Diving Headfirst – Architecture for Coworking Spaces

By Liz Elam On April 1, 2014 In CoworkingRetrospective

divingheadfirstPartitions, square footage costs, accessibility, fixtures, path of egress…Welcome to the morass that is architecture and construction. If you don’t have a serious understanding or experience with being in the trenches of building out a space, be prepared to be in a world of hurt. “Isn’t coworking all about community?” you ask. You got it, but…that physical space you want to call an office will need to be built, renovated, and/or occupied. Let no one fool you into thinking that their renovation and move-in process was a walk in the park. I would bet that every single coworking space owner fell flat on their face during this necessary evil of a stage of their launch. I know this because I did, too.

Licensed in architecture? check.

Experienced in construction management? check.

Degreed in engineering so no amount of technical babbly-gook would overwhelm me? check and check.

Then what did I do? I went way way over budget on my first space. Chose bad contractor and subcontractors, fell behind schedule, threw money at situations, and all of that.

My lessons are your lessons. Stop by a little workshop I’m teaching on Saturday May 3 in Kansas City. Learn about some ways you should’ve done for your first space so you can do better for your next space. Learn about some nuts and bolts ahead of time before you dive in headfirst.

Your physical space will be your single biggest cost upfront, and recurring expense. Give it the attention it deserves!”


Jerome Chang of BLANKSPACES in LA will be teaching a GCUC workshop on Saturday, May 3rd at 1pm.  Get your tickets here.