Coworking is a growing trend we’ve seen steadily increase over the last couple of years. Really, it’s changing the way many people do business, particularly now, with many scratching to make a living in a badly damaged economy. The basic idea behind coworking is collaboration, openness, community, accessibility, and sustainability in the workplace. Coworking spaces meet the needs of many independent workers, who need little more than a laptop and a mobile phone to conduct their business. Coworking sort of blends the appeal of an independent environment with many of the advantages of the traditional office – printers, fax machines, conference room, and sometimes – free coffee.

One of the biggest complaints from independent workers is loneliness and the lack of social networks and interaction. In addition to satisfying the basic physical needs a traditional office space provides, coworking facilities also help fill the social aspect as well. You never know who your next-door neighbor is in a coworking space and by sharing the space, you constantly get to meet different people. Coworking neighbors can provide interesting perspectives on industries related to yours or even become new clients.

Coworking spaces, however, are not created equal. They are popping up all over the world with increasing frequency, several even here in San Diego. Some appear simply as oversize boxes with just the basic necessities, offering nothing for the individual and sparking zero inspiration for its users. Others, however, offer numerous amenities to their members and serve as hubs for community gatherings and idea sparks.

WeWork Labs in NYC

Dogpatch Labs in San Francisco

We’ve even gotten in on a little of the coworking action ourselves. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to design a local coworking space, Co-Merge, which just happened to be in the building right next door. The interior features high, open-beam ceilings, wood and stone accents, exposed steel and cable supports, expansive collaborative work areas and glass-enclosed conference rooms. Contemporary touches include hanging light
fixtures, brightly painted accent walls, and custom murals and artwork. On the roof, an outdoor patio faces the street offering an even more non-traditional working space. Or perhaps just a place to get away.

Do any of you use a coworking space? Would you? What do you think of them as alternative workspaces and what should the design include?


  1. That was very academic writing

  2. krishnodas says:

    Yup best quality bloging

  3. Well written and also well observed.

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