Creative co-working is set to change the way we think about urban space. The model is disseminating rapidly as the property industry jumps into this more granular and agile space game.
Creative co-working is set to change the way we think about urban space. Traditionally, cities and even villages were places of mixing and mingling: homes, workshops, clerks’ rooms, shops, streams, stables, dairies, breweries, churches and theatres all jostling for space in a single urban block. In the twentieth century, homes, industrial estates and shops began to disentangle until the city became zoned into places for sleeping, places for working, places for shopping and so on.
Now, with the advance of robotics and intelligent technology, many of our current jobs are slated for obsolescence and the city may begin to reshape itself once more. As traditional employment is subverted by robots, new kinds of work will emerge: new services, new kinds of manufacturing and new kinds of digital work. It will all be less centralised. Will we have a landscape of lonely digital nomads and logistics sheds? Or will we start to see new imperatives for collaborative space where jobs can be generated through dense networks of people involved in a great mix of projects requiring a shifting skillset?
Creative co-working is well-suited and responsive to both existing buildings and communities and the needs of emerging companies and start-ups. Designed in the right way on the street and in clusters, co-working space can add vitality to the local economy. Neighbourhoods that allow people to live and work in the same part of the city become friendlier and more inter-generational, bringing back the street life and conviviality lost through internet shopping and the centralisation of work.
Ash Sakula has experience of creating flexible, characterful co-working spaces with room to be hermetic, to brainstorm, to pitch, to conference call and to hold large gatherings in conducive surroundings. We are fascinated by the way in which space can be bought by the day, double-used and adapted to changing uses, bringing the management of space ever-closer to its design. Whilst start-up communities in the US, UK and Australia have led in developing these spaces, the model is disseminating rapidly as the property industry jumps into this more granular and agile space game.
Making workspace where creative businesses thrive in a former police station in Colchester.
Creatively injecting new life into an unloved building.
Smart creative co-working regenerates the ex-industrial wastelands of Cardiff Bay.
Making creative co-working space for the arts in Hackney.