Coalesce emerging civic institutions (maker spaces, coworking spaces etc) with a best-of traditional pub-cafe-library-gallery-theater-nanobrewery-german bakery/chillout cafe into a new type of social space that is part business, part community center, around which critical mass can be built to re-imagine town centers.
A few things - ideally want to change the dynamic so this space is both about giving a leg up, but also about people bringing their creative best, and a prime destination for people wanting to have a rich experience as well. Seems like it would require equal parts design, strategy, and production/operations. Everything needs to have a high performance standard.
Here's an example of an indoor, multilevel project also in San Cristobal, Mexico. It's basically a twist on a food court/strip mall/shopping mall, but has a lot of charm. In this case, maybe it's the abundant plants, the lighting...what else?
Smale scales are intriguing. I'm not sure if they are always the answer, but here's another example with a lot of charm - a small open-air courtyard in San Cristobal, Mexico, that has several eateries and other retail businesses. It's a panoramic picture, click to see the whole thing.
Bowery Market in NYC has a pretty interesting micro-restaurant vibe on a corner lot. Since the pic was taken I think they put in a winter-time glass roof too. This is really just a mix of existing ideas, but the aesthetic touches make it more than the sum of its parts - for example, food truck lots are common in places like Portland, but don't have the charm of this project.
and your point about future working arrangements is a good one. my critique was limited to a couple ideas about resources and environment...what other future arrangements could we anticipate and use to develop a theory of urban design for CP???
sure. it seems like they are trying to fold two trends/needs into one and maximize the number of daily hours their capital investment (buildings) is in use, but there's definitely way more room for abstraction and rethinking of common spaces. ownership is a non-trivial example but not the most interesting one perhaps...it would make sense to go total brainstorm on this one, e.g. why stop at transforming the use of existing buildings, why not consider how in an ideal settlement how we want buildings to appear and be used? you might not want to host a wedding or a party in a we-work/meetup space, but maybe common spaces could be designed so that they'd be desirable for even more uses. Density of function is one of our guiding concepts. I think a big problem with urban development is that it feels so crowded...and maybe the answer is to make it so that work-socializing-residence spaces are somehow even more combined. That sounds suffocating, but maybe it wouldn't be. It is madness that in most places, we have two groups of buildings, and half of those buildings are empty during the day, while the other half are empty at night. The waste of resources, the transportation woes, the expense, it's nuts. It might be only a matter of time before people start to figure this out, or it might get even worse as people design ugly work spaces and feel even greater desire for their own resource sink in a private home. On the other hand, if we designed cities like dense ship cabins but with heavy vegetation, killer flex spaces, everyone's commute dropped to ten minutes, infrastructure spending needs were halved, and the great outdoors were within walking distance from every edge of the city...let's make this a blog
This organization did a great job of pulling off a mixed-use community space in Jamaica Plain, Boston - https://jpndc.org/brewery/. I wonder what we could learn from them and/or what similar examples exist in other cities.
I want to hear your thoughts on this - https://www.wired.com/story/why-wework-is-buying-meetup/ . Some of my takeaways:
- How could we brand/distinguish this platform (CG) so that it holds more authority in these ideas of 'building community' vs. fbook or others.
- I feel like Wework's estimate of most meet-ups being proto-businesses is off, but how could we affirm - or if it does have merit - how could we be a more compelling alt?
- Wework makes it's money off membership fees. We could make these a minimal amount of our revenue stream... Or find other ways to compete
- Wework assumes a future of 9-5 office work with some social elements. Could we anticipate/help shape what comes after that? For example, the phase II version of this space could be built around a 4-hour work day - and one that produces very differently. Our work space/culture could also connect directly to transitional strategies - like being a member requires shared tasks like a CLT, but gets you into a program that minimizes your need to engage in conventional market work (in favor of work not as valued by the current market).
Idea - start planning some hosted events at the library or someplace, brew up some hooch to serve to guests, get the proper serving license, gather presenters/artists/musicians etc. Doesn't Mrs. Handler do the library or someone cols knows?