ere at Splacer, we are always looking for unique and stunning spaces to list for activities. To do this, we work with space owners and space managers like Eduard from Cocoon, who allow us to unlock incredible venues for you to discover.
Cocoon offers space owners a unique service which allows them to curate and design their space for public usage, such as for events and photoshoots, and is a concept that Eduard founded over a year ago and currently runs with his business partner Johnny, who works under the title Director of Customer Experience. With a background in design and architecture, we asked Eduard what influenced Cocoon, about his passion for design and architecture, and his experiences using Splacer to list the incredible spaces they helped to design and currently manage.
What influenced you to make the move from Barcelona to New York?
While at design school, over a decade ago in Barcelona, I witnessed that the world of design and interior design had a problem: it catered traditionally to the wealthy. In an effort to disrupt and evolve the conventional mold, I began experimenting with creative approaches to transform spaces through collaboration. I first conceptualized this with Tinglado, my final thesis during my graduate work in design. This approach adopted a new way of thinking – one that focused on building widespread access to design. My philosophy draws inspiration from disruptive big-picture thinkers like Jeremy Rifkin, Bjarke Ingels, Andres Jaque, and Olafurr Eliasson. The result is the creation of spaces which are physical manifestations of our rich cultural, social, and natural world.
I first realized this intention with my first business model 988Manhattan. I started 988Manhattan in 2014, bringing with me the industry knowledge I gained through my broad range of experience working with experimental designers to large corporate firms. 988 created a diverse community of creatives by offering a design space rentable by the hour, which made it accessible to people from all backgrounds. Today, Cocoon aims to expand this model to multiple spaces across New York City. Cocoon’s ethos embraces a collaborative approach that builds on the boundless creative power of people and communities. Cocoon is meant to be transformative and educational. It aims to empower an inclusive community with limitless potential.
Tell us about how you design the spaces, and how would you describe your interior styling method?
My style as a designer has been always very experimental, and I have always tried to give a mission and a purpose to my role as a designer. It’s been over a decade since I finished design school and I had the opportunity to work for a wide range of designers, artists, architects and clients, both corporate and experimental. As a designer, I like to look to nature for inspiration and design every single detail of the spaces I am involved with. From more spatial concepts to smaller things like furniture or small art pieces.
We noticed that each apartment you have listed has its own unique style. Can you talk us through this?
We select the spaces we currently list on Splacer following a very clear criteria: spaces that have the potential to be visually attractive to a wide range of clients and that are spacious enough to be used for many different activities. Once we create a strong network of these second residencies we are currently listing on Splacer, we will start stage two of our plan, which means opening full Cocoon spaces, completely designed by me in collaboration with key creators and with similar narratives to the one we propose. In these spaces we will try to go a little bit further, tackling some concepts I strongly believe in as a designer. I really believe that, in these times whereby big cities like NYC offer mediocre living spaces for very high prices, we need to create a debate about housing and create a new narrative about the house of the future that challenges the narrative that is being proposed by the mainstream, and understand that houses should be designed for all people, and for a deeper connection. Ancient cultures used to pay way more attention to their living spaces, designing them to be more connected with nature, and those spaces would be treated as almost temples. They would be more organic, and they would act almost as creative centers. We should look back, take the best from our ancestors and mix it with new technologies.
What do you enjoy most about being a host on Splacer?
Splacer puts a lot on effort on understanding the challenges we “homeowners/space managers” face and they always are ready to listen our feedback and work on new tools to improve the service we are offering.
Can you recall one of your favorite events you hosted with Splacer?
To be honest, it’s really difficult to pick just one, since for us it’s always a very good experience to see people interacting with our spaces, our designs and our ideas. This why we do what we are do, and so far we’ve been very lucky to have extremely creative, talented and warm people using our spaces. However, if I have to pick just one, I’d probably pick the production for MAKERS, an all-female platform that creates visual content broadcasting through the work of female entrepreneurs, activists and creators in general. The team at MAKERS have a very strong mission and we always feel very connected with this type of client, since what we are trying to do also entails a strong, and difficult mission, and breaks the social norm.
Do your spaces have any interesting stories behind them?
I think our owners bring the best stories to the spaces.
For example, the homeowner behind our space in the East Village is a very talented fashion designer. Thanks to our work we are upgrading her studio and helping her reinvest in her business.
For the space in Chelsea, the homeowner behind it is a multi-creative individual that has spanned from film-making to the music industry and also invests in multiple projects related to arts and creativity. He is a big supporter and a mentor for young creative people, like us.
For the space in Williamsburg, the owner behind it is a talented tech entrepreneur that has successfully released impactful social networks like Koko.
What piece of advice can you offer to other space owners on Splacer when it comes to listing their home or venue?
I think the key to everything is having pictures that are realistic and show the true spirit of the space. Clients are more attracted to images of people using the space. Many times, clients that are not from the creative industry have problems fully understanding the layout options of a space. Help them!
What do you enjoy most about being a part of the Splacer community?
I think the core mission of Splacer resonates with some aspects of my personal mission as a designer: opening unique private spaces for public use. Just this concept is revolutionary by itself and Splacer comes from there.