Ten years ago, three creative people: Louise Gaarmann, Jeppe Vedel and Lasse Schuleit – came up with an idea to open an inspiring setting in Aarhus, which would help bringing new, fresh ideas to people in creative industries as well as bringing synergy to creative businesses and bringing them together. They named it LYNfabrikken (Eng.: “The Lighting Factory”) hoping that everyone who is coming up with inspiring thoughts would find their muse and share inspirational thoughts with each. Currently, the creative space in the heart of Aarhus is flourishing better than ever. “We believe in inspiration”, says Jeppe Vedel while showing me around – and I realize the reason of why this creative space has become so popular both amongst Danes and internationals.
A little bit of history
The historical, old settings can be felt from every single corner in LYNfabrikken. The visuals of an old place suddenly brings you several decades ago, when the old factory was used for manufacturing purposes. Today the factory is “manufacturing” entrepreneurship ideas. Since the old factory building has been brought to a new life for craftsmen, Jeppe, Louise and Lasse did not stop at this point – they also created a cafe, where people could network and share their ideas. ”Information sharing is very important”, says Jeppe. “If you sit alone in the basement, only by yourself and do not meet other people, the only inspiration you get is from yourself. If you meet others it will inflect of how you feel and act. That is the reason why we created a cafe here in LYNfabrikken”.
Creative collaboration – the key to success
“We had an idea to make make better terms for entrepreneurs in creative area industries. I believe that you can “lift” a bigger assignment meeting people and getting inspired from them. The only thing you have to do is to be open to new ideas and find the right path”, explains Jeppe.
Currently, LYNfabrikken is offering to rent a space in an office hotel – a workspace for about 30 businesses that can benefit from each other by working nearby. Becoming “workspace colleagues” can lead to a beneficial synergy of businesses that LYNfabrikken is actively encouraging. Besides the office hotel, one can also enjoy the fruits of collaboration in an open cafe where creative entrepreneurs are welcome to share their ideas while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. “We made this cafe for networking purposes. When we created the cafe, we thought of a public networking space with the free wifi connection. We wanted interesting people to come, enjoy themselves here and have a mindset that even though they might not know the people around them here, but they can network and enjoy the outcome of their network”, explains Jeppe.
Projects and prospects
LYNfabrikken has been engaged in a number of various projects with creative people from all over the world. Starting with the LYNtalks – the online lectures that people can watch for free and learn after having signed in – and finishing with YouMay furniture design with Austrian design studio Walking Chair.
One of the most interesting projects was INturns – a knowledge sharing project where USB dolls were made to serve the purpose (as well as observe) what would having an intern in a company mean. The five USB dolls were “given” five identities as well as different personalities and were sent to different parts around the globe to become interns in various companies, where their colleagues had to observe and record what does an intern do. “We thought that documenting it would be an interesting experience for everyone. Besides, we wanted to travel and see the world while saving – so INturns was a good project to serve this purpose”, says Jeppe.
Everyone is welcome
“We believe in inspiration and the value of network”, reminds Jeppe, explaining the variety of inspirational choices that LYNfabrikken offers. One can join a yearly seminar called “We Love Graphic Design” with which they fundraise, can join and observe one of a number projects, can visit a cafe and meet new interesting people as well as can enjoy a window gallery while passing by the Vestergade. “While passing by the street you do not feel like in a museum, yet you spare a glance looking at the interesting design exposed right in front of your eyes”, explains Jeppe. “It interferes with you when you are on the street. The only thing you have to do is turn your head and take a glance…”
And yet it’s true. The only thing we actually have to do is to be a little more proactive, a little more daring and curious. And spend some more minutes with empowering people – as well as observe the little inspiring things. Then maybe we will become an inspiration to someone else – and could share our thoughts in LYNfabrikken.
Photo courtesy of Ramona August