The Third Place refers to a coworking space that creates a rich community of creative businesses, non-profits and start-ups. They generally have a unique culture where opportunity and idea sharing takes place. The concept of the Third Place emerged from a combination of the home office, flexible hours and results oriented work.
The concept of ‘working from home’, with its freedom and flexibility has morphed into the need for people to be co-located with other like-minded individuals. They have moved on from just taking up a table at the local cafe, to purpose-designed spaces where entrepreneurs and independent workers seek to be part of a community.
We visited the Westminster Hub, part of the global HUB network. Tim, one of the co-founders was kind enough to invite us in and show us around. Walking around we saw people working individually, in pairs and in groups. There is a place for gathering groups together – cave, campfire and watering hole.
The following week we were in Helsinki and found the local HUB community. A newer operation, but the principles and philosophy was the same.
There are parallels with the design and fit out that can be translated to the design, fit out and use of open learning spaces.
Community: Is the space inviting and encourages people to connect?
Collaboration: How does the furniture and arrangement of the space facilitate connection and collaboration?
Creativity: Can ideas incubate?
Co-locating: Does each user need to be on the same task, working on the same outcome? They don’t have to be.
Comfortable: How do you like to work? Tables, sofas, open-spaces, closed spaces – provide choice
When people are passionate about what they do and motivated to achieve outcomes, no one is needed to ‘crack the whip’.