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Coworking & collision of ideas in Barcelona’s craft studios

A jeweler, an electrician, an illustrator… in a corner of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, these makers share office space. It may help save on rent or provide networking for solo workers, but one of the side effects of coworking is the inevitable collision of ideas.

On a misty night in Barcelona, we visited a block of the Gothic Quarter with a history of crafters workshops where this generation of coworkers was hosting an evening of open studios.

Our guide, the illustrator and author Stéphane Carteron, is camped out in the coworking space run by graphic artist Oscar Noguera. Tonight he’s displaying his travelogue/sketchbook “Tombs pel barri gotic” (inspired by classic “carnet de voyage”), in which describes this micro-neighborhood as an “alternative artistic circuit”.

He introduces us to Ángel Muñoz, a resident co-worker, who pays his rent creating websites, but spends his free time tinkering with electronics to create art inspired by fractals and fluid dynamics.

Across the street neighborhood veteran Roberto Carrascosa has created jewelry for the past 10 years. He explains that he and his fellow jeweler coworkers pay the rent by working for major jewelry companies, but it’s their personal “cult” lines that fuel their creativity.

He shows us a bracelet from his current collection “Words” inscribed with the beginning of a poem by Jaime Gil de Biedma “that life is serious, one finds out later”.

Further down the street, Irene Sabaté and Clara Aspachs have spent the past 7 years designing local clothing from the back of their storefront. They source the materials (down to the threads) and produce the clothing for their brand Name all in Barcelona, or nearby, and they feel inspired by the creativity on their street.”

“From the painter to the graphic artist to the architect to the jewelers, really on this street there’s no repetition and this is what is beautiful.”