Creative workspace: The Farm, SoHo, NYC
May 11, 2017
What began as a humble barn in Missouri now acts as one of New York City’s key co-working spaces for creatives. The Farm houses a spacious array of facilities, towering over the bustling streets of SoHo.
With its mid-western origins infused into an Americana-esque decor, this is a county-inspired working refuge from the city that never sleeps. We spoke to Gemma from The Farm, who told us a little more about the site’s origins, community and vision.
How did The Farm start? Where did the initial idea for a co-working space come from?
The Farm didn’t really start in New York. The first seeds of our vision with our co-working space were sowed in Missouri where we found an old timber barn. The Americana aesthetics and rustic feel inspired the decor for The Farm. We also shipped all the timber from that original barn to New York to deck out our co-working space — it’s truly one of a kind!
How big is the area?
The Farm is a 5,000 ft sq. loft space in Manhattan — that includes a dedicated 1,500 sq. ft event space.
How would you describe the culture at The Farm?
Our culture is very organic — it's moulded by the community we house here, and that community is very focussed on innovation. We specialise in the health and technology sectors, and we also welcome a lot of early stage startups and creative freelancers. We’re quite a diverse bunch of people, but in our opinion, that’s how true innovation is cultivated.
Is there a certain type of individual that The Farm attracts?
Those that come through our doors tend to be innovators, whether they’re working on a tech startup or as a creative freelancer it doesn’t matter — they all tend to be innovating in their chosen field.
What do you think is essential for a productive and innovative workspace?
Collaboration. We’re passionate about encouraging our community to interact and ultimately, collaborate to grow their businesses in an organic manner. We do this in a number of ways — by encouraging workers to move around to different desks to enable them to organically network, and by putting on a huge range of events.
What are the biggest challenges that The Farm experience?
Being based in New York means that space is always difficult to find, so we try to use our space in an innovative manner. For example, we have a range of different sized spaces from our nap pods to our spacious events area. Everything from our desks to our hangout spaces are laid out to get people talking and collaborating. It’s about using the space in the most effective manner for our community.
How many individuals and groups do you have working with you at the moment?
There are 60 companies at The Farm, and we attract approximately 55 ‘solopreneurs’ and freelancers too.
What are your favourite aspects of your space?
The event space has really evolved into a great area for event organisers and attendees. Because our event space is so adaptable and modular in its layout, the possibilities are endless for how the space could be used. We’ve had some fascinating events here from an IBM Watson Health Oncology and Genomics Presentation, to our regular happy hours and retro games nights. There’s always something going on and you can never predict what that will be.
What makes this space different to other similar venues?
It’s different in both style and substance. Firstly, I think you’d struggle to find many other New York loft spaces decked out in timber from a Missouri barn! It’s also a large coworking space for the city and the aesthetics have been carefully designed to promote creativity.
Secondly, we're focussed on helping our community grow their businesses. We do this in a range of ways. Our 'lunch and learn' sessions are an informal way for our community to come along, have a spot of lunch, and learn a new skill or to make some new contacts.
What’s next for The Farm? What have you got planned?
Space may be limited in New York, but we'd like to grow in NYC as a district. We’re still finalising the details, but we'll be doing something in the proximity of The Farm soon.