The third place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. Ray Oldenburg (The Great Good Place, 1989) argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place. Oldenburg calls one's "first place" the home and those that one lives with. The "second place" is the workplace - where people may actually spend most of their time. Third places, then, are "anchors" of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative interaction.
All societies already have informal meeting places; what is new in modern times is the intentionality of seeking them out as vital to current societal needs. Oldenburg suggests these hallmarks of a true "third place": free or inexpensive; food and drink, while not essential, are important; highly accessible: proximate for many (walking distance); involve regulars - those who habitually congregate there; welcoming and comfortable; both new friends and old should be found there.
Wing uses photography as a societal mirror and window, seeking to reveal not only what is hidden, but also what is plainly visible and seldom noticed, providing a collective portrait of the them who are really us. As an extension of his public art installations that create informal communal spaces, in spring 2011 Wing opened The Third Place Gallery. Housed in a building that previously sat empty for 47 years,Wing has turned the space into an urban living room for guest artists, social conversation, karaoke, and ping pong.