• Letsmeetandwork2

    Let’s Meet and Work

  • Letsmeetandwork4

    Let’s Meet and Work

  • Letsmeetandwork3

    Let’s Meet and Work


Alasdair Monk: Let's Meet and Work

Posted by Will Hudson,

Stuck in town and looking for somewhere to do a couple of hours work, confused as to where has the friendliest staff, reliable wifi or richest coffee? Well, interface designer and app developer Alasdair Monk has come to the recuse by way of Let’s Meet and Work. Now launched in London and New York, we spoke to him to find out more.

Hi Al. Can you tell us where the idea came from?

A couple of years ago when I was a student at Reading University, there was a sheet of A4 blue-tacked to the wall of the library with a printed list of places on campus that had wifi. After months of people scrawling on it, it became somewhat of a gospel of decent places to work. When I moved to London, I started working three days a week at digital agency With Associates, but always wanted to keep doing freelance work with the rest of my time. I found myself at a loose end on my days off, desperately wanting a London version of that tatty but priceless piece of paper from uni.

How long did it take to design and build?

I’ve toyed around with the idea of a web app based upon the idea for the last few months, but found myself over-analysing it so much that I could never boil it down to a simple enough idea. A few weeks back, I decided that I would just make something, as quickly as possible and with as little fuss. Using a collection of free tools provided by Google, I got the first version up in little under an hour with just five cafés that I loved. I’ve designed and built complicated web applications in the past, but this was definitely my favourite way to begin a project on the web.

You launched the New York version yesterday, have you got plans for future cities?

I deliberately wanted to start small and get London ‘right’ before exploring anywhere else, but since the huge surge of interest, I’ve begun thinking about how to expand. New York was an obvious next step as their creative scene feels very similar to London’s, but I’m undecided as to where to go next.

How does the submission process work and how do you know who to trust?

I wanted to keep submissions as straightforward as possible. Specifically, this meant eliminating the register/sign in process and making all submissions anonymous through a simple Google form which feeds a spreadsheet. When a submission comes through, I vet it straight away on how well the review is written and how much information is provided. If it all looks good, I’ll put it on the site on a trial basis until I actually get to check it out in person. 99 per cent of the time, the places I visit that people recommend are great, but I have taken a few places down that weren’t up to scratch.

If you could head off to work anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’d like to take a bit of a hiatus from London at some point, but I have no idea where. I hear Copenhagen is nice? Somewhere with snow for half the year would be ideal. In the long run, I’d love to help set up some free co-working spaces in London. I’ve seen a couple of spaces in New York offering free wifi and desk space to freelancers and entrepreneurs, but nowhere in London yet.


Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Web View Archive

  1. Sighht-its-nice-that-gif-list

    I don’t know too much about the Sighht Tumblr, but I know what I like, and what I like is weird glitchy net art, Throbbing Gristle and psychedelic flashy things that hurt the eyes and brain. Which is exactly what Sighht is, and with every scroll it gets stranger and more fascinating. After some internet detective work by our in-house super sleuth (and INT Works art director) Callum, who first spotted this little blog of joy, it was discovered that two men named Joel Evey and Peter Steineck are behind Sighht.

  2. I-d-archive-itsnicethat-list

    I can vividly remember buying my first copy of i-D magazine; I was 15 years old and on my way home from school and it was The Youth Issue, with a portrait of Flash Louis by brilliant Alasdair McLellan on the cover. I still have it, as I do every issue of i-D I’ve bought – the covers make me utterly incapable of chucking it.

  3. Byop_int_list

    Earlier this month, the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public. The beguiling, multicoloured woven structure designed by Spanish architects SegnasCalgo sits in Hyde Park like a more grown-up version of a fort you might have built when you were a child. Over the last decade and a half the annual architecture commission has become a much-anticipated beacon of design, and to celebrate 15 years of the Summer Pavilion, the Serpentine Galleries have teamed up with Kidesign, Marina Willer and the team at Pentagram to launch a digital platform and national campaign to foster the aspiring young architects of tomorrow.

