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A Dark Ballad

Jul 07, 2017

Never amounting to much, all my efforts are naught.  This, my kindred know, is the cost of chasing visions.  Always only a little more than nothing, now I am less than nothing and everyone knows. And now I am stuck here in this hell of my making and here will I be forever, falling deeper …ever deeper.

Hello Fear. I see you and I called you out. Hello Disappointment, Hello Anger. You come at me in waves and I want to throw it all out and beat my head against the wall. You make me want to hide in my corner where it’s safe and I will never come out. But you forget, that it is I who came looking for you.

You can twist my head into whatever you like. But look here, who do I have here…patient effort and consistency are on my side and boy they is strong. I observe these sisters and spend a little more time with them and lo and behold, I become them. I become consistent effort.

But this dark storm …its brewed up again and it surrounds me and now it enters me and I am tossed down, cast into hell. And I hear the voices the storm carries biting into my downcast eyes, this dried hopeless shell.

But tell me, o prince of my dark spaces…what are you based on? What is the truth on which you stand so proud.

I know this – I know that consistent effort is concrete, and you..you are dark vapor.

I know this – I know consistent effort has to work its way outwards and you fall inwards.

And I know this too that my mind has been your eternal battleground,  first becoming one and then the other. For one has no meaning without the other. Indeed, one does not exist without the other.

And so here we are….and in this round… I CHOOSE my role….I CHOOSE TO BECOME CONSISTENT EFFORT. And you my lovely nemesis, come dance with me, be my enigmatic raucous partner. Let me caress you as you rake me.

Together we dance this old old dance and what strange partners we make. No one can take their eyes of us.

This universe is not enough for the amount of dance we have in us. I am glad I discovered you. Thank you, for coming at me and i am grateful that you keep coming at me for who would make such an energetic partner as you.

And so it continues…..We dance….

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The Story of an Architect and an Engineer who Shared their Office!

Apr 14, 2017

Once upon a time in the September month of 2016 in the garden city of Bangalore there lived a smart team of architects. They had an extra room in their office. They shared it on www.occupult.com. Not so far from their office an MIT sponsored hardware startup didnt have a place to work from and happened upon this room in the architects office and found that it was ideal for their small team of three. The hardware startup was happy because they didn’t have to pay any deposits or invest in capex and the architects were happy because they could recover some of the rent. They met, shook hands and the startup paid their advance rent. The hardware startup had their own dedicated room so they could work on their projects and leave their stuff out to dry. This wasn’t the silly hot-desk arrangement of co-working spaces. It was a real win-win. Now the story actually goes on – The architects had been working on on a kinetic installation for a design expo. They were stumped on the motor mechanics and  so they asked the lead mechanical engineer of the hardware startup. The engineer was happy to advise them and the installation turned out to be a great success. The architects received much applause and duly shared credit with the engineers. Three happy months passed by and the hardware startup subsequently qualified for a hardware incubator and left the architect’s office. The architects and engineers remained in touch. 3 months later the lead engineer called back the architects to see if they could help design his uncles villa. The architects are currently working on that project. We will shortly upload the video so you can hear this story firsthand.

This is the story that people who don’t share are missing out on!!. Bear in mind that there was no stealing of intellectual property or noise or nuisance, or stealing or any of the usual apprehensions we get to hear while collecting listings. In fact people made new friends in both teams. Folks out there need all sorts of workspace today. They need office space, manufacturing space, cooking space, performance space, meeting space, workshop space. If you have such space, you can charge by the hour, day, week, month, weekend, etc. And if you are not realizing the full potential of your space,  YOU ARE JUST NOT BEING SMART. Think about the money you are losing every day. Or, the potential clients you are losing. Or, losing out on the skill set that would have helped your business.

You don’t have to jump any hoops. Simply open your mind, change your heart and list your work space on www.occupult.com You could just email us at contact@occupult.com and we will come and take down the listing ourselves.

Share your space and become another successful story on www.occupult.com.

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What is the ideal city of the 21st century?

Jul 09, 2016

 

What is an ideal city? Without a doubt, visions of New York, Berlin, Shanghai come to the mind immediately. Or the vision of your native town could spring up, with its unhurried life and your comfortable home, family and friends. Honestly there is absolutely no shared ideal when it comes to something as complex a machine as a city. So where should the city look for its ideal?

