überlin Coworking – End of an Era

by James Glazebrook

We have some sad news – in about a month’s time, we are going close the doors on the überlin coworking space. Our landlord has decided to sell off the building, including the beautiful space that’s been our shared office, photo studio and workshop/party space for nearly two years. We’ve given a lot of thought to starting again in another space, but with demanding day jobs that we love, we know we can’t spare the time and attention another coworking business would need to thrive.

We’re super-grateful for everything we got out of this experience while it lasted. We’ve learned a lot, met a lot of great people, had some great times, and seen them produce a lot of great work. And we’ve benefitted from the help, skills and support of a lovely bunch of people, including family and friends, old and new. We’ve said specific thankyous before, and always missed out people, so let’s just say that you know who you are. If you were at all involved in helping to create the space, make it a success, or keeping us sane while we struggled with the extra work we’d given ourselves, then we will always be grateful. There’d be no überlin without ü! *sniff*

PS this means that Zoë is on the hunt for somewhere to shoot. If you have any leads on commercial spaces, or shared photo studios, drop her an email. Thanks!

überlin: a virtual tour

by James Glazebrook

In Germany, Google are like vampires – you have to let them in. The Street View of our Kiez may be so blurry you feel the need for a cataract check,  but now we have an awesome, interactive 360° tour of the inside of our space. And all because we because we invited, not exactly Google, but the people from Innenpanoramafoto, to come and shoot the interior of the überlin coworking space and photo studio.

Now available in Google Maps, and embedded above, is our new virtual tour. Have a click around and explore our space, where the only blurry bits are our faces. Easter egg: see if you can find where Olive is hiding!

Coconat – a workation retreat

by James Glazebrook


Photo by: Nadja Bülow

We thought we were pretty hot shit when we opened our coworking space, but now it seems that everyone with a spare corner of desk is renting it out to someone else! It seems like the real next big thing is “workations”, which allow you to get away for a while and work in beautiful, natural and usually remote surroundings.

That’s why we were stoked to hear that some friends are planning to open Coconat in the Brandenburg countryside, just an hour outside of Berlin. They’ve found a unique rural property in an old brick-making village, and they’re working to convert it into a work/live space with indoor and outdoor meeting areas, wireless internet, a kitchen serving shared meals, a fire pit and a sauna. We know where we’ll be spending our summers!

The founders of Coconat are now running a crowdfunding campaign to help bring the 1870s villa, which was once a DDR hotel and holiday camp with a forested park, into the digital age. The opening and proof-of-concept phase begins this summer season, in July. If you have some money to spare, are good with your hands, or are just curious to learn more about this inspiring project, check out Coconat on VisionBakery. Help make this dream workplace a reality!

view from front

Photo by: Nadja Bülow

Pro tips: shop at IKEA like a BOSS!

by Guest Blogger

By Danilo Sierra.

Going to IKEA is a pain in the butt, but it is a necessary evil, especially for any manager of an office or coworking space. If have a wallet as deep as the Mariana Trench, go ahead and get everything from somewhere fancy like Modulor or Minimum. And if you have endless amounts of time, get thee to the Trödel shops. However, the rest of us need to prepare for a quest.

Here are some tips on how to tackle your IKEA trip like a pro  <ahem, like James, Zoe and I!> and make the most of out of going there:

1. Be prepared.

Do your research. Make sure you are going to the IKEA closest to you. And measure the space you are buying for, because there is nothing worse than hoarding – especially IKEA furniture.

Use their shitty website and read the notes below each item, which describes its exact size. If you are some kind of retro oddball, use the paper catalogue. But go with a list already made!

Bonus points: add the article numbers (in this format xxx.xxx.xxx) to a printout of a mood board-style wishlist.

2. Measure up!

IKEA think they are helping by giving you those tiny pencils and paper tape measures, but they are complete shit compared to a proper aluminium or wood I’m-a-construction-worker-who-drinks-Sternis-at-9-am kind of meter. You know, the ones that cost two Euros in Bauhaus.

Using a proper meter will help you to measure accurately, check your angles, get a sense of the volume of your space, and save you tons of time.

Pro tip: bring a floor plan drawn to scale. Then you can be sure you’ve bought everything you need, and left space for important things like fire exits and humans.

3. Do it from behind <hehe>

You need to know exactly how much time you have, including the commute. If you have two or more hours, go ahead and run the maze like IKEA suggests/forces you to. But if you followed through on points 1 and 2, you should be able to cheat and start from the back.

Walk in through the out door and go directly to the warehouse. This is the best way to avoid the unnecessary showrooms, impulse-shopping, student-parent combos, new families (gross!) and their strollers. You are here in a professional capacity.

Pro tip: if you do find yourself in the maze, look up the short cuts (yes, they do have them).

4. Use self-checkout.

It is way faster!












Have meatballs for dinner. And if you’ve left yourself tons of time, have meatballs before you shop, and hot dogs after.

