Orbital is both a collective workspace home to a multi-disciplinary community of creators, and a studio for building networks.
The space is located in the Lower East Side at 155 Rivington Street, an historic 6,000 square foot space split across 3 separate floors.
As a studio, we believe success for any creator is a function of whether they have access to relevant networks.
- Read and agree to our Code of Conduct
- Read through the House Rules.
- Add yourself to the member directory and homepage
- Need storage? If you’d like a cubby on FL3 for your personal belongings contact Gary.
- We rely on Google Groups for email announcements and to provide access control to members-only resources (like the spreadsheet above and conference rooms). If there’s a different Google email address you’d like to use, email Gary and let him know.
- Setup Slack.
- Add a profile photo with your actual face so that folks know what you look like.
- Feel free to mute everything except #155, which contains messages relevant to those in the space (free food in the kitchen, visiting guests, lost and found).
- Keep in mind that Orbital is a shared workspace. Be mindful of whether your own behavior is adversely impacting other people.
- You can begin your membership whenever you’re ready—just let us know what day.
- Your membership fee covers the subsequent month of access.
- Membership is month-to-month—there’s no commitment.
- To cancel, just let us know prior to the start of the next billing cycle. (If you provide more than 30 days notice, we’ll pro-rate the balance in the event that your planning to depart mid-cycle.)
- We don't support pausing a membership. (In order to keep our prices as low as possible for everyone, we need confidence in our recurring cash flow. Otherwise we’d have to price in the risk and raise rates for everyone.)
- If you run into a rough patch, or if the nature of your work changes let's talk about it and we'll figure something out.
- There are no initiation or closing fees.
- The replacement fee for lost keys is $20.
Code of Conduct
- Everyone is expected to abide by our Code of Conduct, whether they interact online or in-person.
- Content posted on Slack is private unless they're in #jobs or #please-retweet. Don't repost anything publicly unless you have permission. We operate Slack under Chatham House Rule:
Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.
- Bathrooms are all-gender. (Dudes: please put the toilet seat down when you are finished.)
- Bring your used cups and dishes (and those of your guests) down to the FL2 dishwasher. If you use a dish from EA1’s dishrack on FL4, wash it when you’re done.
- Separate paper from plastic / glass / aluminum recycling.
- When something in the space breaks, report it in #155 so that others know what to avoid.
- Lock up if you’re the last one out. Instructions are here.
- Except for service dogs, Orbital is a pet-free space.
- Turn off the sound on your laptops, phones and devices.
Currently, the space is configured as such:
- Event Space / Kitchen, available for use when it isn’t booked on the calendar.
- If the weather’s nice, also consider the back patio:
- General Workspace.
- The Front Half is exclusive to Everybody at Once
- The Back Half is General Workspace.
|Video/Phone Calls||Book a conference room, use a phone booth room, or go to FL2 and use headphones|
|Meetings||Book a conference room, use a phone booth room, or go to FL2|
|Standups||Book a conference room, use a phone booth room, or go to FL2|
|Pair Programming||Use the pairing station in the back of FL3 (or go down to FL2)|
|Side-by-Side Work||Use the pairing station in the back of FL3 (or go down to FL2)|
|Quiet work space||Headphones and Earplugs|
Note: If a conversation turns into a meeting, please take it to a conference room or down to FL2.
We use Google Calendar to manage the conference room reservations.
Reserve the conference rooms whenever you’re using them so that others don’t mistakenly assume they’re available and inadvertently reserve them. If that happens, please be gracious about getting kicked out.
The small conference rooms on FL3 are first-come, first-serve, and don’t require booking.
How to Book a Room
Add the rooms to your Google Calendar by clicking on this magic link.
Create an Google Calendar event and invite the email address corresponding to the desired room
|FL2 Front Tablefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|FL3 Conference Roomemail@example.com|
|FL4 Conference Roomfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|FL4 Back Long Roomemail@example.com|
|FL4 Whiteboard Villagefirstname.lastname@example.org|
(pro-tip: add these rooms to your Contacts to enable auto-complete:
- Save your event—you’ll receive a notification if the room has been declined, in which case it will look like this:
If it was accepted, it will look like so:
Please refrain from booking all-day events in any of the FL3 or FL4 conference rooms. If you'd like exclusive use of it for the day, you're welcome to rent it out.
If you'd like to run a larger event at Orbital, or if you're using the space to please contact Gary to review logistics before reserving the space.
Printing & Scanning
The Printer is located on FL3 opposite the bathrooms and is on loan to us courtesy Ben Smyth.
How to Print
Download Mac drivers for "Brother MFC-J6910DW" here.
Go to System Preference > Printers & Scanners > Add Printer (the ‘+’ icon)
Setup like this and you should be able to print and scan
How to Scan
Put your document into the document feeder (it's the thing on top)
Launch the Preview application
File -> Import from Brother MFC-J6910DW…
Ink Cartridge refills and extra paper is located in the drawers below the printer. (Additional paper is available on the metal shelves to the right of the printer.) If we run out, email email@example.com
Note: If you just installed the drivers, you may need to restart your computer before the scanner shows up in Preview
Orbital does not provide communal drinks or snacks, so please do not help yourself to drinks/snacks you find in the space, unless directed otherwise in Slack.
