Flexibility reshapes our coworking future

Our rising freelance and flexible work economy continues to drive demand for new, shared environments, as Annie Reid investigates. More than ever before, coworking hubs are disrupting the way we do business, and original shared workspaces such as Hub Australia and Inspire9 are giving rise to the next generation.

Today, coworking interior architecture is delivering more than breakout spaces and hot desks, but multifaceted functionality and considered amenity, with the longer term potential to transform the way we design cities in the future.

In Melbourne and Sydney, founder Soren Trampedach has opened Work Club, an upmarket shared business hub comprising not only stylishly designed private pods, lounges and board rooms, but also hospitality, concierge, boutique retail, wellness programs, and events program, Florence Guild.

Every space has been thoughtfully curated by Trampedach to appeal to both conservative introverts and extroverted creatives, with bespoke, hand-selected European pieces including walnut and brass fittings, vintage leather topped tables, soft pendant lighting and other antique furniture and fittings.

“I think interiors are stereotyped around the ping pong tables – Google-like design – that looks good from a distance, but rarely is focused on functionality and authenticity with regards to where the products are sourced from and how they are made,” he says.

Further afield in New York, a new initiative takes coworking to another level by attempting to resolve the scarcity of urban space through hospitality. Spacious enables people to work during the day in restaurants that are otherwise closed until the evening, providing a new way to experience the city while creating a new productivity for each restaurant building.

And the opportunity to transform physical working environments through technology is currently being explored by Carlo Ratti, director at MIT Senseable City Lab in the US. He’s experimenting with a new type of BMS (building management system) for a building in Italy that adapts to users’ needs and habits, with human counters, C02 detectors and humidity sensors.

“This new system gives shape to a workplace that naturally learns and is synchronised to its users’ needs, thus optimising space usage and limiting energy waste,” he says.

In each example, the quality of design and amenity offered in the physical workspace is critically important. But we need continued creativity and entrepreneurship to reshape our creative future.

“In the future, we could imagine an architecture that adapts to human requirements, rather than the other way around – a living, tailored space that is molded to its inhabitants’ needs, characters, and desires,” Ratti says.

About the Author: Annie Reid

Annie Reid is a qualified journalist, professional copywriter and published author with a passion for everything bricks and mortar. For many years, she’s written thousand of stories for newspapers, magazines and clients around the world. Somewhere between the heady buzz of headlines and deadlines, she discovered a niche for creating tailor made content for the property, real estate, architecture and design industries. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Communications, both from the University of Melbourne.

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