West End throbs with energy, noise, and hums with creative energy. It is unsurprising then that innovators find their rightful place in the heart of West End, innovators like Nathan Keilar who founded Hunted Hive and created The Swarm, a home for people passionate about their art, enterprises, and activism.
I went along to The Swarm with a writer friend on a beautiful Brisbane Spring day. The Swarm is easy to find, by car it took us less than ten minutes after we did a coffee pick up at Plenty on Montague road. Public transport will easily get you there – get off the bus at the ferry terminus and walk a block back.
Designed by Bud Brannigan Architects, The Swarm is a renovated 1900s worker’s cottage in the heart of West End. As we entered through the wood gate, the peaceful water garden welcomed us into a tranquil world. We walked down a short corridor into what has to be one of the best open spaces I have experienced. The natural light shone in like a spotlight, illuminating the shared open spaces where my friend and I would be working that morning.
Nathan Keilor wanted to create a community where people could effect change and I believe he has achieved this. Ideas naturally germinate in environments such as this one: open and free flowing. A shared space invites collaboration and in The Swarm, Nathan has been able to offer that to the creative and business community.
The idea of The Swarm came about after Nathan’s experiences on working in The Network Hub in Vancouver. Co-working in a shared space was an experience he wanted to replicate for other likeminded passionate individuals. He says ‘it’s about having like-minded passionate driven doers to share your days with, to bounce ideas off. To change the world with.’ ‘We realised’, he says ‘at Hunted Hive – the people behind The Swarm – that we’d have to more than just work on start-ups in Australia…we’d have to nurture and help them in such a risk adverse environment.’
The Swarm is an affordable place to find a co-working soul mate. On the day my friend and I visited, we chatted with others and found a common thread. To seek out a shared space such as this was not only to meet people with similar views on how to move your creative and or entrepreneurial spirit forward but to provide a home for ideas that will innovate and effect change.
You can check out different pricing and packages on The Swarm website – there are many on offer. If you want to try co-working, hot desking, or if you need a private office — you can experience your first time free. Just click on their website (http://swarm.huntedhive.com/) and inquire. Feel free to take a virtual walk through but the best way to feel the energy of the space is with a visit in person. You never know who you’ll end up meeting and collaborating with.
Words by Elizabeth Georgiades. Images by Michael David