20140612_153146Innovation in professional practice is critical to the successful adaptation of a business to its changing environment. Collaboration is a core ingredient of innovation. Effective collaboration requires space.

Design Lab is a centre for innovation, collaboration and thought leadership in Nanaimo. Created by the Nanaimo Design Nerds Society and supported by the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Area, Ignite Nanaimo and Holger Enterprise, Design Lab is a shared work space, meeting room, idea pollinator and incubator of experimental thought rolled into one tightly programmed package.



Strategically located in the China Steps neighbourhood in the arts district of downtown Nanaimo, the 450 sq.ft. former video rental storefront was retooled into a machine for collaboration. Blackboards mounted on flanking walls define the character of the space, recalling the convention of a classroom laboratory and inviting shared graphic expression. The end-wall is blank anticipating a multi-media projector surface. A central table, simply furnished with folding chairs, power and internet provide the basic elements of an effective meeting room or work space.


Design Lab is an experiment in agile work-space and has already proven to be a powerful tool in the delivery of low-cost/high-impact design interventions in the City.

Design Team:
Nanaimo Design Nerds
Mark Ashby Architecture
Awarewolf Creative (Graphic Design)