Chicago’s newest co-working space was created with designers in mind. Housed in a West Loop art gallery,Design Cloud Studio offers a collaborative workspace created specifically for freelance designers and creatives. Chicagoist took a peek behind its doors and what we found was a hub of creative activity.
The space is run by Design Cloud, a local design firm that combines business strategy with design expertise. With the aim of establishing a community where designers can connect, inspire and thrive, the firm began opening its space to other design-oriented professionals last month.
The clean aesthetic of Design Cloud Studio’s airy loft allows plenty of space for letting ideas in. Yet the clean aesthetic allows plenty of space for letting ideas in. It’s a café-like environment, with soft music drifting through the space and sunlight streaming in the Peoria Street windows. Custom furniture and fixtures fabricated by founding member Seth Ellsworth appear throughout, and are as devoted to form as function. Bigsby, a Wheaten Terrier, offers friendly project guidance as he patrols the space.
There’s an area suited for every personality at Design Cloud Studio. Curl up in the sunny library nook, build prototypes in the shop, or sprawl out in the ambient lighting of a break out room. “People move around and rearrange the space,” Design Cloud principal Nick Stocking said. “Yet you’ll find that people gravitate to specific areas of the space depending on their personality.”
Indulging the desire to work surrounded by a rotating selection of inspired pieces, Design Cloud’s space also functions as an art gallery, complete with an in-house curator. Design Cloud provides an exhibition environment for artists by offering a curatorial residency program, known as MOUNT. Residents are jury selected and host public events related to their work. Currently in residency, Casa Duno’s “Revisiting Undomesticated” explores the relationships people have with objects and art.
Design Cloud continues to develop a thriving events series with panel discussions and workshops focused on the intersection of art, tech, and design. They recently hosted a Chicago Ideas Week lab discussing the role of the curator in contemporary media. An upcoming panel discussion will dissect the perpetual Android versus iOS debate.
In the City That Works, Design Cloud works on many levels of creative collaboration. “We share more than just values, we share the perspective that art is a way of life,” Stocking said. “We’ve created an environment where designers, artists and creatives can inspire and be inspired.”