spaces

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The majority of ethnographic studies for businesses have focused on places: home, work, “third places,” and even “non-places”. Daily life, however, is composed of transitional moments – matter of “in-betweeness.” Transitional spaces and movements have increasingly been sites for “filling the gap” informational and “cocooning” products. We explored the in-between transitional moments on buses and commuter boats in Salvador, Bahia. We contend that the experience in this time-space creates a “we-tween” or just a “we-we,” which engages the people and the environment in a moment of group solidarity and interactivity. We contrast this study of in-between to those we conducted in “Western” countries. The “we” affect suggests that corporate efforts in design and development have been disproportionally focused on Euro-North American values, which has direct implications for corporate innovation. We highlight the value of a multi-voiced approach in the collaboration between our US research lab and our product lab in Brazil, as one kind of solution to the problems of appropriate innovation.

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