What's happening now at Because We Can

November 2015 Make Magazine

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If you happen to pick up this months issue of Make Magazine, you will see a nice big photo of a piece we made for The Hattiesburg Zoo in Mississippi.
Check it out!

The article is all about the cool things you can do with subtractive fabrication. Which is what we have been integrating into our projects for over 10 years!
If you want to see more about this showcased project check it out on our project page.

East Bay Mini MakerFaire - This Sunday!

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We'll be presenting at East Bay Mini Maker Fair this Sunday, Oct 18th at 12:15PM
Come on by and say hello!

We'll be presenting in the Magnolia Bldg Great Room on the "MAD SKILLZ STAGE"
That alone should make you want to come see us.

Our talk will be on Making to Make: How Creating Our Own Custom Tools Helps Us Make Great Things

We would love to see you. This is a great smaller Maker Faire that is interesting to the whole family.
Sunday, Oct 18th 10AM-5PM.
Park Day School, 360 42nd St, Oakland

Use the discount code: MAKERFRIEND for 15% off tickets - but you must buy tickets BEFORE midnight Sat night as this is no good day of the show.

Maker Faire

New Dolby Headquarters

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The new Dolby Headquarters on Market street in downtown San Francisco has been getting some great press.
We were excited to work on the project, helping to fill the building with walls of Dolby relevant art!

Our projects were mentioned in these recent articles. One in The Chronicle and one in Fast Company.

You can read more about the 16 story office building filled with commissioned art, and see images and descriptions of our pieces in CNET and Business Insider.

To see all the pieces we did for this skyscraper of a building, check out our Dolby Art Walls project page.


Fall 2015 BWC Open House This Friday

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It's time to celebrate the fall, and all the great projects we've been working on. So stop by and join us in the fun!

We are opening our doors for Because We Can's Fall 2015 open house.

We'll be starting early at 5PM and going until 8PM-ish.

We'll be dancing, drinking, snacking, talking, and showing off great projects recently completed and some currently underway. It's a great time to drop by and talk shop with us, too, if you want to learn more about what we do and how we do it.

Kids welcome, but it is a shop and a party. Lots of sharp corners. And they might learn some interesting new words!

Friday, October 2nd

5PM - 8PM

2500 Kirkham St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 922-8846
Click here for the Google Map.

All are invited, so come on by! We'd love to see you.

Knob Wall Video

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A few weeks ago we finished up this cool Knob Wall project we designed for Dolby's new headquarters in San Francisco.
The wall has 1287 knobs along a 40 ft wall. A few of the knobs on the corner control the bottom LED strip, making it a fun, interactive piece.
Here's a quick video and some making of photos!


Come visit us at NewCo Oakland!

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We're very proud to have been included in the NewCo Oakland event.

NewCo is an awesome event that celebrates creative companies. It's sort of a 'distributed conference', where you get to tour more companies than you'd actually have time to see, hear how they do what they do, and meet lots of amazing people.

We'll be opening our doors at 9 AM on October 8th to show off our robot-enabled shop and give a brief talk on one of our favorite topics: Empowerment through digital fabrication and design! We'll be going over our special seven-step process we use to create amazing buildings, interiors, furniture and art using these incredible tools.

We'll also do an interactive demo of on-demand fabrication, and show you how it's truly possible now to make almost anything locally, quickly, and totally custom— for the workplace or the home.

Click Here to register. Space is limited!

It All Comes Together

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At Because We Can, we like to integrate fun and interesting details into our projects. We are primarily a design studio, but by keeping the more elaborate fabrication in house, we have been able to push our projects aesthetics into creative areas, while maintaining the budget. We try to keep everything in house to keep costs down, but sometimes it makes sense to have another shop help with the fabrication.

By working with multiple machines & shops at the same time, we can be efficient and productive. Because of our digital BIM workflow, we can know that it will all come together.

For the Asbury Discovery Center in MS, we sent out the stainless pieces of these window frames to get waterjet cut by another shop.
We fabricated the rest of the parts in our shop, made of wood and exterior rated plastic.

Here the window frame is shown in it's final assembly of stainless steel, black plastic and wooden spacers (unseen).

This rolling bar is another great example. With its gear driven extending wings it had stainless steel parts throughout for both decorative and functional use. The stainless steel parts were cut by a waterjet shop near by. The wooden carcass and other elements were fabricated in our shop, then it was then all assembled like a kit of parts.

The stainless bar pieces, laid out and ready for assembling.

Assembling the bar goes quickly and easily, because everything is modeled to high detail, and then the pieces are created off of that model.

We love adding these details to our projects. We are able to end up with a rich, fun aesthetic that might be too cost prohibitive otherwise. But with the integrated use of BIM and our in house fabrication team, as well as the local shops we use regularly, we are able to get the aesthetic we're hoping while maintaining the budget (and the fun!) of the project.

Oakland Commercial Project

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We're really excited about this project we've been working on in Oakland.
It is part office space, part restaurant, part hang out.
The designs have been really coming along, and soon we'll have lots of stuff to show with lots of information.
For now, here is a sneak at some images.

This is a view of the office. Bringing in some warm textures and plant life to liven up this bunker like space.
M:\BWC Bucket\projects\The Port\Revit Project\Families\ThePort_V2_JeffreyMcGrew5619 - 3D View - OP 5 - Center Lounges.pdf

A cafe design in it's preliminary form. Using more of the modular interlocking wood triangles to create separation between areas.


More early office designs as we are flushing out how the space will look and feel.
M:\BWC Bucket\projects\The Port\Revit Project\Families\ThePort_V2_JeffreyMcGrew5619 - 3D View - OP 5 - At Front Door Looking In

Finally- the outside terrace! We're very excited about this space. We've been working very closely with this client to create spaces that are highly functional and uniquely designed.
And this terrace is no exception. While this outside terrace is all fun and hang out time, a lot has gone into the planning and flow of this design to create an incredibly usable functional fun hang out area. What's not to like!?!

M:\BWC Bucket\Shared Revit Library\Windows\ThePort_Third Floor_JeffreyMcGrew5619.pdf

Corporate Art Walls

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We are in the middle of designing a series of Art Walls for the new Dolby corporate headquarters in San Francisco.
The two that went up last week were fun visual interest walls that add relevant interest to the space.
An 18 floor sky rise in downtown San Francisco, we are just one of a number of artists working on this project.

This ear wall is on a floor where many Dolby engineers sit. Referencing their work in a playful, colorful design of poised ears, listening to the magic of sound.

We worked with another artist who cast the many ears in different colors. Then we needed to place them in perfect rows on the sheets.

After drawing the design up on the computer and cutting the sheets here in our CNC run shop, we created jigs and straight lines to assure each ear was perfectly oriented.

The combination of digital fabrication and smart people on the floor makes for a fun, stunning piece of art, exactly conveying its desired intention.

This next piece was comprised of two 'movie poster' walls that went up on a different floor, showcasing just a few of the movies Dolby has worked on over the years.
These were created with a wheat paste technique, giving the final aesthetic a textured, overlaid look as you would see on the street.



They are both located in high traffic areas, adding relevant interest and starting fun conversations.


The process of creating these was messy but fun. We created these on individual large panels,
allowing us to bring them to the site completed and transform the space overnight.