Cover Story

The Design Office

Industry: Design


John Caserta created The Design Office in 2007 as a space for independent designers to thrive. It’s not his own design firm: rather, it’s a shared workspace where collaboration comes easy because of the community he’s brought together under one roof. In an era when most design work is done individually by freelancers, The Design Office provides a place to share ideas and feedback.

Relationships are the backbone of The Design Office. John knew that with collaboration comes something better than what any one person could do on their own. It has already won three Design Innovation Grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

The Design Office is modeled off of John’s own experience in graduate school where folks were working on their own projects but wanted other creative people around. He wanted this spirit of collaboration to last beyond graduate school, so he created it. “I realized that I would benefit immensely from having people around who weren’t under my oversight, that were more peers,” John explains. “Instead of putting my name on the door that says it’s mine, why don’t I put something more generic that says it’s a space and I’m here… I don’t feel so much that I’m running a graphic design practice, as I am running this place.”

The mostly open floor plan has dedicated desk spaces, a shared member library, kitchenette, photo and video shoot space and a shared conference area among other cozy corner nooks. The office space offers varying levels of membership matched to how often a member uses the space.


Dog friendly, low office fee with utilities included, peer environment, located in the heart of downtown

Office designer:

In-house team

Building used to be:

Shopping center

Fun facts:

Napping in moderation isn’t discouraged

Where they are:



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