Label your food. Unlabeled food will occasionally be thrown out of the fridge.
Snacks on FL4 are for the Everybody at Once team, not for general members.
Please don’t leave food out in the open as it will attract pests. If you’ve put something out for people to share, please make sure you’ve disposed of it before you leave.
- Please do not bring space heaters down to FL2 (electricity on FL2 costs us $$$$).
Heating is manually managed via the thermostat on the window sill opposite the small conference rooms. It is hella confusing, and I've come up with a hacky way to manage it.
To turn heat on: Press HOLD then toggle the WARMER button until you reach a comfortable temperature (73 - 74 degrees works well). If the thermostat is not set to HOLD, the heat may not actually be fully on in the space.
To turn heat off: Press "RUN PROGRAM"
Heat is provided via a gas-powered blower in the back of the space. The unit is controlled via a wall switch, marked "heater".
To turn heat on: Flip switch up. It may take a minute or two for it to turn on. If it doesn’t come on, make sure that the thermostat on the other side of the door frame is turned up > 65 degrees.
To turn heat off: Flip switch down.
FL2 Circuit Breaker
The electrical on FL2 is somewhat temperamental. If you attempt to use the microwave in the Kitchen while the A/C in the side window is turned on, the circuit breaker will trip.
To remedy the situation, here's what you need to do:
- Locate the fuse box opposite the FL2 refrigerator.
- Look for the fuse labeled "E Wall + Microwave". It should be in a neutral state (neither on nor off).
- Flip it fully to the right (off) and then back to the left (on)
- Then, turn off the A/C on the side wall (closest to the Kitchen) before you activate the microwave.
- Proceed to Microwave your thing.
- Turn the A/C back on when you're done.
Over the years, I've figured out the optimal plunging technique and so I would like to share that with you all.
The key is to (a) get a good seal, and then (b) use short, rapid strokes until you feel a change in pressure.
Here's a video demonstrating:
Orbital is a tiny independent 1-person business, so as a result we don't have a lot of amenities or services, and we definitely can't throw money at problems.
In designing how Orbital the space operates:
- Everyone should feel safe and productive.
- Charge people as little as possible.
- Prevent contention from happening in the first place.
- Running Orbital shouldn't be a full-time job.
- Minimize buzzer usage.
The value of being an Orbital NYC member is more than just access to a physical space—it's access to a trusted community where people can feel supported in the pursuit of their aspirations.
We facilitate a variety of lightweight in-person and online opportunities for members to access advice, feedback and support from each other, when they need it, including:
- Weekly informal show & tell lunches to share ideas and updates
- Casual social events and dinners
- Slack channels dedicated feedback on in-progress work, as well as general advice.
Here's how they all work.
Schedule: Once every two months
How to Participate: Gary will send out an email when it’s time to submit questions
Show and Tells
Show and Tells provide creators with a weekly deadline to work towards.
On Thursdays at noon (show up with lunch in hand) each person gets 10-15 minutes to show & tell something they’ve made that week.
You can show whatever you want: design mocks, functioning prototypes, text, a sketch, a poem, artifacts from your research, or you humming a few bars from a new song you wrote.
If you have questions, post them in #show-and-tell.
- Schedule: Every Thursday at Noon in the FL2 Kitchen.
- How to Participate: Just show up
State of the Orbital
Every six months, we invite members to publicly share lessons learned (personal and/or professional) and their next steps on their respective projects. Here’s a recent recap.
- Schedule: Twice a year, usually January and July.
- How to Participate: Gary will send out an email when it’s time to sign up
Most of these involve using Slack and/or making it easy for folks to help you.
Get Advice & Feedback
- Go to the #advice channel in Slack (also consider #coding-advice if relevant).
- Post a link to #design-feedback on Slack.
- Post a link to an editable Google Doc to #writing-feedback on Slack.
- Attend a Show and Tell (every Thursday at noon in the FL2 Kitchen)
Host a Guest
Guests are welcome to drop in and work for the day for free.
- If your guest is technically here for business reasons or if they’d like to stay longer than a day, please purchase a day or week pass and Gary will get them a key for the duration of the stay:
- If this is their first time in the space, please have them opt-in to our Code of Conduct.
- Send them a link to this website so they understand the rules of the space: https://help.orbital.nyc
- As a courtesy to the other members, please announce guests in #155 on Slack, like so:
Pro-tip: when receiving your guests, hang out on FL2 so you can easily receive them on the FL2 landing, show them the bathroom, and/or walk them to the kitchen for a glass of water.
Host an Event
- Post it in #155.
- Reserve the appropriate space on the calendar.
External or Paid Events
- Ask Gary.
- If you're using the space to make money (offsite, workshop, etc), Orbital should get a cut of it.
- Upon approval, reserve the appropriate space on the calendar.
- Use the Event Checklist
Before the Event
- Photograph the space before you start moving things around so that you have a reference for putting things back afterwards.
