An Experiment in Urban Hospitality
Third Space is an experiment in urban hospitality; a community-creating, non-profit cafe in Dublin’s inner city.
Third Space are a non-profit organization founded with the goal of creating community neighborhood spaces where people can gather regularly, easily, informally and inexpensively.
Historically, beyond the home and the workplace, the traditional community-forming spaces in Irish towns and cities were the GAA (sports) club, the church and the pub. In modern Irish cities, which grew rapidly with economic growth in recent decades, these community-forming spaces had not been considered. This was leading to a very fractured urban community in cities such as Dublin.
I was initially hired to created a visual identity for the project, but my role soon expanded to incorporate strategic consulting for the entire project.
A couple of key ideas and areas of questioning emerged from the branding process to form central ideas to brand and strategy development: Invitation and User Involvement, Home and Contrast. These developed into some key components for the brands:
Leave your mark
Building on the obvious postmark reference, elements of the Third Space brand have a loose and unfinished nature. An unfinished space creates an invitation to contribute; to leave your mark.
The experience (interiors and branding) will be a blank canvas waiting to be filled with life and lives. As regulars contribute (artwork and artefacts, organise events, etc.) Third Space will become the sort of place where people bring friends and say “look what i did”, or “welcome to my third space – I’ve contributed, I have a part in the physical space and the community itself”.
Third Space can then become a home for its regulars; a place that contains their “stuff”, that they have invested in. A place that is organic and alive – constantly growing and changing.
Well-loved = Worn
The worn aesthetic of Third Space’s branding reflects its desire to develop and grow with the community. A worn object is a loved object; think of a favourite seat or book. Ultimately a worn object/place has a story, and because it is not finished or polished, it invites people to come and be part of that story.