“You don’t have to own something to have wonderful things, all you need to own is a great idea.” SEESAW, new space for creatives to open in the heart of Manchester

Philip Hannaway (Left) and Atul Bansal (Right), photographer: Melanie Ann Cionco

A new diverse and inclusive creative space, Seesaw, is opening in Manchester, with a focus on providing a welcoming space of work for creatives and collaborators.

Seesaw, opening this May on 86 Princess Street, created by Atul Bansal, 61, and Philip Hannaway, 44, and David McCall: is a studio for any creator who is interested in working in collaboration and sharing their creativity.

Atul said: “This isn’t a co-working building, this is a space for people who want to share things.

“I think that’s the philosophy of this — it’s not about desks or tables, or how much it costs a month, it’s about what you could do when you share thoughts with other people.”

86 Princess Street entrance, photographer: Melanie Ann Cionco.

The team of Seesaw consists of managers like Katy Morrison, Rhian Charlwood and Caroline Boyd, and queer creators like David McCall and Philip Hannaway.

SEESAW says it is proud of being one of the first studios in Manchester featuring a diverse range of creators.

Philip said: “Many creative spaces can be male-dominated and tech-dominated, we want to fight against that.”

The entrance will feature a sculpture by Liam Fallon, a sculptor whose work is based on queer culture, and a designed mural by Caroline Dowsett just behind the lobby.

Atul said: “You can tell as you walk around [SEESAW] that there is something wonderful happening.”

Lobby area of Seesaw, photographer: Melanie Ann Cionco.

The studio privately opened its doors in the middle of April, and now it has 40% occupancy in memberships filled for just one building, which provides a coffee space, more than 15 desks, and one meeting room.

To access this, and online or physical perks outlined in Seesaw’s website, people have to buy a membership which varies in prices from £99pm to £299pm, with higher prices of £660pm for a private studio.

In terms of prices, both co-founders stated that if needed they will give support to any creator who wants to bring to Seesaw ideas and passion.

Seesaw is already giving space to graphic designers, copywriters, musicians, and marketers.

One designer, Dave Sedgwick, 41, previously working with Philip Hannaway in his coffee houses, TAKK and ÖL Brewery, designed for Seesaw his own vision of the space.

He said: “I wanted to do something that could appeal to writers, architects, photographers, and makeup artists. Anybody who works in the creative industry should feel that the Seesaw brand is appropriate for them and that it represents them as people.”

Dave came up with several of Seesaw’s logo and brand designs.

Dave said: “Initially it was to create the brand identity — I think we presented maybe three or four options.

“And this particular option of maybe having the logo sit very close together or spread out or move up and down, fundamentally that was the concept of a Seesaw: what comes up goes down.

“So, Seesaw was this idea of movement within the building.”

Map of the different creatives studio spaces across Manchester.

Katy Morrison, 32, curator and community and space manager for Seesaw, said Seesaw’s main aim is to be a comfortable space from creators to creators.

She said: “Being a curator is opening something for everyone to join, not only in a metaphysical way but in a literal way as well.”

Singer and songwriter Robin Koob, photographer: Melanie Ann Cionco

The studio hopes to open its doors to more buildings across Manchester, and by next year, get exhibitions running with workshops and teaching programs being planned as well.

Freelancer writer, with no skill but lots of ideas. Mostly focused in Politics, LGBTQA+ issues and Animation. (English is not my first language.)

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