Making Space for Makers

Within our re/fresh design investigations, we’ve focused on how to repurpose every available space in our current office environment. Every space has the opportunity to bring innovation, value, and foster creative entrepreneurial talent. In today’s industry, nothing is more invaluable to an architecture office than a true makerspace – a place dedicated to building, creating ideas, and generating knowledge. Currently, our model shop is maxed-out of space, crammed with new technologies and material storage, while sharing prime space with an active print shop. As an important part of our overall office scheme, the re/fresh committee took time to investigate this location and try to develop it into a more engaging program.

 Existing model shop

Existing model shop

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Ultimately, we are considering moving one wall – low cost, high impact. By removing the primary boundary between the model shop and print shop, this gives us the opportunity to expand the space for a more fluid, communal use and combine our print and model storage into a more efficient system.

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 Potential layouts for our print room

Potential layouts for our print room

Another thought was to utilize an amenity that most people in our office have never encountered – the basement woodshop. Located in Sub-Basement 02, our woodshop has suffered from a true lack of physical connection to our office space on the 11th floor. Currently, our makerspace’s biggest concern was the space and smell complications from the large laser cutter. Like most academic design institutions, locating the cutter downstairs would alleviate these problems and create a new, active space. With one move, we can create a more fluid and communal model shop in the office space, while creating a more vibrant and active woodshop / building space that can support a lot of our efforts.

 The woodshop in our building basement

The woodshop in our building basement

This thinking speaks to the overall goal of our office redesign – eliminating physical barriers, enhancing community values, creating greater visual connections, and utilizing dynamic technology solutions.