Thursday, 29 May 2014

Finding the perfect workspace

When you are self-employed, where you choose to work is very important. Social engagement relieves some of the stresses of work, networking can open unexpected doors. I have tried working at home and hot desking in London's Silicon Roundabout. Since moving in to Iliffe Yard, South London I really feel I've found my perfect workspace.
Pullens Yards Open Studios

Just off the Walworth Road in the London Borough of Southwark, Iliffe Yard is part of the the Pullens Estate comprising private & public housing surrounding three separate cobbled yards. With a strong sense of community, Iliffe Yard today is a dynamic environment for some of the best professional creative makers & designers working in London.

I first fell for the charm of the yard when I spotted the cobbled street and Victorian style workshops through the iron bars of the gates one weekend. Then there was the awesome Electric Elephant cafe serving home-cooked food with a smile and friendly chatter.  This charm has found fame having been used in The King's Speech, TV Adverts and for regular photo shoots. This has lead to a bizarre yet brilliant meeting with my doppelganger from The Hairy Bikers:

Iliffe Yard contains the workspaces of architects, ceramists, cleaning companies, community arts workshops, computer engineers, fashion designers & makers, filmmakers, graphic artists, jewellers, letterpress typographers, lighting engineers, lithographers, glassworkers, painters, potters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, set designers & makers, shoe designers & makers, structural design engineers, video artists, web-designers and a great cafe.

The eclectic mix of neighbours was one of the big draws for me when I first stumbled upon Iliffe Yard. I've found lots of London's clusters that people are talking about. As people start out on their own, little clusters emerge with a mix of makers, natural entrepreneurs and often rich bankers following up lifestyle epiphanies. My ambition is to work on projects where technology overlaps art - Iliffe Yard's occupants were the neighbours I wanted and I hope the cluster for me and my business Chanza Chanzo. The personality of the yard helps smooth the ups and downs of self-employment and provides light relief of a very social and occasionally bizarre nature. It is my kind of workspace.

If you're intrigued by The Pullens Yards, Open Studios events are held every June and December - the next is on 13-15 June 2014.