9 Inspiring Workplaces
When I first started out freelancing, I was working from my student bedroom. Although being poorly lit, completely disorganised and cluttered, and there being barely enough space for a desk next to my bed, it was my creative workspace for over a year.
I researched, tested, and created print and branding solutions from that tiny room, despite the various practical and physical limitations. I even had a team of clients in there once, collaborating, co-creating and rapid-prototyping ideas for their brand – all within easy reaching distance of my sock drawer.
I think it’s a pretty normal arrangement when you first start out. In fact, I’m sure that there are many freelancers reading this – whether you’re a designer, coder, writer or something else – who still work from spare bedrooms, disused basements or the kitchen table. Or maybe you’re one of the growing number of freelance creatives who opts to work in a nearby café?
There comes a time though, after you finally win a contract large enough, or form a company with other freelancers, or, like me, start freelancing for an established agency, that you can finally separate ‘work life’ and ‘home life’, and get a dedicated studio space. Here’s a collection of creative workspaces from around the world to inspire you…some are the headquarters of global enterprises, others the studios of small design collectives, but each and every one is a unique insight into work spaces of creative professionals, and the environments most conducive to creativity.
1) Nova Iskra in Belgrade, Serbia, is a polished-concrete playground, home to a design incubator, and the epicenter of the creative industries in the city.
2) Millers Junction in Dalston, London, has deskspace for over 30 illustrators and designers, and is home to a mix of freelancers and small collectives.
3) Kin Design, a research and design studio in Farringdon, London, have an eclectic but homely workspace that looks as though it’s filled with the remnants of projects past.
4) Crispy Point, in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia, have created a multi-purpose space suitable for both comfortable informal meetings and productive work.
5) The Bridge Street Collective is a café, gallery space and co-working studio for creative professionals at 111 Bridge Street, Nelson, New Zealand.
6) Assemble is an architecture, design and property development company based in an inner-city spot in Melbourne. I guess when you’re a team of architects, it’s pretty important that your own studio has the ‘wow’ factor!
7) A Friend of Mine, run by Suzy Tuxen, is a holistic design practice based in Melbourne. They aim to work intelligently and creatively, and have created a studio space to facilitate that.
8) The Operators in London create content across print and digital media for a range of global clients. With practical creative workspaces and lots of domestic comforts too, the studio is primed and ready for 24-hour hackathons.
9) Pixel Primate This is where I work from most of the time. With studios in London and Leicester, we offer creative print & web design for clients both big and small around the world. Here’s a couple of snaps of our Central London studio.
If your company is on the verge of moving off of the kitchen table and into a dedicated workspace, then I recommend checking out the Open Studio Club. This worldwide initative is gradually filling up the empty desks and spaces so often found in the offices and studios of city-centre creative agencies. If you’re inspired by collaborative environments, tempted by these really amazing studios, and are interested in taking your freelancing to the next level, then there are lots of desks currently being offered for free to the right person.