The last minute, before leaving Amsterdam, I had the chance to visit Deskowitz and talk to one of the two co-owners Bram. Unfortunately, he was short of time, so neither the interview nor my stay in the space were very extensive. The reason why I wanted to go to Deskowitz and not to one of the many other coworking spaces in Amsterdam was the operationalized ambition of running a self-managed coworking space. This I made out of a Dutch web site so of course I was anxious to know if I had mistranslated the concept.
Like at The HUB Amsterdam, I had to buzz my way into the building of Deskowitz - an old public redstone house with views to the Museum Park. Though the entryway clearly belonged to Deskowitz, as did the rest of the ground floor facilities, I had to ring the door once more from the authentic station-like hall. Inside, talking to Bram, I once again found myself in a light, high ceilinged space furnitured with recycled materials though this one was separated into 3 commons with both private and public desks.
The significant difference between The HUB Amsterdam (or any other HUBs for that matter) and Deskowitz is the managing aspect. At the HUB Amsterdam coworker contact, visitor contact and administration were operated by hosts or managers present on a daily basis. At Deskowitz the owners attempt to eliminate all human expenses and transfer all the managing operations to the online services. To benefit from these services, though, you have to be a member and to be a member you have to be approved as such - by the owners. This leaves no space for daily visitors, but where The HUB Amsterdam did not promote the daily offers to preserve the community feeling among the more permanent residents, Deskowitz has not yet taken in daily guest due to the amount of administration.
The atmosphere of Deskowitz was relaxed and quiet - each coworker concentrated on their own business. I left quickly, regretting not to have more time with Bram, but relieved to have been to 3 so very different spaces in Amsterdam. Next stop Portugal.