The  Origin of Spaces (OOS) is the result of a collaborative co operation between different organisations and eco systems across Europe. Bilbao (Spain) Lisbon (Portugal) London (UK) Pula (Croatia) and Bordeaux (France)

This project was initiated in 2014 by the Association Darwinians, (part of Darwin Eco System) a co working hub in Bordeaux and it is supported and funded by the European Commission (ERASMUS +) which approved the first reading with an exemplary rating of 95/100.

The project partners are working together to create an on line toolbox for local and national stakeholders, communities, organisations and individuals who are interested in the creation of multi disciplinary creative clusters (eco systems) These places have been given the name the ‘Third Place’ as a term of reference and play a key role in the social, environmental and economic development of local terratories.

Capture Projects a social enterprise based in London, is co ordinating the development and co creation of the on line toolbox, an open source knowledge bank and learning space which will go live in 2017. Research for the toolbox is co ordinated by Association Darwinian.

Prezi tour of the toolbox click here

The toolbox will provide useful tools, learning modules and related info gathered from across the partnership in the form of an international knowledge bank, pooling resources and operational methods in ecological transition, socital benefit and economic co operation. Different creative approaches will be explored to present innovative models applied in the fields by each of the partners.

Ecological transition (Darwin Eco System)

Shared and Participatory Governance (Rojc)

Coworking (LX FACTORY)

Social entrepreneurship and a living lab (Capture Projects and The London Borough of Lewisham)

Public and Private co operation and partnerships (Zawp)

Toolbox workshop in Bordeaux October 2014


In response to new societal and economic change there has been an emergence of innovative multi disciplinary spaces that include co working, co living, environmental and ecological transition and are examples of the shift from a turn of the century model of working and living to something more adaptable, shared, collaborative and holistic.

During 3 years of the project the, partners of OOS will exchange, co create, collaborate, meet, and learn from each to better understand the methods, practice, applications and uses of these so called ‘Third Place’. Ultimately the project will be key to understanding the operation of these eco systems and sharing of tools for development and replication.

The Origin of Spaces will open up possibilities to network, collaborate and share these spaces and their methods to a local and international audience.

The Key areas are:

1. To facilitate the development of new hubs by the sharing of knowledge and skills to better equip those wishing to create a hub to do so, this will be via the on line toolbox.

2. To foster economic cooperation between the territories and partners.

  1. 3.Collating best practice, models, knowledge and methods related to the emergence of innovative eco systems and sharing them.


1. The local institutions, communities and other private or public sector organisations interested in the development of Third Place clusters or hubs

2. Those working in exisiting clusters or hubs

  1. 3.Those wishing to join or create a new hub or cluster

Imapact on those wishing to create a cluster

Beneficeries will have accsess to information, e learning modules, knowledge, methods and skills via the on line toolbox, including:

Access to tried and tested methods applicable in social, economic and environmental areas

Economic models based on the actual working methods of the partners

Access to a network of organsations and support for the creation and development of Third Place hubs and clusters

Repurpose of the Good Practice and methods newly developed or existing across the partnership

Impact on exisiting clusters in the partnership and partnership members

Exchange and learn

Develop of professional networks and peer learning

Democratise and aggragate shared knowledge

Capacity Building

Any person and organisation that is interested in the emergence of these new spaces

Access to new methods and approaches to working

Access to know how of the actors who are in existing ecosystems

Networking in an active community

Programme of the project

During the three years of the project, many events, meetings and training sessions are organised

in view of the research about each partner and the co construction of the toolbox.

This 3-year project is divided into two major phases;

A first year of research, collection of information between the partners to build a common core of skills and knowledge in preperation for the on line toolbox.

Phase two for the development and co creation of the on line Toolbox.



Darwin Eco System, Bordeaux, France

Initiated in 2006 by entrepreneurs from Bordeaux, Evolution Group the Darwin Project / Eco System instigated the renovation of old military warehouses, the Niel barracks which is part of the historical heritage of Bordeaux.


Darwin hosts within its 3 hectares, a varied range of activities: green economy businesses and creative spaces, co working, incubators business, cultural, artistic and social, urban culture, shared gardens, nautical club, an organic restaurant and a grocery ...

More than 120 co workers, 40 companies and associations work and innovate together.

Specialist area: ecological transition and sustainability


Haceria Arteak / Zawp, Bilboa, Spain

Haceria ARTEAK is a cultural association founded in 1997.

ZWAP is a project started in 2008 as part of a plan of urban redevelopment in the peripheral areas of Bilbao. ZWAP consists of 7600 m2. of local industrial area designated for economic and artistic development activities.

10 organisations and a multitude of individuals and groups of artists founded the organisation, acting in various fields of action; Creative economy and cultural production, education and rural development, urban regeneration and coworking

Specialist Area: Public / Private partnerships


LX Factory, Lisbon, Portugal

Initiated by the property developer and investor MainSide, LXFactory was co created in 2007.

Within an industrial complex of 23,000m2 in a former textile factory from the 1840’s, 200

Companies are grouped, with a flow of more than 3200 people each day within LX Coworklisboa (a co working hub) since 2010 LX includes a community of co workers from all backgrounds and promotes Youth Initiatives entrepreneurs and offers assistance to a broad range of the community in developing their business.

Specialist area: Coworking


Capture Arts and Creative Projects (Capture) London, UK

Capture is a social enterprise founded in 2000 and constituted in 2005, It works primarily in culture, the setting up of micro social enterprises, education and training. It brings together practitioners of creative thinking, experienced professionals in social research, training and project management. Capture works with a multitude of actors and small medium-sized enterprises, local authorities, arts and cultural organisations, schools and community groups of all ages. Capture has appropriated many buildings for public and cultural engagement over a 15 year period and reused them as project spaces, art studios, galleries and workshops.

Through its projects it is developing new and innovative methods to generate ideas, nurture creative confidence and innovation and deepen artistic engagement with the public.

Specialist area: Social Entrpreneurship


London Borough of Lewisham, London, UK

LBL is a public authority and a local council with a great entrepreneurial density and strong

social diversity This area of​London has the highest percentage of high to very small businesses in the UK and represents one of the most creative sectors of growth of the UK capital.

This is a key place that centralises the rich, dynamic and diverse and which has identified the importance both economic and social of the ‘Third Place’ and its key to the economic growth of the area.

It is in the process of creating 3 co working and creative hubs and its story of their development is a key factor in our project.

Specialist area: Social Entrepreneurship


Rojc Alliance, Pula, Croatia



For updates on the project see our blog: Coming Soon!


Deborah Astell

0044 (0) 7984321560


For toolbox info click here:


prezi tour of toolbox

prezi first ideas



toolbox 2task 2.pdf

research draft report UK

research UK.pdf


What is the Origin of Spaces project?




Rojc Alliance is a group of 110 NGO organisations that focus on civil society, working in the fields of culture and local social life. In the late 1990‘s the various associations occupied the premises, an ex military barrack and obtained official authorisation of the right to remain of the city council, the owner. The city of Pula and Rojc Alliance thus share the Governance of 16739m2. of buildings and 110 tenants.

Rojc welcomes a multitude of activities including the production of arts and culture, residences of artists, green initiatives, etc.

Specialist area: Participatory and Shared Governance