There is Nothing Uncommon About
The rise and rise of social media, ultra fast-speed internet and an increasing fragmented and specialised work force has created a new kind of tenant for commercial spaces. Agile, nimble and highly responsive are apt descriptions for boutique businesses servicing a global community.
“The Commons” provides commercial space for these kinds of businesses that breaks all the conventions that surround form and functionality. We interview its founder Tom Ye to discuss this new phenomenon and what “The Commons” brings to the market place.
TY: When designing the space, we wanted to think beyond the status quo. In order to create a dynamic space, the office needed to be more than the typical grid-like, cubicle office layouts from years gone by.
Our members come from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds and while this is not a problem, it meant that we had to have multiple areas to serve different needs, individuals and styles of working.
TAE: To do this the design had to be functional – we have quiet corners, collaborative spaces and recreational areas so that every member can find a place that works for them.
Our members are a group of diverse and thriving businesses from a range of different industries and backgrounds.
All of our other locations were also approached with this ideology, but after years of experience, we added another factor to our QV space which was to employ a more hospitality-driven design team in Foolscap to add another dimension to the office
TY: Where do you draw your members from and what do you think they all share in common?
They are also companies at different stages – some are well-established businesses needing a larger space for their team, while others are small start ups or freelance creatives looking to collaborate with others and work outside of their home.
Our community is carefully curated to ensure it is conducive to collaboration, growth and innovation. We want all our members to experience mutually beneficial relationships with one another – it is about remaining Australia’s most creative ecosystem.
TAE: What do you mean by “human-centred thinking” and how does this apply to The Commons?
TY: Human-centred design is the new and improved version of “form follows function.” It is problemsolving that looks to address the core needs of the people in the space.
The lines between professional and personal lives are constantly blurred in modern society, especially in the lives of our members. Instead of constantly chasing the elusive balance of work, play, rest and mindfulness, human-centred design embraces integration.
From our onsite wellness classes to our open-plan meeting spaces, we focus on providing healthy options and helpful programs to encourage harmony in the lives of our members.
TAE: Why is it so important to take sustainability into the design process from the perspective of the members?
TY: WThe Commons is a dynamic and ever-changing organisation actively working towards creating a more environmentally-conscious business model.
Following a little research, we discovered that in Australia commercial buildings account for roughly 10 per cent of the nation’s overall energy consumption. Climate change is a serious global issue so we want to make sure that we are as socially responsible as possible.
The out of pocket cost may be higher initially – around an additional 35 per cent more than non-renewable energy – but knowing that we’re reducing our impact on the environment and, in turn, contributing to the future of our members and their loved ones is enough to warrant the additional finances upfront.
Our members love knowing that all their devices and work is powered by Mother Nature, so it’s important for us to continue introducing new sustainability measures. It is our hope to also inspire other companies to adopt a renewable attitude too.
TAE: The Commons has a strong collegiate experience – with members from so many diverse backgrounds and different goals and motivations – how does it all hold together?
TY: Our priority from day one has been cultivating and nurturing our community. Every single person who spends their days with us is a valued member and makes a contribution to the greater community that makes up The Commons.
We host many events, from casual meetups to educational opportunities so that our members have many opportunities to forge friendships and collaborations with one another.
We are often reaching out to our members for their feedback and the indication that we’re doing something right is evident when we gather statistics from these surveys.
For instance, 64 per cent reported their overall wellbeing has ‘definitely’ improved as a result of working in a shared space and 93 per cent would recommend coworking to their friends or business network as a way to boost productivity, improve social interaction and enhance networking opportunities.
TAE: How have you designed the food experience at “The Commons” and what differentiates this experience with outside “on the street?
TY: Every week, we gather for breakfast with our community to meet new members, keep up to date with each other and explore possible collaborations.
At the end of the month, we hold Friday night drinks to put work aside and simply enjoy each other’s company.
We also organise a monthly potluck at each location (where each business brings a dish) and our contribution supports a different local social enterprise restaurant.
How can prospective members find out more about “The Commons”
TAE: 与传统的办公空间相比,这种独特的办公空间背后的 原理是什么？The Commons试图解决的本质问题是什么？
TY: 在设计这个空间时,我们想要跳出现有的传统观念。为 了创造一个动态的空间,我们的办公室必须改变以往典型的 网格状隔间办公室布局。
我们的成员来自不同的行业和背景,虽然这不是一个问题, 但这意味着我们必须设置多个区域来满足不同的需求、个 人和工作风格。
我们在其他所有的办公地点也都采用了这一理念,但在多 年的经验之后,我们在QV空间中新增了一个元素,那就是在 Foolscap雇佣一个酒店专业设计团队,为办公室增加了一 个维度。
TY: 我们的成员都是多元化且蓬勃发展的企业,它们来自不 同行业,具有不同背景。
它们处在不同的发展阶段。一些是成熟的实力企业,需要 为其团队提供更大的空间,而另一些则是小型的初创企业, 或者是希望与他人合作、在家以外的场所工作的自由职业 者。
我们的社区经过精心策划,以确保它有利于协作、成长和创 新。我们希望我们的所有成员都能体验到彼此之间互惠互 利的关系。目的是将它建成并保持为澳大利亚最具创造力 的生态系统。
TAE: 您所说的”以人为本的思想”是什么意思？它如何应用 于The Commons？
TY: 以人为本的设计是新改良版的”形式服从功能”。它专 注于解决问题,着眼于解决人们在办公空间的核心需求。
在现代社会中,特别是在我们成员的生活中,职业和个人生 活之间的界限总是很模糊的。与其老是追求工作、娱乐、 休息和正念之间难以捉摸的平衡,不如拥抱融合,这正是以 人为本的设计的意义。
TAE: 为什么从成员的角度来看,将可持续性纳入设计过程 如此重要？
TY: The Commons是一个充满活力和不断变化的组织,积 极创建更环保的商业模式。
经过一些研究,我们发现,澳大利亚的商业建筑约占全国总 能耗的10%。气候变化是一个严重的全球性问题,因此我们 希望确保我们尽可能地对社会负责。
最初付出的成本可能会更高——比不可再生能源高出35％ 左右。但因为知道我们所做的事情正在减少对环境的影响, 并且会使我们的成员及其亲人的未来有所贡献,所以前期花 再多的资金也是值得的。
我们的成员很乐意听到他们的所有设备和工作均由大自然 驱动,因此对我们而言,继续引进新的可持续性措施至关重 要。我们也希望借此激发其他公司采取再生利用的态度。
我们深知,千里之行始于足下,因此我们在日常生活中为我 们的成员提供了一些简单易行的选择,让他们自觉为可持续 发展做贡献,这包括提供教育材料,以可重复使用的铝制品 代替塑料杯,保证所有空间配备回收箱等。
TAE: The Commons内部具有强烈的不同色彩——成员来 自于那么多不同的背景,还具有不同的目标和动因——这一 切是如何维系在一起的？
TY: 从第一天起,我们的首要任务就是培育我们的社区。 和我们在一起的每个人都是我们珍贵的成员,并为组成 The Commons的更大的社区做出贡献。
例如,有64％的人表示,由于在共享空间中工作,他们的整体 幸福感得到了”绝对的”提高,而93％的人则表示会向他们的 朋友或商业伙伴推荐合作,以提高生产力、改善社交互动并 提高建立关系网的机会。
TAE: 您是如何设计The Commons的美食体验的？这种体 验与外面街上的有什么不同？
TY: 每周,我们都会与社区成员共进早餐,与新成员见面,了 解彼此的最新情况,并探讨可能的合作。