The Lab is a co-working space in downtown Oakland designed to support visionary changemakers, artists activists, and social justice revolutionaries with the space to make their work easier and to keep them from being priced out of the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to office space, members of the The Lab have access to a host of meeting spaces, outdoor patios, and technology offerings like videoconferencing. The space also features vibrant artwork by artists from member organization Culturestrike, including some of the groundbreaking social justice artwork of Favianna Rodriguez, our newest board member.
What is your favorite feature in your space?
One of our favorite features of this space is a beautiful mural in the entryway that really defines the space. It was created by Oree Original the same artist that creates the black and white portraits of those killed by police violence for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Also the phone booth rooms feature whimsical interactive décor for stress relief and private time during phone calls. We love the room with coloring books and markers to encourage changemakers to take a few moments to relax and recharge or the pet room that features our Labmate’s critters, or our space out room which has a private nap area under the table.
What has been your biggest challenge with your center?
An unfortunate big surprise early on were the substantially higher than expected utility costs. This meant that we had to pass more costs on to our members than we expected very shortly after we all moved in. Unfortunately, these costs are due to how the building is designed, so there is little that we can do to reduce them.
What are your favorite resources that you would recommend to others?
I love the newsletter that Civic Makers puts out every month. It’s packed with some of the most useful information I’ve ever seen in a newsletter. They feature a community leader each time with a picture and interview, then have a comprehensive job listing section, an events section and more.