Defining & shaping a space based culture
In this episode we focus on community, how you shape it and the importance of building a culture within a space in order for it to thrive.
We start out by speaking to Annie Marrs, Lead Officer at UNESCO City of Design and Gillian Easson Director of Creative Dundee about the needs of Dundee's creative community and what they need as organisations in the city.
We then bring in Claire Carpenter who set up the Melting pot in Edinburgh and now helps others start and build coworking spaces across the world. She explains how the melting pot came from a need that she saw to deliver a more flexible model for space, particularly for freelancers. At that time, offering the ability to pay for space as you wanted or needed it was a pretty radical concept but it has now become commonplace.
We also go on to discuss the affects the pandemic has had on coworking space and why the terminology is often confused with flexi-working space. Lot's of big corporates like bars, hotels and banks are trying to move into the space but they are offering Flexi-work space. They are not developing the culture and community of a coworking space which is confusing and leads to a misconception of what try coworking is.
If you are creating a coworking space it needs to have a community and a culture that is valuable to its members. Whoever is creating or running the space needs to define the the boundaries around who is right for the space and ultimately the right customers for the coworking business. Claire explains some of the complexities around this and a few key considerations when defining how a space is structured and operates.
Ultimately, coworking spaces take a lot of effort to run and desk rent does not generate a lot of income so the business model has to work for the scale of the space. We spoke to Christine James of Blick studios who have around 60 members over 3 spaces in Belfast. She talks about what they have done to ensure they have a lean business model and integrated more profitable services to make it work over the long term.
UNESCO City of Design Dundee - https://cityofdesigndundee.com/
Creative Dundee - https://creativedundee.com/
The Melting Pot - https://www.themeltingpotedinburgh.org.uk/
Blick Studios - https://www.blickstudios.org/
This podcast series is supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.