Not only is the collaborative concept behind co-working spaces is transforming the way many people approach work and networking, it's also changing the way working spaces are designed. Even outside of the co-working phenomenon, conventional offices are becoming more open, and in co-working spaces geared toward independent workers and entrepreneurs, there are often extra perks besides the clean conference room that help make membership more attractive.
Madrid's utopic_US co-working space at Conde de Casal takes those perks to a new level. Seen over at ArchDaily, it's designed by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects with flexibility, ease of disassembly and fun in mind, in support of the utopic_US' creative and carefree character.
With a generous smattering of hammock desk chairs, exercise balls, ladders, and even mosquito netting, the workspace feels and looks more like a playground for grown-ups rather than an office. But there is reason to this crazy wackiness; according to the architects, the colourful, somewhat modular design is inspired by the energetic innovation of "the great cities" of New York and Tokyo (evidenced by the hanging fish lanterns, we suppose).
The scheme features desks that look like a mix of scaffolding or industrial carts outfitted with hammocks and hanging laundry storage organizers that can be rolled around. There's a mix of openness and privacy, thanks to the diversity of added screens and partitions. We do wonder how comfortable it is to sit in one of those hammock chairs all day, though, especially if you have back problems.
Adapting off-the-shelf parts and multipurpose designs creates an unforgettable atmosphere where work and play blend together, the designers say:
We have designed a versatile equipment that can be moved to another location but trying to create something memorable. We have worked modifying and transforming industrial and contemporary furniture (beds into tables, bunk [beds] into Skype rooms...) We have also introduced a lot of color employing different fabrics, ceramics, painted papers, etc. We are trying to inspire the users, everything around them can be transformed into something unexpected.
It's a design that assaults the senses, certainly, and would most probably make the most staid of corporate types shake their head in dismay. But like it or not, our work and workspaces are evolving, and an offbeat space like this may actually make working here a little more light-hearted and playfully creative than your typical open office spaces, which are a dime a dozen these days. More over at utopic_US, ArchDaily and