Since starting WSMS Studio in 2013, we've worked from lots of different locations. From the spare room to remote working on a rooftop in Tenerife, to the gallery space above a fully functioning Church, in the centre of London's business district (which is surprisingly peaceful). We've explored formal co-working spaces and taken advantage of some serendipitous ones.
We've learnt to appreciate the variety of the opportunities we've had over the last five years and to value the uniqueness of each experience. These spaces are as much influenced by their location and space as the colour of the cushions and the flavour of the coffee, but without a doubt, the connectivity to other professions and ways of working have been the essence of the experience.
I doubt anything will compare in strangeness and surrealism of listening to choral hymns and getting to know the Archdeacon of Hackney (an inspiring lady) whilst surrounded by sausage dogs. But undoubtedly, each experience gives an insight into a small microcosm that we might never have known of. They have nurtured a genuine understanding how other disciplines work alongside our usual inter-disciplinary approach.
This lived understanding been invaluable in our work, which, whether designing actual co-working spaces, such as the Retailery & Odd Box or housing, requires us to truly understand the needs and wants of people quite different to us.
Moving forwards, as we continue to develop our small practice, we're even more aware of the importance of both space and connections. With this in mind, we're very happy to have sharing office space with a newly created Estate Agent Social Enterprise; Urban Patchwork.
We love that they are founded on principles of going beyond the normal ethical standards and that one of their core aims is to provide a service that actually gives back to the community whilst still undertaking the demanding business of looking after and selling property.
As well as fundamentally supporting their aims as a social enterprise, we're learning a lot about how properties are valued, the hard work behind the scenes and how start-ups can reach out to create mutually beneficial connections. We also have access to some wonderfully fast broadband for central London and most importantly, a beautiful place to walk the dog just outside the door.