Need for an ideal?

The smart ones will obviously interrupt at this point and say, is this even a valid question or is there such a need as the need for an ideal city. I could take a utilitarian stance and answer this question by enumerating the numerous bountiful benefits of the ideal city. But having been influenced by yoga, let’s answer this question at a deeper and simpler level, as follows : The quest for utopia is an extension of the quest for our higher self. And if the quest for our higher or ideal self is valid, so is the quest for the ideal city. And finally, if there is such a thing as a realized ideal self then there must be a realized ideal city. And one should not have to look forward to dying and waiting for heaven to live in this city but strive ceaselessly in this very lifetime until this city is manifested.

A quick way of analyzing any city!

Let’s for a moment consider and understand our existing cities.  The structure and morphology of the city  usually reflects the political and socio-economic order or thinking of the age we live in. The infrastructure of the city reflects the planning prowess and administrative effectiveness of the governing agencies. The condition of the city’s public places reflects the civic sense of its populace.  The cities we inhabit can more or less be read and understood in these three layers.

The colonial cities and post-war cities of the 20th century were designed by great urban thinkers and these cities demonstrate their thinking in these 3 layers.  But these cities also show up another important insight of their creators. They symbolize the social ideal that the Architect was striving to manifest.

What experts say today!

What is the ideal for the 21st century? Technologists and futurists are falling over each other to predict the future with simulated 3d renderings. Management consultants are throwing out repackaged old concepts with smacking new acronyms (read SMART). Really??!!  Cities are not built of words from a report and they are certainly not 3-d printed. These living, breathing organisms grow as a collective thing and then come to be that which can then be read in the 3 layers spoken of above.

Let’s get involved!

So maybe the question “what is the ideal 21st century city?” already contains its answer. The ideal city of the 21st century is the city which is based on a shared ideal.  And this is not a self-referential logic problem. Can we all work towards creating a shared ideal? If yes then it seems that the ideal will come to be!! What should great public transport function like? What should our public places look and feel like? What kind of recreation places should our children have? I want to see the stars clearly at night. Can the city’s future be crowd sourced?

These are some of the questions that keep me up at night.

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The famous 5 benefits of sharing your workspace

Jul 06, 2016
  1. Supply meets huge demand from Gen X and Gen Y for new workspace

Internet and technology is in the process of decentralizing all things. The millennial generation will comprise more freelancers and entrepreneurs and is in the process of creating the peer-to-peer economy. The blog entitled A New Workforce of Millenial Freelancers argues this point extremely well.

Generation X  is probably going to retire early to finally do what they love. Gen Y believes in its power to challenge problems and bring solutions and is dreaming big along those lines. Where are Gen X, Y and Z likely to work? In big companies …yes maybe for a while …and then they are more than likely to dabble in freelancing, serious hobbies and entrepreneurship. A whole new workspace typology called co-working spaces has evolved around this trend. The valuation of companies like wework is a testament to the popularity  of this typology. But today demand is not restricted to office – like space alone. There is a need for all types of work spaces from freelancers, entrepreneurs, artistes and small businesses.  Anyone can contribute workspace to this fast emerging demand. So apply a lens of creativity to your workspace and let it work for someone else.

 

  1. Monetize idle capacity and meet new customers

Trillions of dollars are lying wasted in idle resources and that includes your work space. Stuff you have that I need and vice versa. Today everyone with an asset can turn into a micro-entrepreneur. The sharing or renting economy allows us to do that. You could easily recover portion of your recurring costs by renting part of your workspace for part of the time that it lies unused. Likewise you can access the repository of shared spaces when you need to use them. By sharing your workspace not only are you helping yourself and the economy but also doing your bit for the environment.

Ok so maybe someone doesn’t need that extra money, what about potential customers. Why spend money on networking events and add campaigns when you can meet your potential customers by sharing your workspace.

 

  1. Collaborate and win

For small enterprises and freelancers collaboration is the fastest way to grow. You may have some skills and maybe looking for others. You may have a business that could grow in lateral directions that you never imagined. When you share workspace you are cohabiting a workspace with other hardworking creative individuals and ideas spark off. You can leverage each other’s business network, skills and knowledge. Sharing my workspace is exactly how I found my business cofounder.

