A good friend of mine just forwarded me an awesome article from Worldchanging on temporary spaces, creative infill, and the general concept of nomadic workplaces. More and more each month, we are contacted by individuals and small groups who are interested in changing their work environment from something closed-off to something else that incorporates the community around them. Over the past few years, it is becoming apparent that the very nature of workspaces is shifting, making room for creative space use and shared resources. Here’s a little excerpt of what Worldchanging had to say:
The next time you’re waiting at an intersection, look around and imagine how much of the built (and furnished) environment stands empty and unused at any given time. Cafés in the financial district are closed at dinnertime; restaurants that specialize in dinner fare are silent until mid-afternoon; parking lots that fill during the workweek are largely vacant after 6pm and often on weekends.
Now imagine putting those darkened rooms, kitchens, galleries, cafés, outdoor spaces and more to use. What would you fill them with?
We’ve talked a lot about concepts that conserve embedded energy in the built environment by preserving historic buildings as re-imagined spaces instead of bringing in the wrecking ball and developing new. This idea, however, harnesses another kind of embedded energy — by creating meaning, activity and experience where there would have been emptiness, waste or worse. It’s about using up every bit of urban space to its fullest.
Beautifully said, and evokes images of split-personality spaces such as cafe-to-bar restaurants, office-to-art-gallery spaces, or Jacob’s favorite idea, office-to-bar facilities. What would our cities look like if instead of having areas of town that “emptied out” at certain parts of the day or the week that those spaces simply flipped and were able to still maintain the vibrancy and energy that is so critical to an urban environment?
For us, coworking is only the beginning. As we discuss so often with our coworking cohorts, the future of work as we know it is still very much uncertain. We could think of this uncertainty as a huge risk, but in reality it could be a huge opportunity for collaboration, creativity, and urban revival. So keep those good ideas coming, and let us know how we can help.