Designbox Moves Up

Designbox, a Raleigh design and innovation firm and home to inventive culture, has announced its move, in April 2016, from the Raleigh Warehouse District to Glenwood South. The new location will be above the just re-opened Helios coffee shop at 413 Glenwood Avenue.

Over the past 15 years, Designbox has been a pioneer of revitalizing downtown culture. Designbox hosted some of the earliest First Friday Art Walks, pioneered shared working spaces, and created big downtown events like SPARKcon and PBaRt. They also created the website for the Raleigh Warehouse District, which has been their home for the past nine years.

“Raleigh has changed and grown so much since we’ve been downtown, and we are excited to shift our involvement from our early foundation-level activities of promoting local creative culture to elevating the level of creative discourse in the community,” says Designbox co-founder, Aly Khalifa. “Glenwood and Downtown Raleigh used to be light years away from each other,” adds co-founder, Beth Khalifa, “But they have never been closer. We are inspired to help bridge the gap.”

One element Designbox will be changing is the elimination of the shared working spaces. Instead, Aly and Beth say their relationships with creative design thinkers will be through intentional and regular events rather than being together each day.

“The first Designbox space was an early experiment with shared working space,” Aly notes. “We never really called it co-working. As we proceeded into different spaces, our unchanging goal was always to have long-term relationships and meaningful collaboration with Designbox members.”

It seems that worked well over the years, and one of the first members, Paul Friedrich, was an integral part of each Designbox space since the beginning. Many established members of the design and creative community have been a part of Designbox. This last space at 307 W. Martin St., included Dick Jenkins, Architect, Karl Sakas and as well as Friedrich.

“When we started Designbox, we were one of the only places creative workers could set up shop and collaborate,” say Aly, “now there are lots of co-working and other flexible places for people to go. We’ll be sad to miss rubbing elbows with some of our longtime friends, but we think the social scene of the Helios shop will allow for fun and dynamic interactions with colleagues and clients.”

Through their collaboration with Karl Sakas, Designbox has been hosting a lecture series called Creative Collisions. The monthly series has been thought-provoking and popular, often resulting in a standing-room-only event. “It’s at a point where we can’t really host these events to the degree we would like to, but having a partner like Helios will allow people to enjoy first-class accommodations while we focus on first class content,” mentions Beth.

Regarding their new location, Aly adds, “We have been big fans of Helios and the new team putting it back together. With our history of designing gourmet coffee and tea products, we are thrilled by this one-of-a-kind opportunity to be neighbors and to collaborate with one of the best coffee shops in town.”

Designbox will open in the new space on Glenwood Ave in early April, 2016.

For more information, contact Beth Khalifa.