coworking as an architect

Jennifer from Cowork Penticton asked me a few questions about how coworking is for an architect. An architectural firm in her own town is considering coworking, but they would like to hear comments from others before committing and she is looking for some feedbacks. As an architect it is very interesting for me, as I’m noticing that while coworking is something normal for graphic designers, social entrepreneurs and web developers, it’s not the same for architects. For instance, at mutinerie coworking, one of the place where I cowork, I am one of the few architects of the community (and maybe the only one).

Why do you cowork?
I can’t exactly explain it. I just feel that I have to.
I cowork mainly to be among people who make things they love.
I am an architect but I also work as a professional blogger and when I started blogging at, in 2007, I couldn’t explain why I was doing it. I just felt it was incredibly important for my job and for my life. 5 years after I started understanding the reasons why. It’s the same as for coworking: I will probably know the reason why  in 5 years.
Our world is very complex and I think we should all be able to feel things to go on the right direction.

Are you a solo architect, or do you work with a firm?
None of those.
I work as an independent designer (I often define myself as a slasher) but I’am always doing projects with other professionals or firms. I would say that I work in a network with people and firms. Among other things, last year I worked in Madrid with Ecosistema Urbano and I am currently developing some projects in Paris with Hugh Dutton Associates.

Is your firm coworking also?
Soon it will.
As I said, in 2007 I created for Hugh Dutton Associates. Since then, I have been curating the blog and managing its community of students and professionals. A few month ago I started thinking about the possibility to translate this community into a physical space, and hopefully we are achieving this in January, when I will be running a creative coworking in Belleville, Paris (the photo above shows one of the desk). I am very happy with this opportunity. I think that the physical space and human contact is the next step for the knowledge revolution started within the digital space.

What has coworking added to your professional life?
Happyness :)
At the beginning I thought i went coworking to start new projects with new people.
And this is also true, since I am developing a new idea with people at mutinerie coworking right now, but I think people cowork just to be with other amazing people and to share values with them.
I also think coworking is a good way not to feel lost in our world. It makes me feel as if I am in the right place.
For a firm, it’s also a great opportunity to open the organization and to be costantly in contact with new “fresh” ideas and people.


Are you an architect and you cowork or you are considering coworking?
Please leave a message, it would be very helpful to have your feedback and your suggestions.

If you are interested in the launch of the new coworking space in Belleville, you can follow me on facebook.
More info are coming soon.

6 thoughts on “coworking as an architect”

  1. I like your personal approach to the questions. I’m fed up with articles talking about the “10 advantages of coworking” and that kind of stuff.

    I’d also love to know more details about how the new coworking space is being developed, the preliminary conditions that lead to the creation, the management approach or the way you are dealing with commitment (regarding funding, needed work for setup, maintentance, etc.).

    But no hurry! ;)

  2. Traslate a digital community into a physical space. This is the most powerful idea in the interview.

    I think digital spaces are becoming labs where groups of people can investigate the best way to develop a project, and when the project has grown enough and is ready, is mature, it could be time to traslate it into physical space.

  3. I’m an architect who founded and operates a coworking space in L.A. I’m still the only architect in our space, not including my employee. Architects tend to want tons of space to have their library of reference material, product samples, catalogs, etc. Coworking doesn’t typically lend itself well to someone who needs so much physical space to themselves. Even if you make the library a common amenity, you’d then need many more architects to justify that space.

    That said, there are plenty of architects who just use their laptops to render, draw, etc. And they therefore forego needs for a library, a model-making area, etc.

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