Workspace Unhindered


Last week, in a moment of pure euphoria due to my success at TwoDots (it’s a game on your phone made up of, yes, dots — you have to connect them — very addicting stuff), I knocked my steeping cup of jasmine green tea all over my laptop. Thanks to the quick-thinking of those around me at WELD Dallas, I was able to revive said sopping laptop within a few days (after it rested, upside down on a crate fixed atop of a box fan). Sadly, however, the original version of this blogpost lived on the resting laptop during the time I needed to finish, and with no way to access it, I had to begin my writing anew.

What’s interesting, however, is how perfectly the above ordeal parallels the very issue this Sparks post hopes to address. As more and more people in both the U.S. and around the world move to contract and freelance work (A number expected to increase to 40% of Americans by 2020), the more and more we need workspaces where the burden of normal hindrances attached both to working alone as well as to working in an office (i.e. spilled tea) no longer exist. At WELD, removing these hindrances is integral to our ethos, and it seeps into every aspect of how both the space and the people that comprise it operate.

I’ve saw this when my laptop was missing as several friends offered old laptops and iPads for me to work from. And if the innovation currently exploding from WELD is any indicator, I’m confident it won’t be long until someone here figures out a solution to, or better yet, prevention for laptop spills.

You see, two things enable people within WELD to hone their crafts, kill it creatively, and manage successful careers.

The first we discussed at length in our last post — the talented community of people that believe in you. The second lies within the innovative tools we’re creating at WELD.

All Photography by Architectural Photographer and Dallas WELD member Wade Griffith

At it’s core, WELD and in particular the new WELD Nashville space, is innovative simply because of it’s thoughtful design. This isn’t something that’s executed easily. There’s a growing number of opinions and transitions concerning how to physically create the perfect workspace. Facebookbelieves an open floor plan makes work as frictionless as possible (They seem to be onto something as 70% of Americans currently report to work in a similar environment). Yahoo says the best productivity happens when like-minded people physically converge in one space. Yet new studies also show that while open workspaces encourage collaboration and communication, it’s essential to have quiet, enclosed spaces to absorb and process new information.

The WELD Table is built & designed in collaboration with klevr.

WELD’s successfully combined all of these ideas to create a flexible, multi-functional space to help freelancers implement and perfect the ever-evolving list of skills our current market demands. Chock full of natural light, the common area and orange shipping container kitchen sit in the very center of the 20,000 square foot space, surrounded on the outside by various enclosed spaces — small offices built into shipping containers (we’ll get to these soon, I promise), and larger rooms customized by the businesses that inhabit them. Soundproof booths where you can make a private phone call or work in a little more peace and quiet thank you very much, standing desks to maintain your focus and strengthen your legs, and a soundproof audio recording booth (for those podcast peeps) are also all nice, beneficial features.

Every aspect has been carefully crafted for collaborations — the way the tables are laid out, where the coffee is and the number of power sources per person (5+!)

Also, I don’t want to forget to mention that the entire space runs succinctly through the power of an iPad mini and the amazing application of SmartThings. Heating, lighting, and music — it’s all found here on this modern control panel packing that one two punch of form and function into even the most mundane of maintenance tasks.

All Photography by Architectural Photographer and Dallas WELD member Wade Griffith

A couple of WELD’s newest and largest innovations define both our workspace and the community within it (because without the community, they wouldn’t exist). First up is the WELD table. Designed in partnership with our friends at klevr, the WELD table is the piece de resistance in unhindered productivity. It’s the first working table with built-in retracting Apple chord chargers (Macbook, Macbook Pro, iPad and iPhone) providing eternal power to all who gather. Don’t have an Apple device? Ain’t no thang since the table also has 16 power outlets that can accommodate any plug. Each table is made complete with a white board top which makes it easy to capture your fleeting thoughts before they vanish.

With thoughtful intention, the goal of the WELD table is to provide anyone and everyone with a simple, aesthetically beautiful workspace free from any obstacles that may slow down desktop productivity.

Another huge obstacle WELD is resolute on overcoming is the physical constraints that often accompany the blueprints of a space. We realized early on that the best space should be a blank slate on the interior in order walls, office space and furniture to remain portable and malleable in order to fit the needs of adapting freelancers and small businesses. This is why our floors are all concrete (scratch-free!), and our enclosed office spaces are built into what we’re calling the Supercube.

A 40 foot long, 9.5 foot tall prefabricated shipping container divided in up to four, separate office spaces, the Supercube is the future of personal office space. These homeboys can be stacked on top of each other, and moved about to help perfectly fill out a space.

We currently have two Supercubes in place at WELD Nashville with plans to move in four more soon. The new Supercubes will include adaptable shelving and movable walls designed by klevr. We’re hopeful that in time, such workspaces will fully obliterate any type of normal creative barrier. Someday, they may even have abilities to react and respond to our thoughts and movements, who knows!

All Photography by Architectural Photographer and Dallas WELD member  Wade Griffith

All Photography by Architectural Photographer and Dallas WELD member Wade Griffith


The amazing thing about innovation is that by necessity it requires the work, talent, and inspiration of many, and the same can be said about every piece of WELD’s continuing evolution.

The list of WELDERs, friends, and family members who have willingly offered their skills and efforts to help create the world’s most flexible workspace is staggering and we could never name them all…but for starters, WELDER Skyler Fike offered his architecture savvy to help us design our Supercubes while friend Nathan Watkins helped build and deliver them to Nashville.

Dallas WELDER Steve Rokks put his boundless energy to good work by building our shipping container kitchen and then hauling it by himself to Nashville where he installed it without glitch. Nashville WELDER Ryan McLemore is responsible for our sweet new soundproof phone booths, and credit for our killer lighting goes to WELDER Adam Gatchel of Southern Lights Electric. Nashville WELDER and illustrator, Judson Collier, spent countless hours designing the WELD brand entry that now greets visitors to our space in Nashville, and without the talents of WELDER Ruthie Lindsey, the aesthetics and design of our space would remain incomplete.

Innovation and community go hand in hand, there’s no doubt about that. I’m thankful to be a part of a community centered around the belief that innovation begets innovation — that any talent or discovery is useful when offered up as a source of inspiration and empowerment for others. I’m thankful that a spilled mug of green tea and an almost ruined laptop offered a moment of gratitude for these people and the innovations that allow them to work hard, share freely, and ultimately, continue to innovate.

Of course, the most important part about what we do is community, and it’s been carefully and lovingly built by hundreds if not thousands of you. Thank you for working so hard to make WELD a place where people can come together to thrive together.

We’ve received some questions about our whiteboard tables we designed w/ 
klevr… find out more about our favorite work table here.