Category Archives: Artist Housing

>sdspace4art acquires artist live/work studio spaces: Apply Now for Your Own Space


by Jill Holslin

San Diego- In 2002, bestselling author and cultural critic Richard Florida posited that cities “without gays and rock bands” would lose out in the race to redevelop America’s urban core. In 2002, San Diego ranked #3 in the nation according to Florida’s Creativity Index, following San Francisco and Austin, and far outranking New York and Los Angeles.

But when you think of artist lifestyles, San Diego is not the first city that comes to mind. Just trying to survive in San Diego is a real challenge. The artists, architects, and real estate professionals who make up the group sdspace4art are changing all that. The bohemian artist collectives and warehouse lofts ubiquitous in neighborhoods like Brooklyn’s Bushwick are now popping up San Diego.

The group called sdspace4art epitomizes Richard Florida’s “creative class:” we are progressive San Diego artists, architects, writers, filmmakers, musicians and dancers with background and experience in affordable housing and community built projects. Sdspace4art will partner with progressive developers and forward-looking engineers and contractors working to empower artists and neighborhood residents through participation in the collaborative process of designing and constructing these buildings together.

Sdspace4art will establish the real, practical living and working conditions that make it possible for artists to do their work and practice their craft in a way that strengthens and enhances the traditional cultures of the neighborhood.

We have just acquired a beautiful 1920s warehouse space in San Diego’s East Village, and we are accepting applications now (from November through February) from artists looking for studios and live/work spaces. The spaces will be move-in ready by March 1.

The existing space has 13-25 ft. high ceilings and heavy timber trusses with windows through the ceiling bringing in natural light in the full length of the warehouse. 26-28 Studios will be built into the existing warehouse space, some divided by 8 ft. high walls and open at the top, with 4ft. sliding doors to maximize space and allow access for large objects.

Other more specialized spaces will be available for welding, painting, pottery making. The spaces will be nice, yet rough (ideal for messy work), and also very unique.

There will also be a significant gallery space where we will have art shows, dance, poetry and theatre performances and other events.

Between four and six spaces are available for live/work with a variety of kitchen/bath arrangements.

Live/Work residents may choose to share one of many collective kitchens, or may opt to have their own space with kitchen and bath.

The studio and live/work spaces range from 150-1740 sq.ft. and prices will be affordable, between $250-$1600 and will vary depending upon which space you are renting. Utilities will be included (some studios heated and air conditioned).
Studios share common space, which includes:

• Large Gallery
• Event/Performance Space
• Outdoor Gathering and Meeting Space
• Conference Room
• Kitchen
• Bathrooms
• Woodshop (potential)
• Kiln (potential)
• Welding Space (potential)
• Gated parking offered at a small additional fee.

We are open to artists of all mediums and practices, and we recommend that potential residents to participate with us in the processes of renovating these spaces to make them work for your own art practice. The more you participate in the building process, the more money you can save, and the better you can tailor the space to your own needs.

Apply NOW for space, and we may be able to accommodate you right away. If we don’t have space for you now, we will put you on the waiting list.

Please complete the below form and provide the following information:
(Copy and paste into an email and send to

• Name ________________________________
• Contact info _________________________________________
• Art practice/medium(s) __________________________________
• How much space you’re looking for __________________________________
• Pictures/documentation of your work _______________________
• Do you need any special accommodations? (i.e. 220 power, special ventilation)
• Will you volunteer in the renovation? ____________________________________
• Do you have any experience that would be helpful in the renovation? (i.e. construction, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc.) ________________________________________

See us on the web at

Please contact us if you have any questions! We will be showing the space frequently between November 30 and December 15.

Write us at:



>On Friday night Sept 11, and Saturday and Sunday, Sept 12-13, a design workshop will be held at the New School of Architecture. The overall objective is to involve the greater San Diego arts & music community in developing prototypical designs for future affordable work/live space for artists and arts organizations.

Friday September 11, 5:30-9:00 PM All participants invited to workshop designs
Saturday, September 12, 10 AM-6 PM Architects and Designers, but all interested are invited
Sunday September 13, 10 AM-2 PM Brunch and display of completed designs
LOCATION: New School of Architecture 1249 F St Downtown San Diego

The project of sdspace4art, initiated in 2005, is to develop and build specific key sites in San Diego for affordable live/work spaces for artists and arts organizations. The process for establishing live/work space will involve local architects, artists, designers, arts organization and neighborhood residents. Through a series of design workshops (called charettes) and community built projects by members of the local arts community, unique, one of a kind solutions will be realized which will reflect and preserve the diversity and culture of the people of the neighborhood.

Approximately 25 local architects will each lead different design teams on Friday night to brainstorm ideas for designs for six specific San Diego building sites. Teams will be comprised of artists, musicians, designers, developers, arts organizations, contractors and arts supporters. Saturday the architects will draw up blueprint plans based on Friday’s design ideas, and Sunday’s program will involve presenting the the drawings to all participants who are interested in continuing to attend through the weekend.

The result of the collaborative design process will be unique building designs responding to the needs of the artists, musicians, and organizations who will live and work in the buildings. The construction phase of the project aims to also include the community in a series of volunteer-built projects.

Artists, musicians, writers, and arts organizations interested in participating in the workshop are invited to attend. Please help us out by filling out the survey at SURVEY Thanks!

This event is sponsored by Synergy Art Foundation, a non-profit foundation, together with the New School of Architecture.


Cheryl Nickel, 858-243-1312
Email: sdspace4art
See our Facebook page at SanDiego Liveworkspaces Forartists