Popup Taco Shop Is Actually A Secret Idea Accelerator And Innovation Lab

Popup Taco Shop Is Actually A Secret Idea Accelerator And Innovation Lab

A seemingly random mashup of tacos and idea coaching aimed to incubate the next big innovation.

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 26 may 2014

During NYCxDesign, a storefront in Manhattan’s Lower East Side was transformed into a taco shop and creativity laboratory. Design Taco was staged by The Design Gym, a NYC community of creative thinkers and problem solvers from across diverse industries and roles.


Design Gym’s Andy Hagerman described the idea behind mixing food with creativity coaching as a way to loosen people up and provide an environment that was more social and relaxed in contrast to an office conference room. Over the span of five days, there were panels, classes and opportunities for walk-in coaching on ways to develop and refine an idea. An outdoor garden space served as the location for the taco stand and lounge.


The project was realized through miLES (made in Lower East Side) an organization that opens underused storefronts to new possibilities, with classes, events, co-working, and short-term space rentals. They offer a Storefront Transformer which is funded through Kickstarter that is a modular, transportable set of furnishing and amenities to program any storefront.

We sat in on an Intro to Sketching class by Daniel Stillman. The session aimed to dispel the stress and self consciousness associated with drawing and offer simple ways to communicate ideas graphically. Here’s a look at what the class was like:









The class wrapped up with some examples of visual recording boards by sketch masters ImageThink.



The Design Gym

Photos: Dave Pinter, The Design Gym



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