an online conversation
about design management

Sharing spaces

Everywhere I look lately someone is talking about a shared space. It’s a great concept and one I think we would have embraced if it had been around when we started.

The benefits seem endless – all the advantages of autonomy coupled with the camaraderie and energy of a larger workplace.

I recently met Dom Forde at the Melbourne AGDA Business Model Canvas seminar (which was great, but I digress). Dom is from Famous Visual Services – a design studio that shares a space in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

At different times, Famous Visual Services has shared a space with writers, stage designers, editors, web developers, film makers fashion designers and brand strategists. Dom says the different skill sets have been a great inspiration and offer a refreshing perspective on what we all do.

I agree – some of the most motivating talks from conferences are not from fellow graphic designers but from other, aligned professionals because they often look at visual problem solving from another angle. Plus there’s always the opportunity for collaboration.

It seems many of the shared spaces are run similarly to a shared household.

One or two people have their name on the lease and are responsible to the landlord, and others pay ‘rent’. It can get complicated, so in many situations the rent is inclusive of all outgoings. Some of the spaces (there’s one on the AGDA site at the moment) come complete with desks and printers while others offer an empty space for total flexibility.

Shared spaces may be the perfect scenario for the many graduates that are leaving university to head straight into freelancing because the lack of salaried positions. It may be the perfect opportunity to get some mentoring from watching, listening and learning from others rather than working in a ‘silo’.



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