Kanawha Design Studio
We use design and technology as tools to help collaborative communities.

Design for community

Systems for Creative,

Collaborative Live & Work Spaces

We help collaborative spaces get moving!

Kanawha Design Studio’s mission is to combat isolation and loneliness by supporting localized, intentional communities. We do this by using our combined skills in technology and design to create, develop and support collaborative spaces.  These spaces include coworking, coliving, maker spaces, artist studios and all possible combinations thereof. We believe that the avenue for connection is less important than connection itself.   

While our mission is to develop strong communities, our projects are both grounded in immediate, practical problems and influenced larger directional shifts in the coworking and shared resource movements. We are designers - we create built environments that are comfortable, flexible and specific to the needs of each community. We also develop technology systems and create safe, flexible networks for communities with vibrant, diversified memberships. We can also help with business plans and operational systems. And it is a magical thing when all of these work together to support people.

In short, we support collaborative communities – coworking spaces, coliving spaces, makerspaces and artists’ communities – with whatever tools they need to be healthy and successful. If you are interesting in chatting with us about your space, we’d love to hear from you.


How can we help?


Good design is an integral part of any space, especially one that hopes to have people in it. “Design” can mean different things to different people, it can include layouts, graphic design, systems design or something as essential as signage and wayfinding. We can help you build a space that is both comfortable and engaging.

Some of the things we design:

Layout of space - Where should your tables go? How can you find more space for phone rooms?

Signage and Wayfinding - When this is good, it is hardly noticeable. When it is bad, your members are needlessly frustrated and you alienate future clients. Don’t just put up endless signs about dishwashing, talk to us!

Graphics and Marketing - When you are still trying to figure out which software to use, this can be quite daunting.

Business & Operations Strategy

The industry of collaborative communities is relatively new and, large or small, we can help your business strategize to meet your goals. We work with a holistic approach, considering both the needs of the people involved and financial health of the company.

Some of the things we strategize:

Revenue Projections: What will make you money and what drains you? How can you capitalize on your resources?

Staffing Plans: Who will do all of this work? We can walk you through day to day tasks and larger strategic organizational charts. We can also help develop working member programs, which help strengthen your community, include community folks who need some help in your space and create a strong workforce in your space.

Operations Plan: Who does what and when? And more importantly, why?

TEchnology Systems

The internet, software, and technology are so pervasive that we can’t remember having ever lived without them. They make our lives simpler, but behind the curtain are ever-changing challenges in protection, network control, and basic needs of members. These are all challenges that we can help you prepare for and use to your advantage.

Some of the systems we make:

Access Control: Who gets into and out of your space? And when? Different membership types mean different access systems that all need to managed and tracked.

Network Design: The internet seems to be here to stay. We can help you set up your firewall and as many networks as you need to keep your members happy and their data safe.

Systems Consultation: You can track your members and the resources they use on the back of a napkin. However, it might be easier to use one of the many software platforms out there. Jacob built one called Nadine (it is the only open source coworking platform out there!), but we can also get you set up on any number of others.

I am very happy with all that the Kanawha Design team was able to assist me with given my constraints of limited budget and time. In planning a new coworking space, there are a mountain of things that need to be accomplished. Jacob was able to free me of the Network Infrastructure Planning and Design tasks so that I could focus on other things. He was patient, responsive, knowledgeable, and detail oriented. I greatly appreciated all that Jacob was able to accomplish and will definitely include the Kanawha Design team on our future projects
— Jennifer Sequeira – SEAT Caribbean
Katie makes the design process functional, beautiful and low stress.
Her patient style is insightful and laser accurate.
In an industry as young as coworking, “elders” are few and far between. Katie’s keen interest in design and community building coupled with Jacob’s talent for technical infrastructure, building on and informed by more than a decade of experience, is a rare and exceptional combo. They have been integral in building our community, and any shared space project would be lucky to have their wisdom and insight.