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Space Hack, Part One

Photo credit: Gensler

What do you get when you combine 3beards, an inquisitive design firm, burritos, a pre-launch app, a tech ecosystem accelerator, and an ex-crack den?

Space hack part one is what we got.

Gensler teamed up with friends at the 3beards and the Trampery to stage the first installment of a year-long initiative. This much feted entrepreneur community located in and around London’s Old St is an elusive bunch. Could the next Zuckerberg or Jobs be found in this crowd, coding away in a bedroom or dropping into an incubator? We know creativity and entrepreneurship are their primary motivators, but what about where they do it. Do they care…have an opinion? That is what we wanted to find out.

First a little background. The Trampery is one of the first companies to develop the co-working or incubator movement around London’s Silicon roundabout, and prior to this meeting they were about to take a lease on their fourth space which will become their flagship. The company is as interested in creative ecosystems and environments as we are. They provided the space. The building had been lying derelict for some years and had become an adopted home to some of London’s less desirables. One industrial clean later, and we were ready to start.

The 3beards are a collective that bring together the community around the area. Entrepreneurs themselves, they provide a forum for like minded people to get together. They are interested in creative ecosystems and environments too. They provided the people.

The creative minds here in Gensler London needed one week’s time to create a system to mask the many less than attractive facets of the space and make it look, well pretty cool actually. The team here worked their magic to provide a raw, pop-up environment that encouraged the debate around design.

The point of all this was to get some answers to some serious questions. With the help of Kahoot, a start up based in the Trampery’s Bevenden street campus that is beta testing a web based quizzing app, we worked with the beards to table a number of questions we were keen to hear answers to. What are the most important qualities in a workspace? How many meetings do you attend virtually? What are the most important amenities to you? That kind of thing.

We also wrote on the walls. And put an aerial on the roof.

We’re currently processing the information …and planning the next stage - the real space hack. So watch this space but in the meantime enjoy the film.

Duncan Swinhoe is the co-managing director of Gensler’s London office. An architect with some 15 years experience, Duncan’s career has seen him concentrate on large-scale developments in the UK, Europe and the Gulf region. With a particular focus and specialism in commercial office building design, Duncan is responsible for establishing the conceptual direction of projects and leading the multidisciplinary team through delivery. Contact him at duncan_swinhoe@gensler.com.

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