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June 30, 2009


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Collaborative workspace as well as a brainstorming space. There is a place in Columbus called Sparkspace - it's a good meeting retreat and brings in a good amount of revenue too. http://www.sparkspace.com/


Great link and a lot like things I imagined. I like how it's professional but not sterile. Boring meeting spaces help create boring meetings.


A bottom floor with some sort of money making cafe or coffee shop, and/or even a computer cafe, because as far as I know, there isn't one in Charleston. Also full of meeting spaces or rentable rooms with the main hallway being used as a rotating art exhibit for local artists.
Of course, all the rooms should be really cool or swanky, to give it something unique.
Second floor could be classrooms and galleries. Different artist spaces, and have the walls made of glass so people on their way to class can see artists works. It could even be studio-esque and have artists working in their gallery.
Classes could be for art because the artists are right there, but there are art classes around Charleston and acting classes. Even though it might not fit into the theme of the second floor, things like social media classes, internet and web design, how to use the internet to your advantage for business, and even simple classes for older people who haven't really gotten the hang of things. And maybe even a green room. I don't know how one builds or uses that, but having a rentable green room would be really cool. Maybe along with that could be a place to rent/borrow cameras, or some professional equipment that people only need to use once, like for a commercial, and don't want to buy.
Third floor, flats. Is that legal? Plenty of people would pay to live around a cool community like that.

Heather Solos

All I know at this point is even the general idea excites me.


damn fine ideas. xarker and I always dreamed of a creative colony where people could live and work. I confess I've always wanted a salon that mixes different disciplines music, visual arts, theater, tech, all types of creative geekery. Charleston seems ripe for an Information Age explosion.


hey y'all i have a lot to say about this issue as right now i am doing my fifth startup the other 4 were in silicon valley and i am back home in the lowcountry. hit me up @jaxsoncreole. lets do this thing!


B. Wilder

So are you thinking something along the lines of a design collective?

If so, I've always liked the idea of a co-op workspace where everybody, from design enthusiasts to photog buffs, could work side by side.

It's one of the best ways to really bounce ideas off of other like-minded people.

Granted, it sounds rather advanced for such a traditional city like Charleston, but if the art/techie community came together and actually made this thing work, it could #chs light years ahead of most of the competition.

We could potentially create something that you would normally find in metropolises like NYC and LA.

My only concern, at this point, is what would you end up naming it? ;)


In school, we used to call the sculpture majors the dirty kids. After my first sculpture class, I was hooked. I would like to see some kind of facility that encourages a return to physicality like that in creative output. It should be a real discipline collision. I enjoy working on computers, but there are plenty of days I'd like to spend the afternoon feeding oak planks to a band saw.


I taught Photoshop for several years at the Southern Short Course and would be willing to do it again, even get my ACE certification back if needed. I think we could have a great photo faculty from day one.
I'd love to see a cafe of some sort involved- for revenue and social reasons.
In my mind's eye I can see an experimental theatre in the round with an art gallery foyer of many media.
One thing I'd love to see is a cooking school geared towards the community.
Collaborative spaces would yield a true "think tank."
A server farm could bring another revenue possibility, where hosting and design go hand-in-hand.
Truly, there are so many possibilities it's hard to focus. I can see it as a physical hub for online exploration as well as artistic expression.
Can one place really house all of that? Sure, why not?


I have been wanting to find a collective work space or maybe start one. I work remotely for a conservation NGO but would love to work within a community of creative people. There is a writer/artist collective workspace in San Francisco that is a good model - http://www.sfgrotto.org/
They offer classes and hold community events and lectures.

Cameron Blazer

Have I mentioned that I love you xarketypes?

I have long harbored a similar dream of a space that would contain the following:

1) gallery space
2) multi-purpose performance/rehearsal space (for music/theatre/dance)
3) office space for non-profits
4) classroom space for community and youth education
5) turnkey artist studios
6) art/craft/design carrels available on an hourly/daily/weekly basis, stocked with high quality tools not readily available to people just starting out in a given artform
7) family-friendly living space/condos and community garden

I know--peel me a grape, right? Still it's fun to dream.

Bran Cedio

Well, you guys know I'd totally be in favor of some large spaces for movement/dance classes. Renting the out the space could be a great way not only to bring in revenue, but to help the community flourish. One of my biggest goals is to help the different kinds of physical performance groups in the area work together and grow.


Bran, darling, the space I have my eye on has a dance studio. OMG YES.

The crazy part is that so many of us see the same vision. I get so excited at the prospect of making this real, I think I actually start vibrating on a different plane.

Before getting down to the serious business of a real lend-me-money plan, I guess we need to figure out if there is enough critical mass in Charleston/theLoCo to sustain something like this.

I know that you have to go to Charlotte or Atlanta to get any type of serious immersion training in many Adobe and other tech/art software. And it's expensive. Tech ed should be available to people who need it to get better jobs, not just people whose companies are paying for them to get it. Maybe local schools would be willing to partner for what they can offer.


Oh and I COMPLETELY agree with lucidbeaming on touchy-feely. we need space for people to do tactile art. And the place should be green, retrofitted as an example of how to take existing structures and make them efficient. And it should have a garden with xenoscaping.

I sincerely believe we could create a place that would be an icon for 21st century workplaces. Cross-pollination of ideas, shared space, shared tools, shared goals, interdisciplinary, green, with emphasis on helping people create cool and interesting things that make money without 'monetizing' every damned endeavor and with as little politics and drama as is humanly possible.

Ok. I'll stop now.

David Mandel



We are very much interested in getting a space with all the geeky, fun, artsy, meeting, and just plain old having a get-together and talk shop! How marvy! I've always wanted to do something like it, and it sounds like there's a great big interest out there and we would love to be involved in. Teaching, mentoring for all ages to be on cyberspace! LMK when XarkGirl! Let's do this! :)


So i've begun working on this idea. Got some things rolling. I will keep y'all posted.


Wow, this is so exciting with all this energy!

What I'd like to see is a nice space where I can work (im an interweb worker) some days side by side with some really interesting people (you all)...have lunch with them over coffee....then maybe later in the week after work hours return to this space to listen to the latest on Chrome OS....or play in a tennis wii tournament with said people.

I would pay a membership level fee to have access to this equipment and use fascilities as well as pitch in for coffee/drinks...

how about startup weekends?

I'm thinking of models like Edge Office in Raleigh or http://www.carrborocoworking.com/ in Carrboro

Patrick Hannaford

This has me thinking of the logistics....what are they doing with the old library on king st? It sounds like the perfect place to put this little experimental bio dome of hipness, maybe not living space but it has plenty of rooms for creativity & we can work out some sort of city funding... All we need is a generous philanthropist who is a big fan of creative types & has connections with the city... I'll get my people on it ASAP


Consider a rooftop garden -- food, flowers -- tended by all and shared. It could provide for the community of artists and wanderers (think hostel) and possibly become a source of income for the cafe y'all are planning downstairs. Also, consider environmental education, which is something sorely needed in that beautiful Southern state.

Zac Efron

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    A companion site to xark, same principles, more estrogen.

xarkGirl: Newspaper Design

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    I've done a lot of jobs in my 27-year newspaper career, and one thing I truly loved the challenge and creativty of graphic design. I haven't done daily page design in years, unless you count my exile on the night desk in 2008, but I wanted to share some of my favorites from the good old days. Most of these pages are from 2002-2004. I hope you get a kick out of them!
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