Betahaus: The Chair Is A Surfplace

All around the world the creative workforce looks for new ways to enjoy flexibility while working. Last month we wrote the article ‘How The Facebook Generation Starts A Design Office’, which deals with new forms of collaboration in the cloud. Here we like to shed a light on another interesting new form of social collaboration within the creative profession: the so-called Betahaus in Berlin and Hamburg. Betahaus is a mixture between a regular co-working space (popping up in every modern metropolitan area over the last years) and a social community. The place is a hybrid form between a classic Vienna coffee bar and a library, open to everybody and facing the needs for hardcore writers, but also for those who favor chatting at work.

Members can hire a flexible desk or become a more structural part of the concept and join collaborative projects. Besides offering workplaces, Betahaus organizes workshops, exhibitions, screenings and debates. The basic philosophy of the Betahaus regards the quality of work in the modern era:

“High quality value is no longer created in classic offices. Added value is created in different locations, at different times, in changing team constellations and without permanent employment. This new type of work constantly seeks new real and virtual locations. Open, digitally networked and collaborative work places are required which are flexible and serve as incubation platform for network, innovation and production.”

Betahaus is a social workspace, offering 1,000 square meters to a network of co-workers. It says to be a platform which meets the requirements of independent creative professionals and knowledge workers by creating a room between work and privacy in which innovation and creativity are fostered.

Betahaus started in 2009 in Berlin’s neighborhood Kreuzberg, but has also opened a dependance in Hamburg. In Berlin the Betahaus offers WLAN, fixed and flexible work stations, meeting rooms, a telephone room and a Betahaus café. About 120 freelance professionals from the creative scene are working here: graphic designers, programmers, photographers, architects, designers, startups, a concert artists’ agency, accountants, academics, lawyers, non-governmental organizations, translators, video artists, journalists and bloggers. Prices for flexible workspaces vary from € 12 for a day ticket, to € 800 for a full month four person team room. € 10 p.p. membership is obligatory.

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