If Nomad List is to believed, Canggu is the “IT” destination for digital nomads. It bills the southwest locale as the No. 1 neighborhood on the globe for solopreneurs, traveling creatives, and digital freelancers.
So explains the slew of coworking spots that have popped up here in recent years. But unlike the average coworking hub in cities across the globe, the Bali version often tends to favor lifestyle over practicality. Now, that’s not to say we don’t appreciate the novelty of doing our typing and Skype-ing on a beanbag overlooking a pool, but — for us, anyway — it sure doesn’t help productivity.
In Berawa, Canggu’s newly hip neighboring district, Genesis Creative Centre does things differently. It’s a novel concept dubbed “Indonesia’s first multi-disciplinary creative center,” and it’s aimed at those starting out in the arts.
Put simply, Genesis is a pimped-up version of a coworking space, but instead of beanbags and pool views, it has custom-built music, art, fashion, and photography studios that you can rent by the hour (and at very affordable prices).
Coconuts Bali recently took a tour of the facility, which is conveniently located at the Tamora Gallery complex of boutiques and cafes. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect.
Serving coffee and craft beer, the Cipta Pantry on the ground floor doubles up as a reception for the entire center. It’s a simple, light-filled space with white painted brick walls.
Also at street level, the 5×5 meter fashion, photography, and art studios follow the pared-down aesthetic, but are stocked with pretty much everything a wannabe creative whiz might need.
Genesis’ airy art studio is the cheapest space to rent. IDR110,000 (US$7.75) buys you room hire for the hour, though use of paints, chalks, pastels, spray paints, colored papers, or the pottery wheel comes with a small supplementary fee.
Photography studio rental (IDR330,000/US$23.40 per hour) gets you access to Sony cameras, tripods, lighting equipment, roll-down backdrops, and a Mac Mini equipped with Photoshop and Lightroom for when you get to the editing part. And as all the gear is sponsored by camera rental company Pondok Lensa, Genesis members who want to shoot outside of the studio will also have access to special discounts on equipment rental.
Genesis’ fashion and music studios follow in the same vein, and have been shrewdly designed with all of the relevant accoutrements, from sewing machines and mannequins to Pioneer DJ samplers, speakers and decks.
Up-and-coming vocalists and DJs will love the latter space because it offers super-slick equipment at pocket-friendly prices (IDR220,000/US$15.50 per hour).
The coworking space
Simple yet sensible, the 30-seat coworking office is equipped with proper desks and swivel chairs with backrests. It’s a calm and cool space with private booths for making calls, and an adjacent meeting room for those who want to make a racket, or brainstorm together.
It’ll operate on a daily, weekly, and monthly membership basis (from IDR165,000/US$11.65) and they’re planning on capping the membership at around 30 people. It’s a bold move, but it’s one that founder George Speirs hopes will make Genesis feel more like a little community.
“When we’ve been to other spaces, the ‘coworking’ element is often not there. People are just individuals with their individual businesses, working on their laptops alone, maybe at most with one other person,” says George.
The Genesis team hope that the unique setup will naturally foster a spirit of collaboration.
“Because we’ve got all these creative spaces, people can actually create something tangible together. The cross-discipline and collaboration is built in. For example, if you’re a fashion designer who’s just finished a collection in our studio, you might be looking for a photographer to shoot your clothes,” explains George.
The bottom line
If you’re after quality studio time and equipment hire at a price that isn’t going to break the bank, then Genesis might be just what you’re looking for. The fact that you’ll likely bump into other creatives who may be able to help you with your own project is an added plus.
Genesis Creative Centre is at Tamora Gallery, Jln. Pantai Berawa, No. 99
Open: 10am – 10pm