The notion of ignorance has become a central topic in social, political, and organizational research, with scholars thus beginning to explore the distribution and strategic uses of not-knowing (Gross and McGoey, 2015). Claiming that ignorance involves making decisions on what should be seen or unseen (Otto et al., 2019), they are calling for insights into the intermediary states produced between knowledge and non-knowledge in practice. Answering this call, the present article empirically details how practices of seeing and unseeing take place within and across the transparent architecture of a newly built psychiatric hospital in Denmark. Drawing on participant observations and interviews with nursing staff, we examine the role that spatial and material circumstances play in the situated production of ignorance. As such, we consider how the mutual visibility afforded by the transparent design of a nursing station in an inpatient setting produces what we suggest is ‘a shared zone of ignorance’. Inspired by the work of German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, this article extends current understandings of how ignorance is ‘tethered to the spatial’ (Frickel and Kinchy, 2015: 175).
- Holger HøjlundThorben Peter Høj Simonsen
About this publication
Published inEphemera: Theory & politics in organization