• 10
    Jan
    Posted in:
    Detroit Co-Working Spaces Bring Life And Commerce To The City

    In cities with startups, “co-working space” is a term that is getting used more and more. And Detroit co-working spaces are becoming a part of this growing trend. In fact, Detroit is already home to many co-working spaces and business accelerators like Ponyride, Build Institute, and others. We recently worked with TechTown Detroit and SPACELAB DETROIT.

    But what are these new offices that are popping up? For some, they’re places to set up their computers away from their apartments. For others, they provide an address they can invite clients to. For most, it means renting a desk in a large office that gives them coffee for free.

    If that doesn’t sound amazing to you, then let us show the real value as we dive a bit deeper into this new trend in business incubation that’s hitting our growing city.

    SPACELAB DETROIT wall graphic 1

    One of the wall graphics we installed in SPACELAB DETROIT


    What Exactly Is A Detroit Co-working Space?

    In the physical sense, co-working spaces are shared offices. Typically, interested entrepreneurs become members of these facilities, and the quantity of perks they get depends on the membership level the sign up for. Sometimes all one needs is a desk, but, as mentioned above, some startups need conference rooms where they can demo their products to investors or somewhere to whiteboard ideas with their team. Business incubators with shared space allow a business startup the time to grow and prosper before they commit to a brick-and-mortar location.

    What makes SPACELAB DETROIT an interesting place is that it also offers events, mailboxes, and a design library to its members. These amenities show that SPACELAB DETROIT is interested in doing more than providing space; it shows they want to foster a collaborative community on the seventh floor of their historic building while encouraging people to get to know each other along the way.

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    A photo of etched glass we installed in SPACELAB DETROIT


    “Third Space Theory” And Why It Matters

    For extremely small, up-and-coming businesses, real estate is harder to acquire, which begs the question of why they shouldn’t just work from where they live. After all, you have a free office if you’re already paying rent.

    Those of us who’ve worked remotely for a job know how difficult it can be to feel productive at home. This is where the sociology of space becomes extremely fascinating, the theory of “third space” in particular.

    Some sociologists claim there are three spaces modern humans inhabit. The first space is where we live, relax, and rest. The second space is where we go to work. The third space is where we socialize and interact with people to get away from our first two spaces.

    Applying this theory to co-working spaces, working from home combines the first and second space. By doing so, the affected person has to consciously change how they think about their surroundings whenever they change tasks, which can be difficult and unproductive. Detroit co-working spaces let small business owners have an affordable second space, allowing them to keep their first space separate.


    How Detroit Sign Factory Made A “Second Space” Inspiring

    We were excited when asked to help SPACELAB DETROIT create inspirational wall graphics and etched window decals to identify each office door. (To learn more about window graphics, be sure to read our recent article.)

    Detroit Co-Working Spaces Inspiration

    Detroit co-working spaces thrive on the inspiration shared in this wall graphic

    Some of their members have a “Private Office,” and they wanted to personalize these rooms for the businesses. We installed etched glass logos for these businesses on the doors of their respective offices. This subtle bit of internal signage allows them to establish both branding and credibility with their clients and employees.

    We were also asked to put inspirational quotes up on their walls. These included motivational adages from the likes of Steve Martin and Detroit’s own Coleman Young. We’ve scattered photos of this project throughout this post, but here are a few more examples to give you an idea.

    SPACELAB DETROIT wall graphic 3

    Another wall graphic we installed in SPACELAB DETROIT

    Glass etching 3

    A glass etching for a private office at SPACELAB DETROIT

    SPACELAB DETROIT wall graphic 4

    How’s that for a bit of encouragement!


    As more small businesses come to our city, it’s likely that we’ll see Detroit co-working spaces added to this growing list. Each one of these spaces represents economic growth, which is important in a city that’s gone through so much.