One of the more interesting things we've found during our current coworking study is the growing number of "non-traditional" coworking spaces.
We laughingly use "non-traditional" and "traditional" because the coworking movement has only been around for 5-6 years. But the concepts - shared space, targeted at independent workers and small businesses, an emphasis on community and networking - are being picked up in a variety of fields and shared facilities.
Hackerspaces are an example. They are coworking facilities for people who like to hack or make things. Think of them as shared workshops instead of shared offices.
While most Hackerspaces are targeted at hobbyists, a growing number also target independent workers and small businesses. We first noticed this trend during our research on Makers, Maker Faire and Hobbypreneurs.
The DIY BIO blog recently did a survey looking at the demand for a coworking biology lab. Not surprisingly, 15% of the respondents said they would be interested in such a facility for business and 32% for research.
So we can add coworking biology/life science labs to the list of "non-traditional" coworking facilities.
For those that are interested, there is also Bio-Curious Google Group.
**Update: An alert reader pointed me to a blog post on this topic on The Atlantic Monthly blog. In addition to Bio-Curious, it also covers the broader Open Science trend.**