Source: Nelson Mail, page 5 on 09/11/2010.

Until graphic designer Galen King took on his first employee he felt like a lonely only child with no- one to share his creative ideas with.

Now he wants to replicate the feeling of creative collaboration on a grander scale.

“It’s great to have people to bounce ideas off. I really enjoy working with a bunch of creative people. It’s great to have that stimulation.”

After taking over a 300 square metre commercial space on Bridge St, Mr King saw the opportunity to realise a dream six years in the making. With the Bridge Street Collective he hopes to create a shared creative space in the building - one filled with architects, photographers, designers and writers, to name a few.

“Basically we are not simply setting up another cluster of office space.”

He said the benefits of working alongside other creative people could not be overstated.

Mr King, the founder of Lucid Design, moved from Golden Bay a year ago to grow his business in Nelson. He said the city was quite competitive among designers but hoped his concept would result in more collaboration.

The shared space would feature meeting rooms and shared resources like internet, printing and possibly a receptionist. It would also give each business the financial clout to advertise as a collective entity.

The space would suit freelancers currently working from home who were looking for something more professional, he said.

“I don’t think it’s bold, it’s not risky, there are only pros, really.”

A landscape architect had already signed on and moved in. Several others had expressed interest. There would be flexible options to suit members whether they wanted an office or a part- time desk. There were successful examples of similar set-ups around the world, Mr King said.

Mr King was also playing with the idea of setting aside a space for a design student to come in on a part-time basis.

“When you are starting out I know it is so hard, you have to get experience somehow, and this is a way to help that process.”

Anyone interested should visit bridgestreetcollective.co.nz.