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Urbana’s new “Hyper Collaboration” scene

[co][lab], a new creative co-working space in downtown Urbana, hosted their first open house this past Thursday. The open house took place in one of the Busey Center buildings on Main Street, which owner Matt Cho recently acquired with help from the City of Urbana. The pear and brie pizza was tasty, the Red Stripe was cold, and the open house attendees were buzzing about the simple, open space where members of [co][lab] will soon be rubbing shoulders and participating in what Cho described as “hyper collaboration.”

According to Cho, the 2,800 sq. ft. space will eventually be able to accommodate up to 13 businesses of designers, developers, and makers. These businesses will include Norden, a German design team that includes designers Johann Rischau and Anna Gutsch from Hannover. After graduating from the University of Illinois’ School of Art and Design, Rischau and Gutsch are excited to begin work in what will be their studio space in downtown Urbana.

Cho, a business developer, said he became interested in the coworking movement after observing typical 9–5 office experiences in New York and San Francisco. He envisions that [co][lab] and the building next door, which is slated to hold a new food collective called Cafeteria & Co., will give Urbana a taste of “mixed use on steroids.”

[co][lab’s] creative co-working space and Cafeteria & Co. will fill downtown Urbana buildings that were previously used primarily for storage.

Watch for [co][lab]’s grand opening in September.

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