coLab 2.5: The coLab Strikes Back (Or: Renovation Season is Coming!)

AKA A Good Day to coLab Hard

AKA Harry Potter and the Prisoner of coLab

AKA National Lampoon’s Christmas coLab

AKA The coLab Knight Rises

AKA I Still Know What You Did Last coLab

AKA The coLab: The Desolation of Smaug

AKA The coLab Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest

AKA Indiana Jones and the coLab Crusade

AKA coLabbinator 3: Rise of the Machines

 

 

That’s right – you heard it here first, folks: the Okanagan coLab is up to some big, bold stuff once again. After a lot of planning and logistical work, we’re about to kick off Phase 2 of the expansion.

Our co-founder Shane has been hard at work herding all of the necessary cats (and then proceeding to dress them in little construction worker costumes with little hardhats, little orange safety vests, and little power tools), and our resident interior designer Jules Galloway of Evolve Design Build has poured her heart and soul into a design that will provide exceptional functionality while maintaining coLab’s fun, creative vibe. Jules is an expert at rejigging spaces to meet new challenges, and we’re super stoked to have her on board.

Since taking over the former Accelerate Okanagan space in March, coLab has expanded into multiple different areas – we now have the original coLab central space, plus coLab West Campus and the coLab Plaza. Some furniture rearrangement and a coat of pink paint later, and the coLab looks almost brand new.

Jules says that the coLab renovation project is a perfect example of creativity through constraint:

“We try to find new space in existing spaces. You don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve big changes in a space – some paint and a few wall decals paired with lots of creativity can make for an astounding transformation.”

The new design is a culmination of extensive idea generation sessions and lots of feedback. coLab’s goal with this renovation is to ensure the physical space meets members’ wants and needs, and to that end, Shane and Jules have been hosting roundtable discussions, distributing surveys, and harassing members for opinions in an effort to engage coLab’s membership and make this renovation about the members.

Thanks to this process, the goals for the redesign quickly became clear: To create interconnectivity and consistent branding throughout the space. Collaboration and maintaining communication between the members is key.

Jules appreciates the balance between the privacy of her own studio, the easy access to meeting rooms, and the open space available for mingling at coLab. As a coLab member, she’s done a lot of collaborative work with other members in the past – and that means she’s seen firsthand the challenges and opportunities in the present coLab space.

“Being a coLab member is like constantly attending a great networking event”, she says. And with the new space, meeting and connecting with people will get even easier.

In the coming weeks we’re going to start knocking down walls to create a more open feel, including the glass wall that currently separates the open coworking space from the meeting area in what is currently Suite 205. There will be a new, central kitchen (yay!) with a coffee plaza (double-yay!) where members can have lunch together (triple-yay!!). The old, clunky reception desk will give way to an open, welcoming entrance area.

All renovations will be done during evenings and weekends, so members can still focus on their work.

(That means no annoying power tools buzzing all around you drowning out your phone calls and shaking your coffee cup! Instead, you can simply keep doing your work in peace.)

This is an exciting transformation and we can’t wait to see the new New coLab in a couple of months!