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Coworking Aperitivo: Spaces in Milan

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Milano/Lambrate - Cowo Monkey Business

If you are in Milan for its imprint on industrial design, this workspace will bring you to the heart of the ex-industrial neighborhood Milano/Lambrate. At walking distance from Milan’s secondary train hub station Lambrate, Monkey Business is a workspace that is located within the world-renowned Fluxia gallery spaces, home of the prestigious exhibition space Galleria Massimo de Carlo.

The mixture of old industrial buildings, vanguard architectural retro-fitting and new designs give this neighborhood a vibrant look and the sign that reads Luna Park (which means Adventure Park, and can only be read from a distance), make this message ever more clear. Within the building’s premises is also the of one of Italy’s first Architectural magazines Abitare’s publishing headquarters, and only a few footsteps away is one of the campuses of Milan’s great design school, Scuola Politecnica di Design.

Co-founders of the workspace Laura Coppola and Massimo Carraro are on tight schedules but can boast having one of Milan’s first coworking spaces, as the initiative was inaugurated in 2008. The Cowo brand is present here as well, and it also happens to be the main office of the Cowo network. Needless to say, you can expect to find yourself in the heart of the design world, in an eco-friendly environment, and in the company of some of the most experienced veterans of the coworking movement in Milan.

Milano/Lambrate - Work-on

Always within a few minutes from the Lambrate Railway Station, but even closer to Metro Stations Pasteur and Loreto, is the coworking space of Via Lambrat: Work-on. Designed by co-founders Sasha Wijeyesekara, Pietro Rainoldi, Filippo Rigoli and Laura Panzetti, this workspace is an elegant and fully functional space that can host up to 29 coworkers simultaneously.

Open since September 2012, it is a modern space, which pays attention to detail and has a relaxing atmosphere. Equipped with two conference-rooms (one for 4, and one for 6 users), it is especially recommended for summer work as it is located below ground level and stays especially cool during the hot season. We were welcomed into the structure by administrator Eleonora Lesina, and warmly hosted in the conference room and in the less formal conference area with couches.

“Among the typical coworkers that we host are professional figures in the like of architects, graphic designers, lawyers and freelance professionals. Much effort was made into creating an extremely relaxing and at the same time sober environment. This space facilitates the exchange between users, and stimulates the creative process. Our emphasis on using a strong red and deep blue, which contrasts with bright white walls helps to make the atmosphere more enjoyable. We are going to be hosting an upcoming event in which a young designer, Stefano Zanaboni, will present his latest desk lamp design. Another feature of our workspace is that we offer web-space within our homepage to members to grant them personal visibility.”c

Milano Est - Santeria

The creators of this space have defined Santeria as a “factory” in which coworking is one of its many integrative aspects. Located in Eastern Milan, a few blocks south of the Lambrate Railway station and accessible from the Central Station with one of Milan’s characteristic antique trolleys (ortram), it is a space that focuses not only on having a pronounced fashion statement, but also a marked musical character.

Co-founder Andrea Pontiroli ensures direct and updated contacts with Milan’s underground music scene, along with information on pre-sales to concerts for venues like Circolo Magnolia, Live Club, and Bloom. The space also offers a shop where you will be able to find designer clothing and music from local independent record labels, a space for photography shoots and temporary art-galleries, a bar with an outdoor terrace which features live performances, and temporary and permanent workstations as well.

“Our Saturday lunch menu includes live acoustic music and Milanese homemade food,” explained project manager Gaia Panceri. “The space was opened in March 2011 to offer a place for gathering and multifunctional activities in Eastern Milan, which is mainly a residential area.” There are, however, a few university campuses nearby, which the space has tapped into.

“We host professionals from the world of graphic design, web-design, video-production, but also journalists and more, mostly freelancers. We have set up a space for temporary work, but seem to appeal more to people who want their own personalized desk. On the higher floors we also feature four individual office spaces. Inspirations to our concept were the coworking spaces we encountered in Berlin…” said Panceri.

So whether you are busy in the graphic arts world or in audio/video, consider looking into this coworking space, and make sure to stick around for a classic aperitivo with music, wine and Campari, as is the typical tradition here, or even a vodka-mate Berlin style.

The amount of coworking spaces offered in Milan definitely does not end here. The specific focus on different professional fields can give a hint towards choosing the most fitting space. For example, two very particular spaces worth mentioning, the Hub and Avanzi, are coworking spaces intended exclusively for environmental, sustainable, and renewable energy-related work and professional convergence, and will be included in an upcoming feature article on Deskmag.

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