When I got back from doing the Loeb fellowship I had no home to come back to nor an office to kick start my business. Despite rising costs and scarcity of residential units in Oakland I found a place to live that I love. Who knew that the trick would be to find an office.
Since my return in 2013 I have moved 5 times due to buildings getting sold, rents doubling and just plain incompatibility with the people sharing space with us. During this time, I looked at co-working spaces hoping there would be space for my practice including all the “Stuff” that comes with a creative profession. Turns out that unless you want to touch down with a laptop or take an expensive cube at the perimeter, there is little available for small architecture practices. I started to think that what we needed was a place for small design firms like mine where we could share resources and own the building ourselves. I mean, why not? We are architects and if we team up with contractors, we could support each other in making it a reality.I started to talk about it with others and was told about another architect Oscia Wilson with the same idea. I was excited to see that she was already on the path to creating it. I met up with her at a co-working potluck and realized I was connecting with someone who was serious about making this a reality. I called my friend and now business partner Kyle Rawlins and together with contractor Jean Bjork we decided to launch Big Oakland– One of the first co-working spaces exclusively for the architecture, engineering and construction industry.
Sometimes if you need something, you just have to make it yourself but it takes a village. Therefore, I hope you will support our kickstarter campaign that we launched this week and help us make this dream a reality.
I look forward to hosting you there and never moving again!