makeshift society.
by victoria comment


if you hadn’t heard, i’m working with rena tom and suzanne shade and we’re opening up a clubhouse here in san francisco. yep, a clubhouse for creatives. it’s called makeshift society. We make with our heads and think with our hands. A clubhouse for creatives, launching Fall 2012 in beautiful Hayes Valley.

makeshift society will be a space to create, collaborate and connect. i’m working on the interiors, getting them all spiffy and making them a fun place to hang out. so i got to wondering — you’re a bunch of creative people, what would you like to see in a space if you were gonna hang out there all day and blog, or write, or draw or design? if you were going to sit quietly in a corner and knit, or read or book or just take in all that creative energy? what would be on your wish list?

ready, set, go! tell me! makeshift society wants to know. follow us on twitter to keep up to date.

• images: laneway, via remodelista; frank gehry; diane bergeron design; looking glass; holly wales; relics of the cold war; drkmttr; retro offices; miguel flores-vianna.

47 responses to “makeshift society.”

  1. Was just in Hayes Valley last week, on vacation from Hawaii. Yes, that sounds crazy. Anyway, I would love big and comfy floor pillows. Like 3’x3′ pillows. I find myself moving from the desk on somedays and sitting on a floor pillow just to break the routine. Makes me feel like a kid, a big creative kid.

  2. I would like a workspace that has smaller, not intimidating, “conference rooms”. A place where you can hold a meeting while still feeling a bit on the casual side. Love where you ladies are going with this and am definitely going to try and be a part of Make Shift Society. Also, you have picked a wonderful location!

    • we’re super excited about the location (did i mention it’s across the street from tartine?).

      we’ll have just what you’re looking for – a cozy conference room with room for casual meetings!

      hope you’ll join us!

  3. There was recently a review of the top 10 co-offices in Brooklyn in the Brooklyn Based newsletter, there were a lot of great features highlighted there! Things like a kitchen (and a staff person who keeps the coffee filled), a walled-glass room for meetings separate from workspaces, etc.

    Personally, I would want a giant table to cut with friends, because I’m a quilter and cutting takes a few hours!

  4. This news just made my day! What a wonderful idea – I cannot wait to check it out! I’m sure if you are involved in the design it will be gorgeous and inspiring! And, across the street from Tartine – wow! That is wonderful (if not a bit dangerous for my waist-line…).

    As far as what features I would love to see – of course, clean, open tables/spaces for collaborating, but also smaller (cozy?) nooks for when someone would like to have quiet, focused time. And, I love BT’s idea of large, cozy floor pillows. It would also be nice to bring in someone to do mid-day yoga or pilates if there is a large enough space for that… it is a stretch I realize but would be a fabulous way to both connect with others and take a mid-day break.

  5. i’m a freelancer in SF, and i’m so excited to see what you all put together! i would suggest LOTS of natural light in some areas, and then also some cozy nook spaces that can be lit by floor lamps or fixtures that throw warm light around. also, if there happen to be separate spaces, a built in sound system that can be controlled by someone’s itunes or aux… that might be pretty amazing. sound creates a space just as much as the physical space does!

    hayes valley AND tartine nearby? could the location get any more perfect? congrats.

  6. This is awesome, Victoria! Looking forward to seeing the space.

    What would be really appealing in a creative office space is lots of open space, loads of color and a few areas where people are encouraged to mess around for a minute or two (ie chalkboards, bean bag chairs, ping pong tables and games). For any creative, having a space that promotes collaboration is ideal and since the Google/ Apple model has been working well, everyone seems to be modeling their offices after this open-idea space.

  7. If it is a space that Hemingway would enjoy, I am there! A nice conference area for presentations would be great. BIG tables seem key.

  8. already slated are many of your requests! i’m so happy!

    – large clean open spaces
    – private conference room area
    – comfy nooks
    – big library tables
    – bay window seats with cushions
    – loft area
    – floor to ceiling bookcases with a lending library
    – lots of fun surprises and sillines

    so excited to hear all your thoughts and ideas. thank you!

  9. So incredible! I keep hearing about shared creative spaces and now I’m wondering if tree are any in my part of the country. Congratulations,and I can’t wait to see how the space turns out!

  10. So nice! I may need to visit…

    Things I’d like in a clubhouse:

    * Coffee
    * Natural light
    * Fresh air (or a reasonable facsimile)
    * No food smells in work area (pet peeve)
    * Coffee smells are okay
    * Maybe a few places to hide
    * Bring your pet to the clubhouse day (have I gone too far?)

