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Nimble Spaces

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On-demand Flexible Urban Space



This startup project emerged from a hackathon to increase accessibility through micro-mobility parklets. Amid COVID-19 and the close of indoor business, we see parking spaces as opportunities to be transformed into outdoor meeting, dining, and retail spaces. Last summer, we built an outdoor dining and micro-mobility hub for Momo Ramen in Oakland to support local businesses and validate our concept. The team was fortunate to be a part of Berkeley Skydeck Hotdesk 20Fall and Big Ideas 2021 Finalists.


Roland Saekow

Yifeng Wang

Titus Ebbecke

Lu Liu


EDF Energy


April, 2020 - July, 2021

My Contribution

Customer discovery

Product design

Client outreach

Social media marketing

Volunteers recruiting & management

  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

The Challenge

Support local communities affordably

High costs of serving customers outdoors

Pirozzi spent $25,000 on the design and construction of an outdoor parklet.


A lack of safe spaces
under shelter-in-place

“Businesses lack flexible spaces to adapt and evolve.”



Flexible on-demand urban spaces

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Attract Customers 

with highly visible outdoor areas


with short-term spaces 
for retail and advertising


with space to foster social interactions

Customer Discovery

Businesses are willing but hesitate to invest
in outdoor spaces such as parklets.

Customer Discovery

Key Insight 1

Flexible outdoor space is in high demand

“We are willing to invest in necessary facilities to create outdoor dining spaces because it helps our COVID recovery.” 

- Prett Levitt 
Owner of Saul’s Restaurant
& Delicatessen 


Key Insight 2

The construction is time-consuming and expensive

“The parklet did help us attract more customers, but it took us more than $15k and almost a full year to build one.” 

- Jim Trevor 
Owner of Artichoke Pizza 


Key Insight 3

Foot traffic helps to attract more customers

“Any traffic will be great for us because it increases foot traffic and attracts more customers to the restaurant.” 

- Laura Dutti 
Owner of Soi 4 Thai


Industrial Landscape

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By analyzing existing solutions on outdoor spaces, we find opportunities for flexible rental models, affordable modules, and quick deployment. Especially during COVID, business needs flexible spaces to adapt to rapidly changing situations. We also find partnership opportunities with the micro-mobility providers and charging supplies.

Opportunity Areas

Support local businesses to expand outdoor spaces affordably and flexibly during the pandemic

Rental Model

to survive in the rapidly-changing market

Affordable Modular Space

for businesses struggling during the pandemic.

Quick Deployment

to make a difference instantly.



Modular Construction & On-demand Rental

How it works


Select modules

Receive Nimble Spaces

Gain customers

Business Model

Lower construction costs by generating additional revenue (ads + micro-mobility charging)


Potential income from micro-mobility charging and advertisement to offset parklet construction costs.

Long-term Vision

Transform urban experience through outdoor modules


Fast deployment of modular and flexible outdoor seating solutions

Hands-on experiences of physical good through micro-retail locations

Transform under-utilized spaces for community events



Visualize and validate our concept

4 days, $6000 (Nimble Spaces) vs 1 yr, $15000+ (traditional parklets)

Digital Prototype

Modular construction

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Physical Prototype

Construction at our pilot location

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Video clip on construction process of one of the partitions


Add a micro-mobility hub


To further test our concept, we added a micro-mobility hub for scooter charging in October.

Pilot Gallery


Serving 20% more customers with 60% costs reduction

Daily Customer Number

Costs to build a parklet

Time for construction









What I've learned

For me, the journey of Nimble Spaces was a precious learning experience, beginning with user research and eventually involving me in client negotiation and project implementation. Collaborating with teammates with engineering and business backgrounds, I was able to learn from each of them on various aspects including leadership, critical thinking, and persistence, and got inspired by their opinions from different perspectives.

As startup founders, we each wear multiple hats, and in addition to product design, my role was to keep in regular communication with our pilot location client to learn. These conversations were crucial for us to receive their feedback and think up even more ways to innovate and improve our concept in the future.  On the business side, I had to skill up in terms of social media marketing and business strategy. Besides, I also have developed my problem-solving abilities in different scenarios. Specifically, I created a volunteer program for our company and recruited 6 volunteers from the M.Arch program at UC Berkeley to support local businesses and build the parklet with us. I feel grateful for the sours and sweets that have happened to me, and I believe that going forward this kind of doubled experience, as a  designer and an entrepreneur, will help me to be a better colleague and a better innovator. 

What we could have done better

More iteration - After we finished the construction, we kept regular communication with the restaurant owner to learn her feedback and insights. We learned a lot from these conversations to improve the concept but we didn't end up implementing new changes to enhance the outdoor dining experiences. For instance, we learned from the restaurant owner that they need rain-proof support in winter, so we redesigned the canopy using rain-proof materials but we failed to implement it. If there were another chance, I would insist on iterating on our existing prototypes to improve our solution instead of pivoting to another direction. 

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Thanks to all the team members to make Nimble Spaces happen during the pandemic!

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