The Technology Cooperative

I worked yesterday from The Technology Cooperative here in Knoxville. A friend and one-time coworker is a founding member of the cooperative, and I was curious to see what it was about. I’ve worked from home for well over six years now and am generally pretty happy not to have to deal with the distractions and other baggage of working in a room with other people, but occasionally I read accounts by others I work with of their good experiences with coworking, so I’m occasionally tempted to try it out. Yesterday, I did. Sort of.

The office is a small slice of a building on Jackson Avenue in the Old City, just down the street from Barley’s. I parked in a lot by the Gay St. Bridge and walked over. After a quick tour, my friend Mike and I walked down to Market Square for lunch at Trio’s, where I ate a salad as big as my thorax. We talked shop there and then came back to the office and worked and chatted. It was pretty fun, and I can see the appeal of doing this from time to time, but for me, working with somebody turns out to be a productivity killer. This was probably made worse in this case because Mike and I catch up only every so often, so there was lots to gab about.

I very much liked being downtown, an area I’ve frequented very few times in my dozen years living in Knoxville but that has a lot of appeal to me for various reasons. Of course, I also like living out in the country where I can have a garden and a ┬árain barrel and let my dog out in the back yard, but I could definitely see myself signing up as a member of TechCo if I lived closer to downtown. As it’s a 20+ minute drive for me to get there and I’d have to wear pants every day and lose productivity, I don’t see myself making a terribly regular habit of working from TechCo, but I like that the place exists now, and I have a little bit of an urge (though maybe not the gumption) to get involved here and there with the group behind it. (Mike, don’t hold me to that.)

I didn’t get any pictures of the inside of the office (visit the site for those), but I couldn’t keep myself from snapping a few pictures of things in a common area within the building.

The building apparently used to be a factory or shipping plant of some sort. Workers would send boxes down this spiral chute to trucks waiting below.

This is one of several large paintings in the common area of the building inhabits. It's easily six or eight feet on a side.

Here's another painting in the space, also large and very striking.

A neat metal sculpture. Note how it looks like it has feet.