Bringing together the co-living environment and European project experiences
Ignacio Marquez, from Anceu Coliving, set out on a creative journey to Atolye under the
European Creative Hubs Network exchange initiative in this past September, thanks to the
European Commision. The aim was to bring together the co-living environment and
European project experiences of Anceu with the bustling coworking community energy of
But first of all, what is ATÖLYE?
ATÖLYE is a strategic design and innovation consultancy that helps organisations tackle
complex challenges and create lasting impact. ATÖLYE works with clients from various
sectors and scales, such as corporations, startups, NGOs, governments, and cultural
institutions. ATÖLYE also operates as a creative hub coworking space that hosts a
community network of over 150 creative professionals who collaborate on projects, events,
and learning programs.
And what does ATÖLYE do?
ATÖLYE offers four lines of work that address different aspects of strategic design and
● Academy: ATÖLYE Academy designs and delivers learning experiences that empower
individuals and teams to develop new mindsets, skills, and behaviours for the future
of work. ATÖLYE Academy offers workshops, courses, bootcamps, and coaching
services on topics such as design thinking, agile methods, digital transformation,
leadership, and team development.
● Architecture: ATÖLYE Architecture designs and builds spaces that foster creativity,
collaboration, and well-being. ATÖLYE Architecture offers services such as spatial
strategy, interior design, architecture, construction management, and furniture
● Community Lab: ATÖLYE Community Lab creates and supports communities that
share a common purpose, vision, and culture. ATÖLYE Community Lab offers
services such as community strategy, community building, community management,
and community engagement.
● Sustainability: ATÖLYE Sustainability helps organisations adopt sustainable practices
and solutions that benefit people and the planet. ATÖLYE Sustainability offers
services such as sustainability strategy, sustainability assessment, sustainability
reporting, sustainability communication, and sustainability innovation.
During his time at Atolye, Ignacio engaged in several activities that brought these two
communities closer. He shared the unique aspects of community living at Anceu that
encourages creativity and future collaboration among colivers. Anceu as a rural-based
coliving space is focused completely in providing a calm and supportive environment.
Ignacio shared various initiatives they had undertaken over 2023 for social impact, such as
collaborative mural painting with neighbours, artist residencies, and European projects
utilising technology for transformative change in rural areas. He also talked about the
challenges faced in rural areas of Europe, like depopulation, ageing, and the loss of culture
and tradition. Ignacio shared some smart ideas to tackle these problems, for example,
explaining how encouraging remote work from different businesses and creating coliving
spaces like Anceu could help bring more people to rural areas. This way, remote workers
could enjoy a more affordable life than in big cities while still having good work opportunities.
On the other hand, Atolye thrives on the coworking culture where diverse professionals
share a workspace, often sparking innovative collaborations right at the heart of the city of
Istanbul. Ignacio experienced the vibrant energy at Atolye and its community of people
working together, sharing ideas, and building a community in a coworking setting. The Atolye
community was equally intrigued and shared their urban-centric coworking model with
Ignacio, they showed how the availability of resources and a wide network can accelerate
project developments and foster a culture of innovation in massive cities like Istanbul.
Post-exchange, Ignacio and Busra from Atolye are going to hold virtual meetings to continue
exploring the blend of coliving and coworking models, to continue developing the urban-rural
connections. These meetings between Ignacio and Busra are about nurturing a relationship
that goes beyond this one-time exchange. They are committed to exploring more
collaborations, perhaps using European funding to deepen in how to build bridges between
rural areas and cities in a sustainable way.
This exchange has triggered a valuable dialogue on sustainable community building, this
journey has sown the seeds for future collaborations, promising a rich blend of rural and
urban creative communities coming together to learn, share, and grow.