Co-West Co-Working Space

· Wednesday March 6, 2013

So a place very dear to me is being bullied out of the building it's in. At the same time the State Government is dropping a million dollars on a “co-working space” that will move into the same building. A co-working space is a bit like a time-share office where folks are guaranteed a quiet desk with printing and wifi and a water cooler and such. It's actually a really nice idea. Some people like to call them “hubs” or “hub-spaces” for “hot-desking” but all that sounds a little too Nathan Barley, which is a bit unfair.

Anyway, the thing the government is moving into my old building is a for-profit business aimed at fancy young entrepreneurs. Their interstate franchises are something like 50 bucks a day plus some kind of membership. I don't mean to sound bitter, and I certainly wish this new place every success, but I'm here to tell you that there's already a co-working space just a few blocks down the road that will supply you with peaceful office space at a much lower price than the million-dollar franchise opening on Peel Street.

Co-West was started by local novellist Rob de Kok, who describes it as SA's first creative co-working space aimed at writers. What does that mean? Well, what it doesn't mean is slam poetry and thinly-veiled pissing contests about Kafka. It does mean that for between eight and twelve bucks a day (less if you sign up for a lengthier period) you get a nice quiet spot in town in which to work on that novel / nostalgic blog post / angry letter to the Planning Minister that you've been busy not writing in your share-house bedroom. Your share-house bedroom isn't for working - it's for jerking off, organising your laundry, managing your torrents and affecting a bookshelf that best reflects the subtleties of your well-read-but-still-down-to-earth personality.

The point is that writing is the kind of thing that sometimes needs you to shrug off the bathrobe and put on a decent pair of pants. Which isn't to say that you couldn't show up at Co-West wearing a robe and slippers - Rob seems like a non-judgemental sort of fellow. Nevertheless, your dad was almost certainly right when he told you to put your pants on before noon. Maybe if, in my youth (recently concluded), I'd woken up earlier and worn nicer pants, I'd be running the co-working hub, instead of sitting in one scratching out another hipster review. Parce mihi! Numquam versificabo, pater!