The Third Place


The Third Place 第三空間 di4 san1 kong1 jian1

I was discussing the concept of ‘the third place’ with my student in California this morning.

In community building, the third place is the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home ("first place") and the workplace ("second place").



The founder of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, found his inspiration in the expresso bar so popular in Italy. Coffee shops had always been community gathering places, which is what Starbucks has intended its own stores to become.




My student told me, working in Silicon Valley is extremely busy and the third place is a balance of their busy life. For him, his third-place doesn’t have to be a realistic space, it can be his hobby like painting.

The student is a fashion designer who has his own brands. We also discussed how to incorporate the concept of ‘the third place’ into his design.


Our class was very interesting, talking to such a student is relaxing and inspiring.

Hmmm...for me, teaching is much more than duty it also can be my third place.

What is your ‘the third place’?

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