Coworking Space for Dublin Artists
As a summer project through my business school me and four other students were assigned “coworking spaces” as an innovative trend to research and apply to the Dublin market. For those of you who don’t know, a coworking space is a place that many different organizations and individuals share to get work done.
Once in Dublin, my team decided to visit the already existing coworking spaces to see how they operate. What we found was not encouraging. We thought these places were supposed to be vibrant, community-centric, and productive. Instead we found barren rooms with enough amenities for perhaps one company. We started to think about who might benefit the most from a coworking space.
Our research found that while there were a few different coworking spaces, none were dedicated to artists. We had a hunch that artists would be a great customer segment because it is a field that thrives on collaboration. So we talked to a few street musicians.
While Matt (shown below) and I were interviewing street musicians, our team was also interviewing visual artists to see if we could also address their needs.
Pivoting / Define
It was clear after our interviews that not all artists desired a coworking space and it was probably better for us to focus on one customer segment for the time being. So we pivoted to providing a coworking space to just musicians rather than all artists. With this new focus it was easier to design a solution based off the needs of our persona “Gary the Guitarist”
My role at this stage was to facilitate our brainstorming session to make sure we were keeping Gary at the center of our ideas and to encourage creative ideas. I’d prompt our team with statements like “if our school gave us one million dollars to solve this challenge how would you use those resources?”
In total, we came up with 57 ideas. After combining a few of these ideas we had a clear concept to test.
Test / Prototype
I offered to lead the prototyping process as I recently taught myself how to use Planner5D, a home design software that conveniently works for coworking spaces as well. The interesting thing about this software was that it allowed you to digitally walk through the space. I knew this would be a great feature during our final presentation.
To further promote community and collaboration we created an app that would act as a matching platform for artists who are looking to collaborate with others – we called this MelodyMatch.
This experience did more for me then just getting a good grade. This was the start of my passion for design and community development.