Recently I just started my old hobbies – coworking spaces. I can’t leave it. Coworking is a magic for me, it’s always amazing to see people collaborate within a space as a community. In an article written by Dan Fost in The New York Times brought up a good title to explain this phenomenon – They’re Working on Their Own, Just Side by Side. It’s a good title to summarize what happened in coworking spaces.
I have mentioned in my previous post, people cowork as they migrate from telework. Why do they migrate? It is what Dan Fost (2008) highlight in his article: they like working independently, but they are less effective when sitting home alone. As a social being, we can understand it that human beings need social interaction. Spinuzzi (2012) even pointed out “coworking as a social hub” as he found in his cases that people go cowork craving for social needs.
Just about last two weeks, I finally joined as a member in coworking space at Idea Factory. It’s located at the heart of Gangnam, close to Gangnam Station in Seoul. These vibrant area is a mecca for professionals where they gather for doing professional work. Professional.
That’s what Yong-in Kwon from Idea Factory said about his choice of location. “We want exposure.” Gangnam provide exposure to these professionals as they work in the downtown. It’s not just about being work in a cheap location, within a community, but also getting attention for what they are doing. But still, as they work in a coworking space, they could get their exposure for a relatively cheap price. I could work here on a daily basis for a price of 8,000 Won (about $8). With free beverage, minibar, and free wi-fi as complementary. Just nice.
As I continue my project, I gather valuable data. Gangnam indeed has become agglomeration for these coworking spaces. Location, Location, Location. I remember a book written by William Alonso, Location and Land Use: Toward a General Theory of Land Rent. In this book, he described the equilibrium between land values and land uses. And these coworkers are looking for land values: they want to make their business worth even it means higher space rent price.
This is just preliminary findings. As soon as I finish my project, I will publicize my coworking space mapping around Seoul. There are many interesting findings too related to design, something that plays big role in coworking space.
Alonso, William. “Location and land use. Toward a general theory of land rent.”Location and land use. Toward a general theory of land rent. (1964).
Fost, Dan. “They’re working on their own, just side by side.” New York Times20 (2008).
Spinuzzi, Clay. “Working alone together coworking as emergent collaborative activity.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 26.4 (2012): 399-441.