As well as these culinary delights, treat yourself to a taxi, Möbeltaxi or delivery service. IKEA do same-day delivery through another company, with the cost based on how much you bought. If you don’t mind waiting something stupid like three weeks, buy online and pay them to assemble the stuff for you. That way, there are fewer things for you to mess up, not least your back.

6. Stay loyal.

Consider signing up for a loyalty program, like IKEA Business or IKEA Family. You will get proper invoices, gift cards, and a not-that-bad user interface which you can use to track your business relationship with IKEA (and download the old invoices if you lose them). It works, bitches!

Try these tips and track how fast you go from UGH to NOM! Meatballs!

Olive at Work

by James Glazebrook


The company I work for asked me to share a photo of my desk, as part of a blog post giving “a small glimpse into our team — one built on a wonderful mix of cultures, interests, and personalities.” And, because no personality is more wonderful than Olive’s we thought we’d pop her in the photo. So, for no real reason, here’s an image of our unofficial office manager sitting at the Chef’s table in our coworking space. If you want to check out my colleagues’ workspaces in Basecamp’s Chicago office, their home, their Airstream RV (!), you can check those out here.

What is überlin?

by James Glazebrook

I recently read a great article by Travels of Adam, in which he talked about getting back to the basics of blogging. It made me think about a fundamental and (for me) important question: what is überlin?

In short, überlin is a blog, coworking space and photo studio. The online part started when we arrived in Berlin four years ago, and the bricks and mortar followed last summer. For the most part, it’s just two of us – James and Zoë, a married couple who moved from London in search of a better life.

But that’s deceptively simple. For years now we have wrestled with an identity crisis, because, going into this, we never thought about what we were doing or what we stood for. We just wrote about our experiences, first privately, then for our friends and family, then for a growing audience who seemed to like what we were up to.

As the blog grew, we were called to think more and more about what überlin means. As people interviewed us, as brands pitched us and we approached brands, as we weighed up the pros and cons of putting all our money into a real-life business, as we struggled to justify keeping this thing alive on top of very demanding day jobs… As we did all this, we were forced to do the one thing that we’d avoided from the start: to define ourselves.

So we had editorial meetings. A lot of them. We had circular arguments that ended with a single piece of paper and these words: “IT’S A BLOG”. We struggled to decide: can we compete with other Berlin blogs run by bigger teams or people with more time? Do we even want to? Are we bloggers with a side-business, or a coworking space with a blog? So many questions!

And what have we concluded?

Mostly, that we’re going to stop worrying about all of this. We run the blog, and the space, because we want to – and that’s how it should be. The people who like us, just like us – our personality, our sense of humour, the fact that we say what we’re thinking. That’s why they read the blog, chat with us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up to come work with us. When we overthink what we’re doing we risk losing everything that makes us, us.

We’ve also realised that überlin is bigger than the both of us. The best part of running a coworking space is being surrounded by interesting people, and we think there’s room for other personalities on the blog too. While the core of überlin will still be Zoë and myself, we’re happy to share the “spotlight” with writers, photographers and interview subjects who offer a different point of view on Berlin.

This year, we’ve purposefully avoided thinking up resolutions for ourselves. But if we were to set some loose goals for überlin, they’d be: do more, worry less, be ourselves and ask for help. If you like the idea of helping to shape the direction of one of Berlin’s biggest English language blogs, or one of the city’s smallest coworking spaces, just drop us an email at contact at uberlin dot co. Let’s make it up as we go along, together!

überlin The ü

Five months of coworking: An überlin update

by James Glazebrook


It’s hard to believe that our coworking space has already been open for five months! It seems like just yesterday that we announced our new venture and started collecting furniture, equipment and, most importantly, awesome people with which to fill our space. We’ve kept things pretty quiet since our super-successful opening party, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. Zoë, myself, and the wonderful community we’ve gathered around ourselves, have been plugging away, producing, promoting and photographing awesome stuff from within our converted biscuit factory.


Here are just a few of the great things to come out of the überlin coworking space and studio in its first five months:

  • Berlin Besetzt, an interactive map showing the development of Berlin’s squatting scene, a work in progress by developer Eike
  • Cumulus Diaries, a beautiful blog by Aussie expat Rachael, all about design, style, people and adventure
  • Our resident startup, Descape, which offers brief getaways into exciting professions. You can even sign up to spend a day with Zoë and find out what it’s really like to be a photographer!
  • Speaking of which, Zoë’s been using our studio to shoot for clients like EtsysisterMAG, Alpha Cruxis and Ableton, as well as her own fashion editorial shoots (check them out here)
  • Freelance recipe developer Sophie has relaunched Das Brunch, a pop-up breakfast experience (nom)
  • And Arielle, Desi and the INgrooves team have distributed a bunch of awesome records from Berlin labels Hotflush and Seppuku, and our personal favourite – Octave Minds, a collaboration between Boys Noize and Chilly Gonzales. Here’s a selection for your listening pleasure:

Want to join us? We’re adding a few more desks into our intimate little coworking space. If you’d like to be in the best place to do your best work – or to rent out our photographic studio – just drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!