Recently, we held a panel discussion and party, Our Sustainable Future: Circular Design, with EcoCult in NYC (that’s the audience space above, just moments prior to our 130+ guests arriving!). And as almost everyone knows, finding a space to have an event is always the toughest part. Being a website that has been covering the sustainable scene (and is run by Lindsay and I, who both live those values!) means that when we throw an event, all our partners have to be part of making the world a better place. Previous venues have included an eco-fashion boutique (thanks Kaight!), and a green mattress store (cheers, Coco-Mat!).
High-Ceiling Downtown Photo Studio, via Splacer.
So we were thrilled to partner this time with Splacer, which is basically the AirBnb of venues; instead of booking a space that’s only used for events (and sits empty the rest of the time, which is wasteful), Splacer connects those in need of unique spaces for events to a variety of spaces that are otherwise used for living/creating/projects. The variety of spaces available is huge: From private homes and offices to studios, art galleries, factories, garages which can be serviced by companies like Chicago Garage Door, backyards, distilleries, churches and outdoor areas too.
“A space is usually designated for one program—we have living spaces, working spaces, entertainment spaces … worship spaces,” Biran says. “We would like to suggest a different way of looking at space. Space can be one thing during the day and another thing at night. Or one thing during the week and another thing during weekends. … It’s a solution that can take place in many large cities, where people [already] find themselves sharing spaces.”
Uptown Scenic Waterfront, via Splacer.
Run by two women entrepreneurs, Adi Biran and Lihi Gertsner (that’s them below) started Splacer a few years ago when they were teaching architecture in Tel Aviv. So they know spaces, and totally get how our relationship to them is changing. Interestingly, the very ideas that Adi and Lihi brought to Splacer’s founding came up in our panel discussion!
The gist of it is that using a space in a multiplicity of ways is more efficient use of that space—so if someone lives in a cool studio, but it sits empty for 10 hours a day while they are at work, why shouldn’t a fashion brand use that same space as a shoot location for four hours? Many spaces are only used part-time; sometimes because people travel a lot, and they could stand empty for months. The beauty of sharing is that spaces can be used more often, upping their efficiency.
“We’ve been sharing buildings for a very long time. The less space we have, the more we’ll need to share, ” Ammr Vandal of NArchitects said when we were discussing the changing relationship of architecture, buildings and modern life.
You’ll notice this is really similar to what Adi said in an interview with Architect Magazine:
It’s really about trying to create a community of users and a collection of ideas. This approach and thinking has to do with how we envision the cities of the future. We often wonder — what if the power of space can be flexible depending on its’ programmatic usage, depending on time, or need?
This is such a trenchant idea that architects and interior designers are working to build more modular, convertible spaces—that spaces could be an office in the daytime and, say, a pop-up chocolate-tasting venue at night, or a shopping destination for the holiday season and a photo studio the rest of the year will soon be inherent to their original design.
We loved that the space we found on Splacer had a nice big room for our panel discussion that made it easy to see and hear what we all had to say (and record)—and also had a wonderful more cozy bar area, so guests could chat, check out the brands and try our delicious snacks and cocktails (above!). It was the perfect space for our event—and will be an ideal space for many other shoots, parties, meetings and more in the future.