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Friday, February 22, 2008

The Third Space

Earlier this week the San Francisco Chronicle reported on the growing trend of communal working spaces, or the idea of co-working. Playing on a more advanced version of shared artist studios, the communal spaces allow freelancers and entrepreneurs to have a common space, other than their local coffee shop, to start doing business.

The Chronicle writes: "In co-working, a group of freelancers or other solo entrepreneurs share one big office space with perks that they might not get at home, such as conference rooms, espresso machines and opportunities for socializing."

"Brad Neuberg, a 31-year-old San Francisco inventor and open-source software developer who coined the term "co-working." said "I started asking myself, 'Why can't I combine the structure and community of a job with the freedom and independence of working for myself?' "

Though not focusing on the exact concept of "co-working," the Pacific Cannery Lofts have been designed to take the same elements one step further. The focus on designing for entrepreneurs created individual lofts that allow people to create a true live-work environment. The spaces are designed with the flexibility to be a home, home and an office, or all office. With that piece in place, the Pacific Cannery community rounds out the socializing part with a Third Space. This Third Space, located in a large corner gallery space, will likely take the form of work spaces, cafe, event space, happy hour space, yoga studio, and whatever else the Pacific Cannery community finds best suited for their varying social and business needs. If it is a nice day, the Third Space activities can shift to one of the 3 courtyards.

At the end of the day, all of these features and trends come down to community...designing for and being a part of a vibrant community in which members engages with each other, collaborate, and inspire... all speaking to the kind of live-work community that entrepreneurs and "co-workers" are seeking.

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