We interview Manuel Zea

arquideas admin
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Super contributor   1905 points
25 October, 2011
Manuel Zea, founder of coworkingspain.com

Arquideas interviewed Manuel Zea Barral, architect and founder of Workingspace Madrid and coworkingspain.com. As one of the pioneers of coworking in Spain and reference person on this subject, he gives us his point of view on some questions about shared workspaces and the Coworking Building (COB) Madrid competition.

What is coworking?

The best definition of Coworking is found in the wikipedia: a way of working that allows multiple independent professional from different sectors share the same office or the same workspace (with similar characteristics to a cafe) which promotes collaborative work in a community and multidisciplinary space and networking.

Coworking centers, mainly for internet professionals, designers, programmers, writers, journalists, etc., are usually provided with singular workstations with a desk, internet access and other services.

What role has had the information and communication technology in this phenomenon?

Many people already practiced coworking phenomenon before even knowing the term "coworking." In fact, many architect students rented flats or offices in common to perform their Final Projects. That was and is Coworking. New technologies, like social networks, have helped us to spread the word "coworking" and bring people who were unaware of this trend. Thanks to Facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc. have helped us to spread events, courses, etc.

What role does architecture play?

The coworking is not only a physical space (including new trends in ways of working), it’s a community, life experiences and relationships with other professionals, knowledge, exhibitions, new technologies, etc.. on what architecture should play the role of designing spaces where all these activities can be developed in harmony.

What characteristics do you think should have a coworking space?

-Open room with desks for permanent positions

-Hot desk for freelance who need only a few days or hours of work at the center.

-Recreation rooms to work the way you want. tables, sofas, lawn ...

-The kitchen is an important element where people interact.

-Possibility of a cafe open to external people.

-Flexible rooms (exhibitions, lectures, events, presentations) with independent access so the building users will not disturbed.

We hope that Manuel Zea’s experience, taken to a larger scale, will give you a useful reference creating the new workspaces proposed by the CoB Madrid competition.

Manuel invites us to be alert to the Coworking Conference 2011 (Berlin, 03 to 05 November), which  program can be followed through their website. [www.coworkingconference.com]

 

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