Workspace made of reclaimed materials has a lot of soul

Designer Matt Cook works remotely for two web agencies from a space in South Carolina made largely from reclaimed materials.

Inside CoWorking Greenville

As producer for SuperFriendly and Arbitrary, I work out of a coworking space in Greenville, aptly named CoWork Greenville. It's an independent collaborative community hidden in the foothills of South Carolina.

As a workspace it's a true testament to the city's reclaiming efforts, with restored original tin ceilings, oak rafters, brick walls and salvaged materials employed for upfitting.

CoWork's soul comes from its community – that's what lured me here three years ago

Despite the hearty beauty of the building, CoWork's soul comes from its community – that's what lured me here three years ago. There's around 20 full-time members and a small horde of semi-regular tenants.

Regulars include personalities like Matthew Smith, who's working with a few world class startups; Etsy senior product designer Marco Suarez; and Chris Merritt, working with Commerce Guys. Add southern courtesy, a few startups and some lone wolves and you have an invaluable gathering of minds.

A different way to work

As a collective, CoWork has birthed a number of counter-culture practices. There's Zero Day, where we drop work for a half-day in favour of ad hoc conversations at 10 or 20 minutes each.

There's Grok, a tech conference based on open sharing. And finally, Beerdiots, an excuse to quit work at four on Fridays so that we can gather at Barley's, America's two-time Most Arrogant Bar (awarded by Stone Brewing) to hash through our current challenges or passions.

Our shared café area has a coffee cart, complete with fridges, which is made entirely from reclaimed materials. Artwork by friends and members fill the walls, including an Instagram series called Peaks by Matthew Smith. A recreation area for lounging and a conference room top off CoWork’s perfect environment. As for my contribution, a lava lamp and a lack of shoes round out the best work space I could ask for.

Words: Matt Cook

Producer Matt Cook works remotely for design studio SuperFriendly and digital studio Arbitrary. This article originally appeared in net magazine issue 257.