Refiguring creativity in virtual work: the digital-material construction site

Sarah Pink, Helen Lingard, James Harley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we advance the question of how creativity is emerging in new virtual work configurations. We take two steps: first we draw on theoretical perspectives from phenomenological anthropology to engage an understanding of creativity as emerging through a relationship between the processual concepts of improvisation and knowing; second, we develop a focus on the digital materiality of virtual labour. To examine and draw together these themes we focus on a novel example of the use of digital technologies for improving worker safety and health in the construction industry by recognising how safety is constituted through worker creativity. We argue, on the basis of this, for a view of creativity as constituted through improvisation and knowing, and that invokes the possibility of thinking about virtual elements of work as part of the ongoing processes of work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-27
Number of pages16
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • construction industry
  • creativity
  • digital materiality
  • digital technologies
  • improvisation
  • knowing
  • video ethnography
  • worker safety

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