At the Karma Bird House, creative business owners make connections
On a recent Wednesday, two tenants at
Foldit is based on software called
"I totally know Foldit!" exclaimed
Ambroggio appeared flattered, though he noted that "nobody's using [
"That's, what we do." Dibble said. "WÉ'rÈ game designers, so' [we work on] the engaging aspects and the usability."
The two neighbors, who had not previously exchanged more than a "good morning" in the lobby, made a plan to meet later and discuss their shared interests. Suddenly, these two smart young people, working in different fields, realized they had something more in common than an address.
It's precisely the kind of "karma" that this unusual. vivacious workspace was designed to foster.
Changes may be afoot at JDK (see accompanying story), but that doesn't mean
The following seven organizations embody the creative energy that makes
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In offices no larger than 600 square feet, the members of the Renegade Writers' Collective teach classes, manage their business, do their personal writing, host freelancers and hold readings, one of which recently attracted nearly 60 attendees. They have a major networking event planned for early 2014.
The collective's cofounders,
"One of the things we're really interested in," says Palm, "is having writing be in conversation with other artistic disciplines,"
"I don't think we realized how exciting and collaborative and dynamic this building would be when we first signed the lease," Nelson says. 'All different types of creative people moving into the building reaffirmed our decision to be here."
5A5CHA MAYÉR ANt7 CH051M tWm MAMAVA ANt? Jt?K
Mayer and Dodson are also the cofounders of Mamava, an enterprise that has attracted a lot of recent media attention. Mamava, which is partially owned by JDK, designs "lactation stations"-stand-alone "pods" that provide a safe, welcoming, hygienic space for lactating mothers to nurse their babies or operate their breast pumps. The first such pod was installed at the
Mamava has no physical offices per se; Mayer and Dodson work on projects within JDK's offices - though that may change soon, Mayer notes cryptically. In December, Mamava will install lactation stations at
Both women love the old building where they work, and not just for its architectural charms. "It feels dynamic, and It always has, even before it became the Karma Bird House," says Dodson.
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"What I've really enjoyed about the building is just running into people every day," says
Birnam Wood creates video games for mobile platforms. Before moving into its quarters in the Karma Bird House, the company rented space at the
Since then, Dibble has reached out to many other tenants. Not only has she unexpectedly found common ground with
HAVE BROKEN DESIGN
Barron, 38, works in branding, web and print design; his client list includes
Barron also appreciates the design and history of the building, which was once a major food warehouse for
Budnitz, 46, says his company's mission is 'to make city bikes that are as beautiful and as well designed as a classic car." The high-end bikes are indeed beautiful, all curved titanium and comfy seats - which Budnitz purchases from Terry Bicycles, another of the building's tenants.
The bikes are pricy, ranging from
His location on the other side of a frosted-glass wall from Maglianero is a real boon for Budnitz. "I see people I know in the cafÉ all the time," he says. "It's great for making friends, great for our business. Also, ideas just happen there."
ROSETTA DESIGN GROUP
In his small office,
Using the company's namesake open-source software, which he helped to develop, Ambroggio spends his days manipulating computer models of enormous protein molecules, applying the power of shared supercomputing to unlock the mysteries of their atomic design.
He was also attracted to the idea of a shared space. In terms of business models, Ambroggio says he sees few differences among his company and those of his neighbors. Nearly everyone in the building, he notes, traffics in some kind of service.
"I wanted a place to go and real ly focus, but I didn't want to just be in some new
When Abrams isn't teaching her
Like many others in the building. Abrams was attracted by both the easy access to hot beverages and the wealth of potential collaborators. At the Karma Bird House networking event, Abrams connected with several graphic designers, and a tenant with NGO experience approached her about collaborating on app projects.
Abrams is fairly new to 47 Maple and hasn't fully explored the building yet. "I'm still finding out what's there," she says.
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