Our exploration of the Bay Area to discover innovative uses of 3D printing lead us to a design studio of a new kind. Because We Can is an architecture and interior design studio based in West Oakland. Jeff is architect, Jillian is graphic designer and photographer. They are both makers and entrepreneurs, using digital fabrication and rapid prototyping tools to design and build highly creative projects.
Because We Can is located in what seems at first to be an empty area of Oakland. Only highways, construction and factories around, no offices, no restaurants. But on this side of the Bay, don’t judge on appearances! The neighborhood is on the cutting-edge of conception, design and community-built art installations projects. Here, behind walls of most of the big warehouses, designers and artists are building fire and metal art installations and unique interior designs.
A tour of Because We Can offices shows it right away. The place is both a design studio and a small personal factory. No 3D printers here but a ShopBot, mostly used for small furniture and wood prototypes. The two co-founders (leading a small team, around 4 depending on the current projects) work with the new digital fabrication paradigm in mind. All projects that they design are conceived to be “easily” manufactured thanks to the new rapid prototyping tools available: shopbot, laser cutting, CNC mill, 3D printers…
These new tools, now affordable as a service, allow them to imagine highly creative projects and “make great things”. Take a look for example at this two-story library, desk, storage unit and spiral stairs designed for a loft in San Francisco. Or this rolling fold-up art kiosk for a portable gallery kiosk.
This 3D printed Wikipedia box was designed to help the Wikimedia Foundation raise money and help the brand be more visible. At Because We Can, 3D printing is mostly used for small and precise pieces. The kind of projects Sculpteo is enthusiast to support!
Related articles of the “Sculpteo by the Bay” project:
- Tim O’Reilly talks about the future of digital fabrication at the last East Bay Maker Faire
- A tour at Techshop, space for makers entrepreneurs
- What is “Sculpteo by the Bay”? We want to meet you!
Here is the original post: Because We Can: A Unique Design Build Studio in Oakland Using Digital Fabrication