Specialized Cowork Studios Provide Space and Tools For Unique Communities
The popularity of cowork studios has taken off around the world as demand for flexible, community office spaces rise. To meet this demand, coworks are popping up everywhere. Coworkingmap.org has mapped cowork spaces in 668 cities in 93 countries around the world. In this thriving community, a few unique cowork studios are specializing for niche interests.
The concept of coworking started in San Francisco as a resource for self-employed workers who faced either the distractions of working in a cafe or the isolation of working from home. Fueled by tech startups and their ability to use mobile devices and laptops to work anywhere, the global trend of coworking surged and diversified. “The industry has gone crazy,” says Steve King of Emergent Research in an interview for Bloomberg magazine. “Coworking used to be an office phenomenon. Now it’s tech shops, makerspaces, bio labs, community kitchens and car-fixing places.”
As the popularity of cowork spaces increases, more studios are finding it beneficial to focus on the needs of their unique community. Take Study Hall in DC or Paragraph in New York. These coworks, founded for writers and journalists, are as quiet as libraries and their community events include Q&As with authors. That’s wildly different from Brooklyn Boulders, a Boston cowork with standup desks, treadmills, pull-up bars and an indoor climbing wall. Hera Hub (San Diego), In Good Company (New York) and Soleilles Cowork (Paris) aim to balance some of the gender inequalities found in the tech industry by providing spaces targeted specifically for women. Cohere, in Colorado is a musicians cowork space with soundproofed walls, instruments and tools, all combined with a cowork model where musicians can collaborate on more than just music. “The hope is to also create some crossover between the ‘regular’ coworking community and the rehearsal space community, so in-house education can be expanded to include broader topics and cross-community perspectives,” explains Julie Sutter, founder.
There are other business models for shared space that pre-date coworking: hobby sewing studios, band rehearsal space or gyms for example. What separates cowork is the emphasis on forming social networks. “Not to brag,” says Peter Moskowitz, founder of Study Hall, “but we actually provide community.” The open nature of the space ensures that cross-disciplinary influences and diverse perspectives can mutually educate and enhance the community. Coworks succeed by staying actively involved in their community and holding events, workshops, and even games nights.
Out of all of these specialized needs, fashion design is perfectly poised to take advantage of the benefits of coworking, but also has some of the most specific equipment needs, making it difficult to integrate into an office environment. Cosewing has arisen as a response to this need in various cities including Berlin (Nadelwald), Barcelona (Lantoki) and New York City (Manufacture New York), and now, Toronto (Raw Finery Studio).
We welcome you to come take part in building our community by coworking, using our sewing machines, or dropping in at one of our open studio nights!