The Chinese co-working company demonstrates its approach with a living example of a shared workspace at the annual design show.
March 22nd, 2018
Alongside all the booths, the installations, the forums and the trends galleries at the fifth edition of Design Shanghai was something different: a pop-up co-working space. Homegrown Chinese co-working company Naked Hub was behind this pop-up; the brand is the two-year-old offshoot of Naked Retreats, a wellness resort concept that was also founded in China.
Despite its youth, Naked Hub has already gone global. The company has 10 spaces in Shanghai, four in Beijing, two in Hong Kong and a third opening here in June. It’s launching in Vietnam in April and London in June, too. As if that’s not enough, they have also acquired a local player in Australia.
Given the nature of its parent company, it’s no surprise that wellness is at the heart of Naked Hub’s approach to co-working. Green walls and greenery can be found in every space, as can air purifiers, free yoga and meditation classes… along with graffiti-covered walls and community events.
These were part of the offering at the 2018 design event in Shanghai. “People visiting the show can come and use it like a Naked Hub,” says Connie Lee, Senior Marketing Manager at Naked Hub.
This is not the first time Naked Hub has created pop-up workspaces at exhibitions, but this was the largest pop-up to date. For Naked Hub, it’s a way of introducing the Chinese market to what they do. “We’re providing a living example of Naked Hub,” says Lee. “It’s a new way of working in China. The typical Chinese approach involves developers cutting up a space and renting it out,” whereas Naked Hub, like many other international shared workspaces, is about community building and knowledge sharing in well-designed surroundings.
The Design Shanghai pop-up was certainly well-designed, populated as it was with Naked Hub’s signature graffiti walls, along with furniture, surfaces and sound systems from the likes of Shaw Contract, HAY, NOVO Workstyle and Bang & Olufsen, among others.
“This pop-up space offers the key essence of what we have in a typical Naked Hub location,” says Lee. At the pop-up were bar stools and bicycle seats at a counter for meetings and laptop work, a living room filled with cosy armchairs, sofas and low-lying tables – “This provides space for people to interact with each other,” says Lee – and a ping pong table. The games area provides space in which visitors to the show could have meetings, as well as offering a way for them to relax and enjoy casual conversations between meetings. Meanwhile, the living room gives the pop-up that increasingly prevalent home-away-from-home feeling.
Naked Hub also provided fair visitors with a wellness experience akin to what you might find at a permanent Naked Hub location, albeit on a smaller scale. BULA offered sound healings, Office Chair Yoga and de-stress sessions. Meanwhile some of Naked Hub’s clients – brands that use their spaces in China – offered insights into what they do. GoPro, for one, demonstrated its GoPro 360-degree camera, and there was also a panel discussion.
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