The principles of the company

A founding statement about the co-op

The following is an extract from Workplace Co-operative 115’s Code of conduct, a document that occupants agree to adhere to upon joining.

The principles of the company
  1. The company has been set up to manage the building at 115 Bartholomew Road, London NW5. This building is a place in which designers and makers can do good work. By ‘good work’ we mean:
    1. work that is useful and delightful to others;
    2. a practice that is aware of its consequences and tries to balance them, in human terms and in terms of the effects on the wider environment;
    3. work that is also useful and delightful to the designer/makers themselves, in the development of their own skills and knowledge;
    4. work that comes from an egalitarian practice that is run without hierarchy and without delegation of menial tasks to subordinates;
    5. a practice that welcomes apprentices and informal learning;
    6. a practice that is concerned to get all the details of a job right;
    7. a practice that is in critical dialogue with mainstream design and production.
  2. The common life of the place is seen as an enrichment of practice. The place has a cross-disciplinary spirit. To give examples of the range of workers, these might include: furniture makers, sculptors, painters, graphic designers, photographers, writers, musical-instrument makers.
    1. The central corridor in the building is a place where work is displayed. This includes work made by the members of the company, as well as displays of outside work organized by the members.
    2. This company has been devised to give greater control to tenants in the running of the building.
    3. The lease given by the freeholder to the company is designed to keep the level of rent payments low, to help the achievement of ‘good work’.
    4. New members are asked to write a statement of their aims and practices, and provide samples of past work, as part of the process of joining the company.
    5. You are asked to take an active part in the life of the building.
    6. The building should be your primary place of work.