MDes Students Form Start-Up in Response to COVID-19


09/16/2020 12:00 am

Responding to the need for outdoor dining during COVID-19, MDes cohort members Titus Ebbecke (MDes Spring ’22) and Roland Saekow (MDes Spring ’22) formed a company called Nimble Spaces to provide rentable modular outdoor spaces. Their first location opened in Oakland earlier this month and provided a much-needed outdoor dining area for Momo Ramen on Claremont Ave.

Nimble Spaces aims to transform parking spaces and other underutilized areas into places to gather, dine or work. The idea first emerged from a micro-mobility hack-a-thon sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and EDF Innovation Lab in April 2020. At the hack-a-thon, Titus and Roland met and started working with two Berkeley Master of Architecture students, Abby Gao (M. Arch ’21) and Yifeng Wang (M. Arch ’21). The team won the best implementation plan for their idea of transforming parking spaces into micro-mobility charging parks where electric wheelchair users could recharge.

The following month, the team participated in a second hack-a-thon hosted by InnoDays and won the category “Best Mobility & Living Space.” Berkeley MBA student, Lu Liu (M.B.A. & M.Eng ’21), joined the team as it began the process of incorporating to help local businesses in the Bay Area. Supported by a grant from EDF Innovation Lab, Roland and Titus are continuing to explore new projects to help communities during and after COVID-19.

For more information about Nimble Spaces, its modular outdoor spaces, and this cross-disciplinary Berkeley graduate student team, see this news posting from the College of Environmental Design.