  4. Tumblr-tv-1

    It’s Friday afternoon, which means that if you haven’t yet searched the internet for a GIF to communicate exactly how you feel, you likely will do within the next hour or two. Fortunately for you, Tumblr has just launched Tumblr TV – an endless stream of GIFs which automatically play out, to make that process easier and more entertaining for everybody. It’s essentially Tumblr’s equivalent of Giphy TV, but with a search service which allows you to narrow down to exactly which image of Mariah Carey gently wiping away a tear you’re after, and it’s a treat for all of us internet-age aliens who can only express emotions through GIFs.

  5. Nice-to-hack-you-itsnicethat-list

    What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever Googled? If it’s worse than a Phil Collins Best Of album or anything medical, you have Nice 2 Hack You to fear.

  6. Thomas-traum-kenzo-itsnicethat-list

    If you caught our feature about the continuing collaborative culture of fashion house KENZO in the Winter issue of Printed Pages you’ll already know about Thomas Traum, the digital image-making extraordinaire who is responsible for the brand’s in-store moving graphics, among other things. He’s mastered digital technology in his own extraordinary way, creating moving, surreal, almost hallucinogenic tableaux which play continually in KENZO locations around the country, condensing the brand’s innovative approach into a series of vibrant, evolving situations.

  7. Flickr-itsnicethat-list

    Remember the days when Flickr reigned supreme over the kingdom of image-sharing sites and photo galleries? So does Yahoo, and after spending two years working on an extensive redesign across web, iOS, Android, PC and Mac, it’s hoping to elevate the site back to its former status under the title Flickr 4.0. Among the elements included in the redesign are a new filter which allows you to view images according to colour, size and orientation, more intelligent algorithms which are better suited to search terms, and a tailored image recognition service which tags your photos for you. All hail the terabyte’s worth of online storage!

  8. Ecal-bejining-connection-itsnicethat-list-3

    After a holiday I usually struggle into the arrivals lounge with carrier bags brimming with tat, a couple of sandy disposable cameras, an empty wallet and an Instagram account groaning under the weight of all the gratuitous exotic photographs I’ve inflicted on my friends. I don’t often spend my time coming up with innovative alternative ways to log my trip. Which is the difference between me and the BA Media and Interaction Design students at ECAL, or the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne in Switzerland.

  9. Wipeout-itsnicethat-list

    Dominic Szablewski is the kind of technological wizard who has a level of understanding so sublime that I imagine he might be able control the universe from his computer one day. He’s a digital designer who builds games – really, really cool games – and through means unknown to me, he has succeeded in porting levels from cult PlayStation racing game WipEout, which was first released in 1995, into a browser-compatible format.

  10. Newswall-itsnicethat-list

    Yesterday saw the launch of a brand new form of news presentation by Channel 4 in 4NewsWall – a Tumblr-hosted website dedicated to the day’s top news stories, listed chronologically, with each presented by a GIF. Thought up by 4Creative’s Jack Croft and Stacey Bird and developed by the creative team, it’s flashy, image-led and uncluttered – with each GIF offering a click-through button to a more detailed report – and looks set to be an interesting and exciting progression for news journalism.

  11. Catswing-itsnicethat-list

    We all know the housing situation in London is shit. For the price of my south-of-the-river flat I could get a fully refurbished, three-bedroom, end-of-terrace on the seafront in any one of the country’s beautiful coastal towns. But I’m a sucker so here I stay. Thankfully a growing number of organisations are seeking to protest this financial absurdity and the latest to do so is Shelter.

  12. Inside-abbey-road-itsnicethat-list

    There are a lot of things I’ll likely never be able to do in my life. I’ll never be an astronaut, because I’m shit at science for starters, and I’m never going to record a world-changing album, because in reality I didn’t get much further than playing The OC soundtrack on the piano. So when a digital experience comes up that allows to you pretend you might be sailing around the moon aboard the Soviet Union Luna 2, say, or to peruse the hallowed studios of Abbey Road among the likes of the Beatles and Tony Bennett, I’m more than happy to take it.

  13. Random-studio-itsnicethat-list

    I don’t know what it says about our relationship with technology that fancy websites are still providing a source of joy so long after the internet was invented, but there’s nothing like a bit of magical and unexpected web trickery to wake you up from a dull afternoon slumber. Case in point is eccentric Italian design house Fornasetti’s website, which has just been given a good jazzing up from Amsterdam-based Random Studio.