Got to get out of the barrio.
And so it goes, the first (of maybe) many entries following my attempts to spread my wings and transport my favourite working/masturbatory tool, the ol’ Apple MacBook Air to the surrounding geek plains of Spain’s capital. Where better to start than the focus of every keyboard jockey’s dark fantasy, Madrid’s very own Google Campus.
For those unfamiliar with Google, tell me your secret. I’ve long wanted to evade the modern cultural zeitgeist that goes along with the hero worship of Steve “I just make things smaller and more smooth” Jobs. I’ve contemplated, like many a good luddite, engulfing myself in flames and running for the nearest gas pipe at an Apple Store in a Timothy McVeigh-act of modern urban terrorism. Such is my frustration at not being able to evade the heady gaze of The Big G.
So Google Campus. A building, co-working space and educational centre funded by a website you mainly use to find horrible porn and cat photos. There’s now one here in Madrid. Following those opened in 2012 in London and Tel Aviv, Madrid’s sprung up in the middle of the ‘creesssiissss’ and is one of newest members of a the ‘campus family’ with what is assumedly the grizzled old hag of a mother-in-law in Warsaw, the cute Asian sister site in Seoul and the salacious stepmother in Sao Paulo.
A dysfunctional family taking over the world.
As for Madrid’s campus site, it’s pretty good for remote-working types pretending their life isn’t insignificant and that their new mobile app is going to ‘change the world’. It’s also fairly decent for myself, someone who still keeps one-foot in the digital realm while staying in firm view of any exit should the whole industry come crashing down at any moment and I suddenly have to learn carpentry.
I’d much prefer carpentry over deleting my daily Medium and Quora newsletter email blasts. There’s something more wholesome about wood.
I went there. I signed up. I purged my retinas looking at a screen again. I touched my nose. I talked about my fooooottbballl team with the security guard. He said my Spanish was good. I pissed myself with delight a little. I looked at a screen again. Then I looked at the screen on my phone. Then I looked at other people looking at screens. Then I wondered just what the fuck this world is about. Then I went back to the screen. Then I scratched my groin area. Looked at a screen. Ad finitum.
Google Campus. Good to Google from? Or just another grandiose garrison for the frail, sex-starved, entrepreneurs of tomorrow?
You’ll find me on that team.
- Modern, sleek design (several levels accessible via staircase and elevator). Refurbished and renovated factory maintaining an urban open-plan feel with classrooms, co-working spaces and auditoriums blocked partitioned off
- Varied work desks, cafe tables, sofas and seating. Large windows for natural light. Long tables for collaborative work enclaves for greater privacy, sofas for kicking back.
- Fast free public wi-fi. On ground and upper cafe levels. Requires free membership sign-up for access.
- Open public educational events aimed at start-ups, entrepreneurs and people wanting to learn more about the web and current movements in the tech industry. Events listed on site and incorporated in mailing list despatches.
- Separate classrooms, auditoriums and co-working space. Medium capacity (up to 100 people).
- Community and networking opportunities (fair amount of people passing through).
- Young, tech-savvy crowd. Students. Pretty girls (at least when I was there).
- Access (fair walking distance from nearest metro stations: La Latina, Principe Pio and Opera). Not exactly in most vibrant part of Madrid. Not much to do and see in surrounding spaces.
- Co-working space is fee-based. Off access to non paying members.
- Required online registration and member card for access. Can sign up at entry point. Issued a card for access.
- Prior registration for events.
Calle Moreno Nieto, 2, 28005 Madrid
Opening Hours: 9am-7pm
(All photos stolen from Google search. For SEO purposes, traffic hypergamy and the fact I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ taking photos of Google Campus on an iPhone).