Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Crowdsourcing a Name

Wed, 08/25/2010 - 02:52 -- rprice

Since the beginning of the year, I've been involved with a project to create a community center in the Thornton Park neighborhood of downtown Orlando. The space will be run by a non-profit, the Urban Think! Foundation, whose current project, Page15, is a beacon of great service and creative inspiration to the city's youth. Now, the focus turns to the working creatives of the city and their needs - Organization, Validation and Integration (if you ask my buddy Darren McDaniel, who wrote a PhD paper on this subject).

The most visible way the Foundation will be providing for the community is by opening a space to work, learn, share and network in the heart of the city, in the former Urban Think! Bookstore. A few months ago we put out a survey trying to understand who is in our community, what they're working on, what they need, and how they may be interested in working together to provide for our community.

To that end, we are asking for the community's input on one of the very most visible parts of our project, the name. You can go to our site and vote on these names. I have copied the text here for convenience and posterity's sake.

We came up with (way more than) 5 names, and one person was assigned to write a sentence or two to give the name some weight, backstory, what-have-you. Here they are:

(or sharehouse)

Inspiration statement:
The single word that best reflects the spirit, activities, diversity, and potential of the space is share. Beyond sharing ideas, workspace, talents, and experiences, share speaks to the collaborative mission ahead. While also German for house, our haus is homage to the kindred spirit of the Bauhaus movement and its hallmark of uniting art, craft, and technology to improve society. Sharehaus. Organic, distinctive, and inviting. A new term for a new horizon.

Urban Rethink!

Inspiration statement:
A profound and transformative look at the role of a space, once a bookstore, in the fabric of a neighborhood, a metro area, a community of patrons, and the lives of creative individuals. Always reinventing ourselves, rebuilding the community, redoubling our efforts, and rewarding our patrons. The name has been used for the last 6 months to collect support for the as-yet-unnamed space.

Urban Think!
(or Urban Think! _____ (third environment defining word to be determined))

Inspiration statement:
If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it! The Urban Think name has long been synonymous with creativity in an urban neighborhood and although books won’t be the focus of the new space, creativity will always have a home here. The name pays homage to the original bookstore as well as the Urban Think! Foundation, which will continue to operate the space.

(or livelihood)

Inspiration statement:
This concept defines a place where creative professionals, enthusiasts, and beyond do more than exist or congregate – they thrive. Lively expresses the energy, vibrancy, vitality, and diversity intrinsic to creativity. Hood stems from our location inside one of Orlando’s most recognizable urban neighborhoods: Thornton Park. Lively+hood provides sustenance and a means by which creatives can grow, evolve, expand, and thrive.

Think! Collective

Inspiration statement:
The first word Think! pays homage to the former tenant of the space, the Urban Think! Bookstore, and the positive impact it made on the community of Thornton Park. The word Collective expresses the new chapter of this community staple and also defines the space as a place where creative individuals, as well as individuals who support creativity, can gather and exchange the same belief that community inspires creativity and vice versa.

We're asking people to rate these names, 5 being best. Please visit our site and give each a rating. I really can't wait to show you what is planned, and to get you involved in what we're building, not just on a local scale. Keep believing!


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While perusing some other material this morning, I came across the word "Commons" and thought of a new name I'm sure I never suggested.

How about Urban Commons? "The Commons" or "Creative Commons" has begun to represent the open sharing of ideas - it invokes the same feeling that "Share" does, and a modern Bauhaus would license their work under Creative Commons, to make it easier to re-mix, re-think, change or hack. See the Owner's Manifesto by Mister Jalopy in Make Magazine in 2007.