“Local Stitch’, Seongsan branch, a coworking space conveying the unique color of the region

“Local Stitch” is a coworking business newly creating a space based on a local culture and service with a coworking space and a share house combined. With the recent, ever increasing concept of “coliving” beyond “coworking,” Local Stitch is forming a culture, not just a space.

Local Stitch’s Working Space (From the Local Stitch Homepage)

Mangwon area in Seoul where Local Stitch is located has many things in common with the culture Local Stitch pursues. You can have the greatest wealth of local experience here even in Seoul which shows the most dramatic change in the country. It might not be just a coincidence Local Stitch is based on such a unique place. Then, Local Stitch, creating a local-based culture and solving housing issue at the same time, how is it different from other coworking spaces?

Coworking & Coliving

Recently, you can see more often a coworking space and a share house combined. Why do people come up with the idea to combine a working space with a living space? There might be a few different reasons for this, but most importantly, the change in the way of working and the economic aspect can be counted.

The changes in the way of working naturally led to changes in the working space, starting to make coworking space replace the old concept of offices. Previously, people rented an office or travelled a café to work, but now people with the same aims gather and work together in a space to work. However, just to gather and work together might not be enough and people want to also solve their housing issue just where they work. In response to the needs, a coworking space business started to consider ways to provide housing services as well just where people work.

The Living Space of Local Stitch (From the Local Stitch Homepage)

Both the Local Stitch 1st and 2nd branches show the combination of coworking and coliving, which are furnished with basic items necessary for office work and living such as beds, chairs, desks, and bedding. The kitchen and the shower room are supposed to be shared. Each floor has an atmosphere of its own and people can move to and work on any floor they want. Local Stitch separates what people can share and what they need to own privately. The reasonable price relieves the financial pressure of users.

Local Culture and Space

Local Stitch renovated an old building and added the full scope of freshness to the existing facilities. Therefore, people feel comfortable and cozy here as if they were in an old space even though it has just opened. A sense of comfort, not present in a highly sophisticated space, pervades every nook and cranny here.

A Guidebook with Local Information (from the Local Stitch Homepage)

Moreover, you can find the local culture at all the corners of Local Stitch. A gourmet restaurant map of the area is offered to Local Stitch users, and free coffee using the coffee beans roasted in a Mangwon cafe is also available. Managers of Local Stitch introduce and promote Mangwon area so that visitors can feel the culture of the area naturally. p.4 While normal coworking space only focuses on ‘working’, Local Stitch stresses both on ‘working’ and ‘living’ together.

Time Alone vs. Time Together

People tend to have mixed feeling that they want to stay alone and be together at the same time. We need time alone to concentrate on work by ourselves and also need someone else to sleep on our difficult issue together to solve it out.

Time to Eat Together of the Users (From the Local Stitch Homepage)

In Local Stitch, there are different ways to promote natural interactions among users such as eating together, and a variety of programs can be found to share ideas and information users have. People can check what’s going on with the colleagues in Local Stitch, and sometimes make contents together to satisfy common needs. In Local Stitch, people love to get together, resulting in natural coworking. Local Stitch suffices the contradictory need of people to be alone and together at the same time.

Currently, Local Design Movement, Keeganboyer, 77, FREEkey, guidebook, Sunjangmarket, GlancePlasma are moved into the Local Stitch. p.5 The company information listed above can be checked both online and offline. The networking among these companies is very active as various companies have joined. In addition, Local Stitch cooperates harmoniously with external companies, stores, or organizations as well, creating unique culture of Local Stitch.

Space Composition of Local Stitch Seongsan Branch

2nd Floor: A Free Space and a Share House

A free space and a share house to which a communal kitchen and restroom attached nestle on the 2nd floor. A study room not only gives it a snug feeling, but makes people focus on more easily. In the kitchen people can find kitchen tools and foodstuff to make a simple dish. Overall, the 2nd floor has an atmosphere similar to that of a guesthouse compared to other floors.

2nd floor of Local Stitch of Seongsan Branch (From the Local Stitch Homepage)

3rd Floor: A Free Space and Company Office

On the 3rd floor, there are a free space and company offices. The front of the office is decorated with whole glass windows sweeping away any narrow and close feeling of the space. You can see through the inside of each company, and this sight looks like several departments were working together.

The 3rd Floor of Local Stitch Seongsan Branch (From the Local Stitch Homepage)

4th Floor: A Seminar Room and an Open Garden

The 4th floor is normally used as a free space, and can also be used as a seminar room when necessary. The place leads directly to the open garden so that people can take a break there. Local Stitch helps people come to work accompanying their pets, and the open garden is useful for this purpose.

The seminar room on the 4th Floor of Seongsan Branch (From the Local Stitch Homepage)
The open garden on the 4th Floor of Seongsan Branch (From the Local Stitch Homepage)

Local Stitch Membership Guide

(From the Local Stitch Homepage)

(1) Library Membership: 120,000 won a month
If people share 80 books in the ‘small library’ of the Local Stitch 2nd branch, they can use the free space at a discounted price during the time of sharing.

(2) Bed & Desk: 400,000 won a month
A desk and a place of bunk beds in a dormitory including a locker are provided. This option is for users who want a working and living space at the same time.

(3) Individual space on the 2nd and the 3rd floor: 600,000~750,000 won a month.
An individual space on the 2nd floor: 600,000 a month (no additional charge up to 3 people)
An individual space on the 3rd floor: 750,000~1,200,000 won a month (no additional charge up to 3 people)
Daily pass: 15,000 won

Thinking about a Space, Connecting Spaces

How many people are thinking about the connectivity of a space when considering a space? Numerous coworking spaces are promoting their spaces to attract more tenants, and what comes first to be considered might be the price. If things develop this way, this market will get fierce only in price competition as a coworking space increases. However, things get quite different when you can add a culture to its space. Price is still essential but not all users prioritize the fee above all the other conditions.

Local Stitch’s Working Space (From the Local Stitch homepage)

Local Stitch shows how a space can be connected to many other spaces in the region by creating a culture based on a local community. Local Stitch encourages people to think more about how to connect people rather than merely how to provide spaces.

It is people who fill a space. But what fills people is a culture original to the space. Then, people who like a specific culture fill the space again, leading to a virtuous circle of spaces, people, and cultures. That’s exactly why we can expect more from Local Stitch in the future. Local Stitch understands its own space, and moreover, understands the local community it belongs to.

Writer | Eunji Moon (The representative of The Simple Books)