The Green Scene: Collab Space

4:15 p.m. Collab Space

From engineers to writers, members of Collab Space in the West Village have full access to a 5,000-square-foot office space that includes tools ranging from industrial sewing machines to electronics equipment. In one room you find an architect drafting a sketch for a new sustainable building project and in the other a group of Brooklyn high school students working with soldering irons on a robotics project. Marc and Adina Levin used to be in the garment and promotions business, but Adina explained how things began to change: "We would go into a factory where there were hundreds of people working and those factories diminished into sales offices where the work was being sent overseas."

Witnessing this change, they decided to build a place where people across disciplines could come together and create. The idea behind the space, Adina says, is to promote "localized manufacturing where people are craftsmen again, where people are actually making things that have viability and sustainability and practical applications for the community for which they are making the product. That doesn't exist anymore, but that is something that can be brought back because everything has an opportunity to be reinvented and recreated right now."

Marc and Adina scoured old barns in upstate New York for reclaimed wood, doors and windows and built the desks and walls with bamboo and sustainable materials. Their next project: a 25,000-square-foot West Village rooftop garden, which will produce organic nutrient-rich vegetables for both the restaurants that will pay and the community that needs it most.

Other similar spaces to check out: Corps Green Spaces

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