Community, Essays

Coworking field trip: Ideas and Inspiration from Indy Hall

philly-magic-garden

Having recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of Groundwork! Dena and I decided it was time to leave the baby at home and head south to Philadelphia for some urban inspiration, good food, and a visit to the coworking space Indy Hall.

Indy Hall gets a lot of credit for inspiring us in our early days, as evidenced in this post about our fundraising process. And in this interview with Indy Hall co-founder Alex Hillman we get some wisdom and advice we can apply to transforming New Bedford. The space recently re-located, and their community manager Adam Teterus gave us a great tour along with a gracious welcome and some mac and cheese cake. (Yeah, you read that right.) Anyway, here are some ideas we took away from the visit. Which ones would you like to see at Groundwork!?

 

In the kitchen

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We loved the take one, leave one beer refrigerator.

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This wall of post-it notes made the more colorful interactions among members visible, and a served as a primer on the space’s culture for newcomers and visitors like us.

Workshop

We were both pretty impressed and excited by the workshop room: neatly organized tools and a space for framing, screen printing, and more helps artists get things done without leaving the office.

indy-hall-workshop

 

Social Seating

The entire space is an open floor plan, just like ours. We liked how they mix day and part-time desks among full time desks to encourage interaction between old and new members.

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Community First!

Of course, the best part about this space is not the way it is arranged but the people in it and how they interact with each other. We learned how to make coffee, attended a ‘fancy hat’ tea party, and got so many recommendations on what to eat in Philly than we will need to take several subsequent trips.

Adam told us about “re-boot days,” in which the spaces closes Fri-Sunday and members come in to work side by side, cleaning and re-arranging things. Adam is emphatic about encouraging member participation, and told us: “Every time I have to do something I ask myself: Do I have to do this alone?” Clearly this approach works. We didn’t have to spend long at Indy Hall to get a sense of how unique and special their community is.

On that note, anyone want to help build a few file cabinets?

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Sarah

Co-founder at Groundwork!
Sarah lived all over South America, produced a documentary about Patagonia, and worked in digital marketing for a decade before settling in New Bedford to start Groundwork! She loves running a coworking space because she gets to meet the coolest people in the world.
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