  11. wow, great ideas everyone! i am so happy we are going to be hitting a lot of these points. we have some space limitations though so while there is a kitchenette, there will not be a big ol’ free coffee station. there are 4 nice places to get coffee within a block, however, so i think we will be okay :) what else – i imagine we’ll be dog-friendly unless there are more dogs than people – and there will definitely be zones for being social and nooks for hiding out and getting work done. as Victoria said, there are a few tricks up our sleeves too..

  12. It sounds amazing! I would love a clean, open space that isn’t too intimidating. Some great inspirational art on the walls would be great too. Good music, comfortable seating…is that too many things on the list?

    Excited to hear more about it!

  13. Hmmm well, I run Spoonful ( and my husband is considering moving us to san francisco so I’d love to be part of such an exciting space!! I think what makes a creative space work for me is great light, white walls, space to personalise your desk, and then noisy and contrasting quiet areas so that those who need quiet can work calmly and when you want a chat or a chinwag, you can too without distracting the others ;)

    Easy plug-in ability for comps, usbs, sewing machines etc :)

    hmmm what else…

    happy fantastic people.

    friendly and fantastic people can transform a space completely don’t you think?


    • great! we’d love to have you! there’s ton of natural light and lots of space. it won’t be a space where you’ll have your own desk, unless you choose to go the permanent desk route (those spaces are limited) but it will be a great interactive space and have quiet spaces, too. wifi, usbs, probably not sewing machines unless it’s a workshop, which there will be lots of.

      and lots of friendly fantastic people to be sure. :)

      • sounds like a dream :) xx
        Still a year or so to go till our move, but when the time comes, I will be very very excited to know that there are wondrous and inspiring people like yourselves out there makeshifting beautiful things & collaborations :) xxox I will most definitely be in contact!!

  14. Woo Hoo! So excited for you!

    Can’t wait to do a sewing workshop here! :)

    A few of my favorite things:
    The nest at W+K in Portland: it’s a fabulous place for brainstorms and in a pinch conference calls. A live edge wooden community table for coffee, tea or lunch near a window with natural light. A phone booth with a landline featuring an old school cord, I think it helps anchor your conversation.

    So excited to see what you come up with it’s going to be lovely!

  15. Lots of fresh flowers and a sculptural mobile that catches the light over a table in a conversation corner. I just want to pop in and see when its done.

  16. This idea is so cool. I am excited and hope I can come and be part of it, if only to admire..
    I think a room that explores a makeshift society, has an Exploration Room! I collect small objects from estate sales. I would love to explore the idea how these objects tell a story and still have a life after the owner has either died or parted with them… (A good place to get inspired for your project comes to mind and that is the Headland Center of the Arts. Reading any of David Ireland’s concepts is good. He was cool and had many good theories on public spaces.) One of my favorite things about the Headlands is you can sit and talk with the artists by eating with them in the Mess Hall. They have incredible chefs that come live there for a year to feed the artists and public who come to these events.)

  17. I am so excited about this. I’m a long way away, but I can’t wait to drop in for a visit, or attend a workshop weekend. I love the earlier suggestions. I would add that I hope, rather I know, you will maintain and foster this spirit of cooperation, support and encouragement in this space. Healthy vigorous discussions would be welcome, but in the end I hope all members will be part of a vibrant community of creative, thoughtful people. I’m dreaming of walking in, smelling strong coffee, hearing laughter and creative banter and seeing big welcoming smiles.

  18. This sounds incredible – best of luck to you all! This makes me want to move to san francisco even more than I already do…look forward to seeing updates from over here in London!

  19. Very exciting! Living plants and natural light inspire me!
    What will the membership cost be and how will it work?

  20. Victoria! What a great idea! Anxiously awaiting the grand opening. Will you have high quality printers, fax machines…the stuff that normally go to kinkos for? Also mailboxes for biz mailing address? We are so looking forward to this!

  21. What a brilliant idea, Victoria! Just a couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend about the need for such a space. With so many people going the freelance route and working from home, it will be nice for creatives to have a space to go to for camaraderie. Plus, with this supporting cast behind it, the space will be amazing.
    In addition to all the great ideas above, I was thinking it would be great to have one small area flooded with natural light where people could take photos for, say, product shots or a blog post. Perhaps there would even be smaller items around the space that they could pull to style their photos.
    For something purely fun, with so many creatives visiting the space, a large communal chalkboard wall or white wall where people could draw; It would make for some pretty cool wall art.
    I’m sure you all have so many wonderful ideas and advice swirling around. Good luck and
    congratulations on this new venture! Please expand and come to Los Angeles. :)

  22. This is a great idea. Creatives need a place to gather, connect, inspire, discuss. Just think Gertrude Stein’s in Paris, New York during the expressionist era with Pollock, DeKooning etc. gathering at the Cedar Bar in the East Village- but your place would be a place where people could do stuff too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *