Coliving / coworking spaces: What are your expectations?

Hi! I’m Islem from Tunisia, some of you know me from the open village academy experience in Morocco .

I’m writing this post to tell you that I need your help in my final academic project. Currently I’m writing my thesis and I chose to work on my business idea which is creating a co-living space in Tunisia based on living lab concept and the user centric research approach. I want to enrich my work with real life experiences, feedbacks and advice from digital nomads or potential residents which lead me back to you.

My most urgent questions go like this :

  • As a digital nomad or other what would your dream co-living space look and feel like ?
  • What are the best ways you think your stay there would impact the local community ?

It would be very helpful if some of you give me about 20 min of his time for an in depth interview.

Thanks

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Hey Islem, good timing with this post, it just so happened that @noemi published an interview today which touches a lot of the points you’re interested in here :slight_smile:

Also, I’m moving this post to the Campfire category and adapt the title a bit so that you can reach a larger audience. And best of luck with your thesis writing!

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Thank you so much Matthias :grinning: i’ll check noemi’s post !

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@natalia_skoczylas and @imake could you please give me your feedbacks or tell me about your experiences with coliving spaces as digital nomads :slight_smile: Thanks!

hey @islem - nice hearing from you again.

To be honest, I didn’t use coliving or coworking spaces pretty much ever in my life. Coworking is usually rather too expensive for me to consider, plus, I’m a compulsive collaborator - and I am afraid I would drown in opportunities the moment I would start hanging out with all these smart fun people :smiley:

Co-living - i didn’t use it as a nomad, as well. I had shared apartments, but they were nothing different than, you know, renting a place with another person or two.

If I were to imagine a co-living space, it would have to be dramatically different from what I see available right now - starting from IKEA esthetics, to bad pricing practices (they usually take advantage of the fact it’s hard to find anything in the city, and contribute to further gentrification, capturing properties to make profit of them), to probably the way the community itself is organised. I’d love to have it centered around certain values and goals, but not in this sleek, neo-capitalist logic of WeWork, which I find mostly interested in optimizing time and effort. These communities seem more like assembly lines to me, but I guess many digital nomads also are just like this - hyper consumerist and dreaming to be wealthy.

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Thank you soo much @natalia_skoczylas :slight_smile: and hope that you will be one of the first visitors of our space in tunisia !

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@zmorda did you see this?

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About that: it would have a lot of space and a lot of freedoms about what to do in that space and how to change that space.

I see population density and lack of ownership as two of the big issues that reduce quality of life in Europe. When you live in a rented place in a city, (1) it is almost always a small space with low to zero outdoor space and (2) it is not your own space, so you’re not allowed to change anything without asking your profit-minded landlord. I hate everything about that. The city is just not the place for physical freedom, but the good thing about digital nomads is that they can work from anywhere if they have Internet. And “enough Internet” is not a major challenge – even in backcountry Morocco we had enough, as you know ­– a bit more expensive, but fully enough.

So what I imagine as my dream space is a large compound (6000 m² or more) in a rural area, with no neighbors around. Our place in Morocco was quite nice … if it would be ours, and if it would be about four times the outdoor area size. With enough space, everyone can do what they want without interfering with each other … it needs much fewer rules. For example, many small businesses can do their thing in such a space. As another example, it would be heaven for people living in a vehicle (like me) if there would be multiple such spaces to travel between, with parking space and modern comforts and infrastructure at each of them.

My best examples for this kind of co-living would be Calafou and also Valldaura Labs. It’s certainly not the mainstream of co-living, though. So take this dream with a bit of caution :smile:

In my case, probably bringing tech expertise in such a way that people from the local community can learn some of that over time. For example if I’d stay for a longer time of at least 3 months near @Yosser’s future hackerspace, I would run a weekly 3D fabrication event to explore the potential of the 3D printer together with whoever is interested from among the local community.

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This is a fun little piece about WeWork :wink: and how it’s always empty :smiley:

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