Dear reader, what you are about to experience in the future of coworking is (as will soon be made evident) a work of fiction. Any resemblance to pre-existing people or technologies, real or imagined, can be chalked up to a failure of imagination on the author’s part. Sorry about that.
Ms. Pat Newberg did not work at The Lodge, but she was a coworker. As she resided halfway across the city, she found it more efficient to complete her work at Central Coworking, which had the added benefit of catering specifically to those with her particular set of skills. While The Lodge was a general coworking space, and thus varied its membership from artists and artisans to lawyers and computer programmers, Central was more specific in its clientele, acting as a gathering ground for those of a scientific mindset. This suited Newberg quite well; she dealt in some of the odder aspects of neuroscience, and had found that she was more at home surrounded by those of a scientific bent than those who were not. An artist or lawyer might not be ready to accept the nature of her work.
Central was spacious, but not quite tall. It had only a single floor—at least, a single floor visible to the outside—which nevertheless had high enough ceilings for any equipment the coworkers might need to fit inside. The building, from the outside, looked as much like a hospital as it did a coworking space. The walls were all an antiseptic white, save for the large red logo that hung above the door: a rose hanging above the words “Central Coworking; Crafting the Future Together.” Big blue solar panels jutted out of the roof, seemingly immobile but truly moving very slowly to match the motion of the sun. And in that hospital-white building, in a sub-basement three floors below ground level, there was a door marked in a bold black font, “Doctor Patricia Newberg, Office and Lab.” Newberg had paid a premium for an office so far from prying eyes, but the label on the door was free.
Newberg’s “Office and Lab” was far more the latter than the former, as per her specifications. The office portion was essentially two chairs, a table and a single computer screen, while the lab itself had more floor space than some small stores. There were MRI machines, MEG machines, CT machines and several which were so new that no one had compiled an acronym for them yet. There were also strap-covered tables which looked rather like they were built for standing around and shouting “It’s Alive! It’s Alive!” Lying (unstrapped) on one such table was a thin, bearded man in his late thirties, dressed in a blue jumpsuit. His head had been shaved, and a number of adhesive-coated pads connected his head to a set of wires leading to a cylindrical machine roughly the size of a wastebasket. This machine had a name, if an unofficial one. Pat called it the QED.
Pat Newberg herself, a woman of roughly the same age and wearing quite the same outfit, was at the QED machine’s controls, operating levers and pressing buttons and delivering instructions to the man who had so graciously lent her his time. She had a grating, nasally voice, which she was patently aware annoyed those around her. She could see it when she scanned their brain activity. This subject, at least, had the decency not to think too hard about it.
“Alright Ben, justa few more and y’can be on yah way. I want ya ta think about that dog y’had when ya were a kid, mmkay?”
The man furrowed his brow, thinking back to his childhood. A tablet in Pat’s hand displayed an image of the man’s brain, sections lighting up in reds, golds and blues as the QED machine scanned and delved into the grey matter which, by Pat’s reckoning, was the only part of his body (or anyone’s, for that matter) that was truly worth anything. After a moment, Pat spoke up once more.
“…Border Collie, huh?”
If you are interested in learning more about the present of coworking, come on by Sprout for a tour!