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Pay For Your Time At Ziferblat


Written by Max Metzger
03 Monday 03rd March 2014

If you’re reading this, chances are you are unemployed or perhaps some poncy kind of artist.  I know, because I’m both.  Seeing as how your time is now cheaper than it will ever be, you should visit Ziferblat, Shoreditch's newish creative space.

It’s a fairly unique concept, like a coffee-shop but without the vigilant eye of the manager that tells you to leave if you don’t buy a third frappucino. Instead, you pay for your time (3 pence per minute) and by paying for your time you become a partner in the space, with all the coffee and pie you can shovel down your destitute throat. But It’s not just for free coffee, navel-gazing and attempting to finish your screenplay, they host lectures and concerts and show movies.

They seem like an earnest bunch of rascals, saying that there is no business model, only the means for them to continue as a cheap space for people to meet and create and whatnot. Not only that, but its a bit of a democratic -if also a pinko commie- institution; it relies on volunteering in exchange for free time and they’re currently working on an app ‘that will allow visitors to change Ziferblat at their own discretion: people will be able to vote for changes, and their choices will determine the entire interior life of the space’

It all started in Moscow, when a group of poetry enthusiasts needed a place to meet. They started renting a tree house which gained a life of its own, as creative types flocked towards it.  Though originally funded by voluntary donations, they started to franchise out around Eastern Europe, eventually reaching 8 completely independent Ziferblats with only the founding principle of an open creative community. In November of last year London’s Ziferblat opened their doors overlooking Shoreditch church. Ziferblat might not cure you of art-engendered starvation, but it’s probably a better place to create things than in your flat where you live with your microwave and its far better than dodging a slew of prams, twats and 3 pound coffee at Starbucks. 

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