- If your event is setting up or takes place during the day, email the members (firstname.lastname@example.org) the day before to let them know where not to put their bikes, whether they can use the kitchen for lunch/coffee, whether their stuff in the fridge will be moved/remain accessible. Be clear about what the members can or can’t do.
- If non-members (vendors, volunteers, etc...) need to come in and out of the space for preparation, ask Gary for a key so they don’t constantly buzz the door.
- As the sponsor of the event, you’re responsible for receiving all deliveries to the space. This includes listening for and answering the buzzer. Please give Gary a heads up so he knows when he can ignore the buzzer.
During the Event
- Make sure your guests don’t mix trash and recycling, as the recycling won’t be picked up if there’s visible trash in it. Similarly, plastic/metal/glass needs to be separate from paper, else we’ll get fined.
- Designate a volunteer to monitor the buzzer and/or greet and direct people into the space. If you’ve propped open the door in preparation for your guests’ arrival, please remember to close it after everyone arrives.
After the Event
- Reset the furniture back to its original position.
- Survey all of the surfaces (tables, shelves, counters, window ledges) and pickup trash, cups, dishes, etc. leftover from guests. Look for food stains and wipe down any surfaces.
- If you place any leftover food in the fridge, please label it so we know when we can throw out. There are ziploc bags in the cabinet next to the pots/pans if you'd like to take food home.
- Do not run the dishwasher unless you will be available to empty it when it’s done. (By default, the members assume the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty.)
- On Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday: If you have excess trash (i.e. you have tied-up trash bags that are not in a bin), please place trash on the curb directly in front of our door. Please do not place trash in front of 153 Rivington (the building to the left as you exit).
- On Tuesday: If there’s excess recycling (i.e. the bins are full, or there’s tied-up bags not in a bin), please take out the recycling to the curb.
- If you’ve used any of the linens/tableclothes, please wash them and return them back to the white cubbies.
- If you’ve borrowed any office supplies (tape, markers, pens, etc…), please remember to replace them.
- If anything breaks in the place, please let Gary know so he can fix or replace it.
- If you’ve given out keys, remember to ask for the keys back.
If you have any questions at all, ask Gary via Slack or text (415-205-9319)
If you are the last one out on a floor, please lock up.
Here’s how to do so:
- In the Summer time, turn off all the A/C’s and close all windows.
- In the Winter time, turn off the heater on FL4. Leave the heaters on FL2 and FL3 on.
- On FL3, check that the metal shutters in the back conference room are closed.
- On all floors: turn off all the lights
- Lock up FL3 and FL4. Leave FL2 unlocked.
- Questions? Text Gary: 415-205-9319
Make an Announcement
- Email the members: email@example.com
- Post it in #announcements
- Ask for a signal boost by posting a link to a tweet in #please-retweet
Meeting folks can be a challenge given that everyone is on their own schedule.
- Be helpful on Slack (in particular, #advice, #coding-advice, #design-feedback, #writing-feedback, #please-retweet are all places where people will be asking for help)
- Invite folks to eat lunch with you via #lunch. Here are some nearby options
- Regularly share updates with the group, either on Slack or IRL at Show and Tell. In doing so, you're making it easy for people to get to know you.
If there's someone specific you'd like to meet, find them on Slack and message them directly. If you'd like an introduction to someone, email Gary a Forward Intro
Please do not send personal packages to Orbital.
As an alternative:
- hold your package at a UPS Access Point or Fedex location;
- send your Amazon delivery to the Amazon Locker: Neely (142 Delancey) or other nearby Amazon Lockers;
If you need to receive a work-related package, please include FL2 in the address, otherwise items will get shipped to the ground floor bar.
Refer a New Member
Our current membership plans are listed here: https://orbital.nyc/plans
We're open to individuals and teams of 2.
This could include:
- Remote Employees of distributed teams
- Full-time and part-time Freelancers
- Founders of for-profit companies (venture backed or bootstrapped) or non-profit organizations
- Independent Creators
- Mid-career Free Agents who are taking a break in order to explore their options.
Because we're a shared space and community, we’re not a great fit for those who:
- frequently host clients or guests
- spend more time inside a conference room than outside
- have significant storage needs
- are seeking short-term or interim work space
If there's someone you'd like to recommend:
- Message Gary w/relevant links/info.
- Share our pricing info w/them to see if it's a fit: https://orbital.nyc/plans
- Invite them to come work out of the space for a day as your guest, ideally on Thursdays so they can come to #show-and-tell and potentially meet some of the other members.
Report a Problem
Code of Conduct Violation
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, immediately contact the admins (Anne Libby, Chris Willard, Gary Chou, Sara Chipps):
- Via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Individually via Slack: @anne, @cw, @gary, @Sara C
We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.
We reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.
Problem with the Space
- If it's something affects other people, please post it in #155 on Slack, or, if urgent, email email@example.com. That way, people aren't stumbling onto the same problem over and over.
- If the problem requires a bit more discretion, DM @gary on Slack or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.