The Ground’s Hidden Treasures

Renee Semko Gonzalez
Sep 4 · 3 min read

Before summer, I wrote an article using The Ground co-working space as a case study for organic business growth.

During the summer, I read through SPACE10’s literature on co-working spaces, including how they redesigned their office in Copenhagen to better accommodate their worker’s need — even if that meant putting up barriers instead opening the space up in order to give workers more privacy.

Now that summer is over, I’ve been thinking about the tenants’ needs here at The Ground and how undervalued the importance of having the freedom to shape one’s office is in the first place. While no two offices look-alike in any co-working space, some of the offices here at The Ground have really embraced the do-it-yourself spirit. Personalized offices spaces here come with cheeky hidden treasures like “Monotonic v. Gin-o-tonic” scribbled amongst real and relevant equations on whiteboards.

Important work being done 40 cm from our computers here at The Ground!

I realized recently that this “personalization of space” actually extends beyond the tenants’ offices and well into the buildings’ shared spaces. In my time working here, I’ve seen the common spaces evolve, from flipping the milk fridge door so that it swings open in a more efficient way to an ever-changing array of signs in the kitchen trying to encourage/discourage certain behaviors (us Groundlings love to hoard cups).

In particular, the common areas of the house seem to be shaped not by the tenants themselves, but by their children. In kids’ sheer boredom of having to spend a day off of school at their parent’s job (yuck), they’ve crafted some great pieces of art that adorn the hallways and fridges of the co-working space.

I often refer to The Ground as a “house” rather than “office.” Ultimately, I think the treasures hidden amongst its seemingly most mundane elements — hallways, bathrooms, and random corners — point to the homely quality one feels whilst inside The Ground. Below are some of my favorite treasures:

Juno, now 6 years old, has been drawing for our kitchen fridge since she was 4 years old. Top left: “Recipe for jam cookie.” Middle: “The Ground.” Top right: “Mother & child rabbit with their scooters.”
Tara & Téa wishing their father’s co-workers from Sentian AI a “nice summer break.”
They’ve also wished everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy Easter.
But, perhaps, my favorite project from Tara & Téa has been a birthday wall they created for all Sentian AI co-workers. The signs are even laminated!
Marcus, father to Juno & Modcam tech guy, folds paper butterflies when he needs a 5-minute break. They’ve made for good stress relief as well as beautiful wall adornments throughout the house!
A highly accurate and not at all analog-photoshopped picture of Marcus, the paper butterfly folder.
Josefine Hjerström may technically run The Ground, but her puppy Masaniello’s (Masa for short) is the real head honcho of the house!
I googly-eye bombed the house in 2018 to see if anyone would notice…
“I put googly eyes on my plants so then I can trust them”- Christopher Walken in SNL’s ‘Googly Eyes Gardener’ sketch.
The eye-rony!
Speaking of inanimate objects with eyes/faces…
A totally normal Itchy Soul painting that our tenant Hampus Jakobsson was nice enough to donate to us.
Yep, nothing unusual (artist: http://itchysoul.se).
Is it really a 21st-century office space if there are no memes?
A mug holder to put your coffee down on whilst you open the door to the office space? FUNCTIONAL AND SECURE? Honestly, could a person ask for more? (hint: the answer is yes, they could ask for the cup in question to be an Effin’ Birds mug like the one pictured here).
We try to be considerate of gender when it counts…
…But otherwise encourage people to be exactly who they are.
Ultimately, the best “hidden treasures” of The Ground are the tenants!

Renee Semko Gonzalez

Written by

Anthropologist looking for new work opportunities. Sweden's favorite misfit & occasional purveyor of shitty pictures of beer @systembeerlaget

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