In Berlin, work has always been about community and the exchange of ideas. It’s no surprise that C-base, one of the first hacker spaces, originated here in 1995. In 2009, the ground- breaking Betahaus became known as a paradigm for co-working in Europe.
Today, Berlin hosts more than 30 official co-working spaces. And many more exists ‘Berlin style’ operating out of the spotlight but with no less attention to fostering community, however small and targeted to unique constituencies.
As Berlin becomes a formidable tech hub in Europe, welcoming such companies as Google, Facebook and Amazon it does so with some suspicion and circumspection. The corporate model is not as welcome in a city known for more unconventional ways of working valuing an open sourced exchange, life balance and making connections to benefit the larger community.
But that independent spirit is just what brings new companies and entrepreneurs to Berlin. Berliners think differently about work and how critical life balance is achieved as part of their lives. And entrepreneurship, especially in the mobility sector, is thriving here.
Students were challenged to look at the next incarnation of the co-working trend, examining possible hybrids that engage all of our senses and offer opportunities to redefine the future of work. They looked at the psychological and social aspects of Berliners more entrepreneurial attitude to different kinds of work - and how to construct meaningful physical environments around them to deliver the most effective impact.