 

  1. Means to the conquest of happiness

“The secret of happiness is very simply this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile”  ― Bertrand Russell The Conquest of Happiness

Happiness is most elusive to the city dweller. Bertrand Russel, who is considered 20th century’s most influential mathematical logician,  advised that the source of our happiness lies in having wide interests and remaining friendly. This is not altruistic at all, and quite the opposite.  An easy way to cultivate a new interest is to simply spend time with someone from another walk of life, another background, race and age. His or her area of work or hobbies can open your eyes to new information and new interests.

 

  1. Enjoy the benefits of collective optimism

The entrepreneur and freelancer’s journey is a very lonely one. There are guaranteed setbacks that promise to pull one down to the very dark hell of depression.  Sharing of workspace is great way to realize that we are all at different stages of a similar journey.  Just that one thing can deliver the vital ingredients of objectivity and discipline to one’s life. Entrepreneurs and freelancers are the world’s new age explorers and have developed invaluable life and business skills. If they choose to, they can benefit  those who are starting out in an immense manner by simply sharing their workspace.

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Is it time for Transformable Cities?

Jun 28, 2016

The world is witnessing a shift from ownership to access. Technology is changing and reshaping the world as we look at it and paving the way for new, boundless frontiers to be explored and challenged. Technology is at our fingertips and connecting us across the globe. Networking has become part of our lives that has ushered in the age of collaboration. We can key in on the untapped potential that technology provides us to make better use of the resources we find around us to live better and more productive lives.

The sharing model of the city can better accommodate space and resources. It’s time we looked at sharing economy models and took a cue. Received models of the city with neatly packaged and prioritized spaces meant for specific purposes like factory assembly-lines can be questioned because they tend to limit and restrict us into box-like thinking. They restrict our ability to build communities and isolate us. More importantly, received notions tend to shape our attitudes that can get boxed in over the long run. This does not converge or sync up well with the networking, expanding generation of facebook, twitter and now Airbnb or task rabbit.

Our cities can replenish us. They can be viewed as a mixed bag or mesh-up of interesting and engaging spaces full of vibrancy and expectation. They are not the mundane clusters or “districts” as set out by statisticians of a 19thcentury novel. In the current era of the service economy we no longer have to obey the land-use diktat of the 20th century planner whose imperative was to remove hazardous uses from living areas of the city. Can a city be a soar distinction that is painfully clustered into a residential, corporate and commercial sector as would be simplistic and planned out model rather than an organic surge of human ingenuity and enterprise.

When he sees an old factory, the artist should be able to conceptualize the brick and mortar building as a likely venue for an art exhibition. This allows us to view stereotypical and defunct spaces in a new light, while giving us more “room to think”. We could thus move towards our own spaces of recreation and a bohemian movement of our own.

Sharing economies have taught us that resources as simple as a car can be shared by regular folks who could reach out for a conversation while riding a cab. Somebody can bring a meaningful change to an old person’s life by performing tasks like cleaning or handyman on Task Rabbit. The most successful example of all these has been AirBnB, which gives home owners the opportunity to give their house to vacationers with the flexibility of when not to let.  The most important lesson to be learnt through all of these is that these have given individuals, regular joes like you and me, the power to believe that they can make a positive impact on their own lives, and others. They have given them a sense of ownership and control of their own lives.

If it’s a room that can be co-leased with someone of a similar background because your business isn’t quite there yet, or sub-letting a part of your office because you wanted the office in one part of town but the space was too big, or even if it’s a floor of your house that you don’t mind lending to some freelancers as a co-working space. Maybe you have an old neighbour with a great terrace who could lend it in the morning for some yoga instruction. You could even exchange notes over coffee (dispensed by that coffee machine you decided to split costs for) and free wifi.

Urban spaces should be like Rubik’s Cubes that can be regrouped and restructured to unleash their hidden potentiality. Co-sharing models and collaborative economies usher in the need to imagine the spaces that we live and work in, as transformable spaces where interesting things can happen and meaningful collaborations can be made. It’s time our cities sync up with the virtual world. If there ever was a time for transformable cities, it certainly is now!!

by

Malvika Singh

(Malvika can be contacted at malvika1singh@gmail.com)

Calling all futurists and change makers! Join the movement and this network. If you think you have a transformable space or underutilized space that could be used more optimally or more creatively, submit it on http://occupult.com/

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