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Creative coworking in Berlin: 3 of city's hottest spots

Workshop at ESDIP Berlin

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Admit it: Coworking can get boring sometimes – that is, unless, you are getting creative with you coworking. Far from traditional coworking, some of the creative coworking spaces in Berlin offer perks that are off the charts – free exhibition space, clown workshops, jungle rooms, office mascots and retro mini-blinds. Deskmag takes a tour inside a few creative coworking spaces the city has to offer. From Kreuzberg and Neukölln, some have a lively, eclectic vibe while others are super chill. Either way, creative coworking is simply coworking for people who use different materials, create out-of-the-box businesses and use more than just their laptop and phones (nothing wrong with that, either).

Berlin is known for its creative rep, both in and out of the startup scene. Last fall, we took a look at coworking spaces in Neukölln, that typically lean towards more artistic endeavours. Now we return with a more in-depth look at several spaces around the city, including WYE, which recently opened in September. Deskmag steps inside these creative coworking spaces to spark ideas or simply for a splash of inspiration.

ESDIP Berlin

ESDIP Berlin is a sprawling 166-square-meter studio space opened August 2012 in a former fashion showroom, just off the U5 on the Frankfurter Tor Ubahn station in Friedrichshain. Founded and directed by Maria Lujan, a graphic designer, the space works in partnership with the ESDIP art school in Madrid, Spain (where she is a partner and former prof).

Acting as a go-to hub for Spanish art students who are visiting Berlin, the coworking clientele is broad, international and multi-talented – cowork short term or long term, working beside friendly videographers, pensive developers and bespectacled designers before a sunny front window.

When Deskmag visited last Wednesday afternoon, a Scottish stand-up comedian was doing sound check for an upcoming event the following weekend. The vibe was warm, friendly and the coffee is excellent. This is the kind of work environment where you don’t feel like you’re walking around on eggshells. You can be yourself, crack jokes and pet the house dog, Ichi.

ESDIP has an art gallery exhibition space just off to the side of the desks, showcasing local and international contemporary art, from painters to sculptors and photographers…bonus points for the exhibition space being free to use, even if you are not a registered member at the space.

They also have drawing classes and workshops on a regular basis. Send them a proposal if you have an exhibition idea, as it can be difficult to score a free gallery space in a busy city like Berlin (note: the exhibition space is not limited to visual art presentations, so let your imagination really run free here). They also have an event upcoming on April 26, so if you are in Berlin you can RSVP here.

You can cowork at ESDIP for 12€ a day or 140€ a month (there are 14 desks in total). The place is clean, and there are hardwood floors alongside big, bright overhead lights (non-florescent), for those who prefer to work at night.

Contact: Grünberger Strasse 48, 10245, email, or on facebook.

Agora Collective

Agora Collective is deep in Neukölln, Berlin. Here you’ll find this art collective-run building tucked behind old factories and a nearby school (the sandbox out front gives it a beachside bar type of vibe). This place is really a creative hub with a fresh spirit and a friendly vibe. They have four floors which hosts the Kurz Von Eden café on the ground floor. Upstairs, there are two floors of coworking, one that is Skype-friendly (the ‘dynamic’ room), the other uber-focused (the ‘silence’ room, which is filled with so many plants, you may call it a coworking jungle).

The top floor houses a studio space, often used for rehearsals or art shows. They also have a collaborative artist residency which rotates monthly (two strangers live together in the same flat), one rental flat for newcomers and stay tuned for more upcoming in the works. In the meantime, check out their classes – which range from clown classes to Final Cut workshops – and their exhibitions, which rotate quarterly (currently, Jose Romussi is showing sewn up prints).

“We have a strong foot in the entrepreneurial and coworking scene, not so many are art-orientated but this naturally ties into who we are,” said Taina Moreno, one of the five collective members who co-founded the space two years ago. “As a team, we all address art, technology, entrepreneurship, all platforms can cultivate here. It’s best if they share the office, that’s the whole point.”

The space has a nice, chill and peachy vibe. If you are in Berlin, be sure to check out Agora Collects, which is a first annual multi-disciplinary festival of the arts starting June 21st to the 23rd. “We’re taking a holistic approach,” said Moreno.

To rent a desk, it is €12 a day or €128 for a month (you get a reduced rate if you plan to stay longer). You must become a member but it gives you access to the whole house. It’s easy to sign up and you’ll get over a 50% discount on yoga and life drawing classes, too.

Contact: Kopfstraße 48, 12053, Berlin, email, or on facebook

The Wye

Last, we come to The Wye. “The word ‘Wye’ means train tracks coming together,” said Verity Oberg, one of the three co-founders of the space. “We’re combining different art forms in this coworking space, too.”

This place is huge. Seriously – five floors, a private canteen for members, two galleries, 18 desks, 27 studios and a workshop on the first floor. Set in a former postal school, they just opened in September but have already hit high gear. By far the most eclectic and exciting flavour of coworking in Berlin, if you sign up here, your neighbours will likely be artists, fashion designers, creative agencies, magazines, architects and showrooms.

There is an incredible 320-square-meter event hall on the second floor, which you can get lost in, just thinking up ideas of what you will host. There are networking breakfasts and amazing retro mini-blinds which are yellowed with colour, old school furniture meets new modernism and a stunning view of Kreuzberg. Collaborations really do come about with the ‘Wye Tang Clan’ (I saw that on a poster in the front hall). Keep it hood.

Wye is perfect for those who are interested in a multidisciplinary lifestyle. Creative agencies and artists, full-time professionals, combined with a multi-cultural vibe, and friendly neighbours who are deep into their work; this is the base of where you can find the FIER Showroom, XXXtravaganza magazine and more. The Wye parties are legendary, though their events typically end at 10 p.m. because of the surrounding residential properties. If you are interested in coworking there, drop by for a visit, but they have a security glam cam in one hallway, so watch out!

There is no daily desk rental here; you can rent a desk for a week for €50 or €150 for a month. For a studio, you must sign up for a minimum of three months (up to an annual lease, which can be renewed every year).

Contact: Skalitzer Straße 86, 10997, Berlin, email, or on facebook

*You can find a list of Berlin’s coworking spaces on this handy link brought to you by StartUpBerlin.

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