Last Wednesday, on the eve of the AIA National Convention, I had the pleasure of talking with Miguel McKelvey, co-founder of WeWork.
The conversation was held in Midtown, in the Project 6 by AF showroom to an invited crowd of 75 architects. The event was co-hosted by Project 6 by AF and Designer Pages, and sponsored by Graff, Julien, Geberit, Kaldewei and Wetstyle.
For those of you unfamiliar, WeWork is a co-working startup currently valued at somewhere between $20B to $35B, with almost 400 locations scattered around the world in 69 cities. While WeWork wasn’t the first company to enter the coworking space, they approached it in a very different way, focusing on creating physical environments that connected with workers and business owners, while crafting a culture of super-dedicated members.
Miguel McKelvey, one of two co-founders, is an architect by education, with a brief work history in the field that includes an active role in the design and buildout of American Apparel's disruptive retail stores in the early 2000’s. As a personal friend that I first met while studying architecture together at the University of Oregon, I’ve followed Miguel’s entrepreneurial path for almost 20 years. In this conversation we’ll talk about that path, and how architecture has played a critical role in the success of WeWork, starting with his extremely untraditional, yet highly relevant, childhood.