/// This post is written by Andrea Paoletti
CO-WORKING is a progressive professional movement that is storming the globe and every week a new space is opened for freelancers, entrepreneurs and creative minds to inhabit.
Yet, sustaining the groundswell of interest and popularity in collaborative workspaces into the future is the next challenge for this innovative community.
One of the main factors that can impact on the success and solidarity of a co-working environment is the design.
This not only means the physical form of the space but also the creation process and begins long before it ever opens its doors to the public.
As a lead designer for Impact Hub network in Europe, experience has proven that engaging the community in the creation phase of the project is critical to developing a space that is effective and utilised.
This strategy is two-fold.
First, it enables the designer to understand the needs of the people who are anticipated to use the office. Being in touch with the physical requirements and desired atmosphere for the environment allows for a more streamlined planning stage.
The other benefit of introducing community participation in the design process is the sense of ownership it creates. If the public have input into how their workspace should look and function, they are more likely to have pride and interest in the environment and in turn, use it more frequently.