Jillian Northrup's blog

Talking with Robots about Architecture

When The Interval at Longnow launched its speaker series, we jumped at the opportunity.
Giving a talk in a subject we are passionate about in a space we designed was a delightful privilege.

The Interval at Longnow has just launched it's updated website, and with it, videos of a select speakers.
We are proud to be able to share this awesome presentation that Jeffrey McGrew gave: "Talking with Robots about Architecture"

Jeffrey McGrew is "the co-founder of Because We Can, the architecture/design firm that designed The Interval at Long Now, talks about the future of building: automation, communication, and whether "robots" will change everything.
An informed and realistic overview of how architects and builders use automation today and how they may use it tomorrow."

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Faceted Ceiling Design

Earlier this year we completed a faceted ceiling design in a vibrant downtown Oakland office.
These faceted panels were designed to cover up the installed ceiling infrastructure, help with office acoustics and add visual interest.

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The complex ceiling panels had to integrate into the new infrastructure being put in place.
Working closely with the owners and the other contractors involved in the renovation, we used 3D scanning & BIM management to make the project a success.

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The panels were created in smaller units so they could be easily brought into the space.

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A pattern of perforations were cut into the panels for aesthetic interest and acoustics.
Sound absorbing material behind the perforations help with this open office sound issues.

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Bold gold and white colors now cover the ceiling in a dramatic effect.

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Now a dramatic effect as the ceiling is in place. Bright colors reflect light downward to create a brighter office without harsh lighting.
The bounce light off the panels is a soft light, the panels are beautiful to look at and the sound acoustic material helps with office noise.
Form and function working well together make for another successful office space!

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Read more about this project on our portfolio page.

Big wall, Big Sign

A really big wall needs a really big sign! And this really big sign now adorns the really big wall at Clifbar in Emeryville, CA.
This now covered wall is a nice addition to this large common room used for all hands meetings.

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We love supporting our local client's renovation needs, and Clifbar is always up to something interesting!
Working with the aesthetics of Clifbar in mind, we collaborated with the Clifbar team to come up with this raw plywood finish, lightly color tinted in three different tones.
This gave the sign a subdued patchwork assembled look that goes with the Clifbar branding.

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Installing this piece up high was a big tall job, but nothing we can't handle. Just another big job for a big wall!

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BWC NewCo session - Feb 7th

We are getting excited for another year of being involved in the Bay Area NewCo event!

We will be hosting a morning session on Feb. 7th at 9:30 AM -- at our main office in Oakland.
It will be a fun & engaging hour.
Jillian and Jeffrey will be giving a tour of the office & fabrication facility, as well as giving a presentation of the back end of Because We Can.
We'll talk about how we work together in house and with outside contractors, using the best tech we can get our hands on to coordinate our projects accurately and efficiently:
an ever moving target in the construction world.

See the full schedule of events and host companies here.
Get 25% off ticketsby using our promo code: BayHC

Hope to see you there & here!

Reclaimed Wood Reception Desk

Here is a fun project we did for a neighbor of ours just down the street.
To help them update their office, we designed and fabricated this large reception desk using reclaimed wood brought down from Oregon.
The style was perfect to match the raw aesthetic they have in their office.

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Laying out the pattern for the boards and getting the corners tight and clean was a prime focus for this design.

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We love having our fabrication shop as part of our design firm.
It allows us to be fussy about the details, and make small design changes quickly to assure every piece of our projects comes out as beautiful as it can, while also being the perfect for the space.

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No matter the size of the project, we enjoy sweating the details.
Seeing a space that we designed, filled with our striking, beautifully crafted pieces is the best.

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Happy 2017- May your year be filled with delight

We had many ups and downs in 2016, but overall it was a year filled with great projects and great people.
We ended it with a fun new event we hope will become a tradition, transforming our workshop space
into a wonderfully eclectic dinner party venue for a night. And it was super fun!
Here's to an exciting future- may your year be filled with delight at every corner.

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Leveling up again

We recently bought a new tool for our fabrication shop that let us get more creative with a design for one of our commercial clients. It is always exciting to expand our capabilities, and as a team of designers, we see the additional ideas that are now that much more attainable with our new tool set. Needless to say, the ideas have been flowing!

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Our new tool is a bender for sheet metal. With this in combination of our CNC production shop we have been able to make complex forms for our current project.

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The advancement on tools like this enable small boutique shops like us to keep production like this in-house, which enables the budget to remain reasonable, and our designs to get more interesting.

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We are excited about our new capability and where it will take us in the new year!

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Hospitality Design Showcases our Latest Interior Design Project: The Port Workspaces

Hospitality Design's The Challenge of Creativity Gallery is showcasing The Port Workspaces interior we finished earlier this year. Filled with creative solutions to seating, visual separations, and sound insulation, we are very proudd that this project is getting so much press!

Striking seating at the entry of the building allows for members to congregate together in larger groups or work alone. The variety in the seating can accommodate a variety of activities, perfect for this location; and is a visual draw from the street!

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Creative solutions for sound issues in this open area include a large fountain, which itself has integrated seating.

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Shipping containers turned into conference rooms, for yet another creative solution for this co-working office interior.

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Two more floors of co-working space designed with a variety of seating styles for every desired work environment.

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And to top it off.... awesome roof deck!

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Come see us at East Bay Mini Maker Faire

We have a booth this year at East Bay Mini Maker Faire, which is THIS SUNDAY! (Oct 23)
We are going to be showing off some really great stuff we've been designing and building.
We hope to see you there!

You can get discounted tickets with our Maker Discount Code ' BWC ' -- Buy Tickets!

Event Details:
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
10 am—5 pm
Park Day School campus + Studio One Arts Center
360-42nd Street at Opal, Oakland

Here is a sneak peak of one of the pieces we'll be showing off...

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East Bay Mini MakerFaire - This Sunday: Oct 23!

We are incredibly excited to be part of the 7th Annual East Bay Mini Maker Faire, coming up Sunday, October 23!
Placed on the adjacent campuses of Park Day School and Studio One Art Center in Oakland's Temescal district.

Use our Maker Discount Code ' BWC ' with for 15% off ticket prices!
We're going to be showing off some new product ideas and new technology workflow.
Here is our write up for the Faire:

Combining Art & Technology: Making products the 'Because We Can' way
“We are developing products the same way we run our architectural jobs: integrating technology and art to create designs with many iterations and lots of collaboration. Using technological design and smart programming as a tool for making these products, we have come up with a line of work that can be integrated into any space. Come see how we take a product from idea to production, and feel free to give us some comments while you’re here!

We look forward to see you there!

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