Jillian Northrup's blog

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.



Lounge Shipping Containers

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Long over due, here are some photos of our Lounge Shipping Container project we finished earlier this year.


The triangle panel, made with a parametric design, was assembled quickly with a numbering system and minimal drawings.



Each lounge was created within a 10' x 10' shipping container. We made sure that the containers were officially approved for lounging.


The Stripped Container Lounge is a material stripped pattern, alternating between a padded fabric, cork, metal and carved wood. The pattern is echoed into the carpeting on the floor.


The Triangle Container Lounge is a parametric design of wooden triangles stained in two colors with the bottom layer in a padded felt.


Oakland Home Renovation - nearing the finish line

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The renovations to this house are just about complete. The the new windows and doors are in, and the exterior walls are completed and painted.
The addition to this house almost doubles the square feet of habitable space, and accentuates it's amazing views of the bay!


Now the cantilevering decks are going up. These are going to look great, and give outside access to those incredible bay views.


This view of the interior shows the finishes are almost done. The wall painting is complete and the new floors are in, ready to be blended into the existing flooring.


These sun tubes in ceiling of the laundry and bed rooms give lots of natural light. They look just light a light is on in the room, but with no energy cost.
And they are much more affordable than putting in a window or skylight. These sure work well! Especially for these dark spaces with little or no windows.

Soon all the interior finishes will be complete, and that exposed framing skylight will be cleaned up and beautiful.


Because_We_Cannery on Instagram

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Hey- Did you know we have an Instagram page? Well, it's true!
We are "Because_We_Cannery" on Instagram, and we've been posting a bunch of stuff there recently on a big project we're working on for Dolby.
Like these here:

Colored ears for the ear wall:
Lend an ear? #DolbyArt

Carving the panels for the knob wall:

Knob wall assembly!
Knobs knobs knobs! #DolbyArt

Follow us on Instagram to get a glimpse into our latest projects, and see what's happening every week in the shop & design studio!

Women Who Make Meetup & Cocktails- TONIGHT

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We are proud to be a part of Women Who Make Meetup & Cocktails" happening tonight at 7:30 at non other than The Interval! Hosted by Sabrina Merlo (Maker Faire) and Jess Hobbs (FLUX Foundation), this is sure to be an informative, fun and great networking event for all of us women in the business of Making.

I will be there tonight to give a tour and talk about all the design and physical production that went into creating the space. No slides necessary! We'll get to see and touch it all in the flesh. I'm really looking forward to speaking one on one with a like minded Maker group, and answering any questions you might have.

To come to this event tonight, or get on the list for future events, email womenwhomake@gmail.com for invites.


Cool nesting tables and white boards

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We just finished these cool nesting tables and white boards for The Tech Museum in San Jose.
These were part of a larger design project we worked on for them.


Half the tables are finished with a white board top, and half are in a walnut hardwood.
They all have this cool hardware on the underside that allows them to flip up from there base 90 degrees.


Here's a fun video, showing the making and the function of the tables.

Forgotten Fridays - Shop floor layouts

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Sometimes we are hired to create designs that, for one reason or another, never come to life.
These designs tend to get filed away. Occasionally they are brought out again, but mostly they just logged and stored in their client folder.
Here, in these "Forgotten Fridays" blog posts, we showcase and celebrate the most interesting ones that may someday again breath life!

The following concept designs were for an incubator factory space. A factory filled with digital fabrication and traditional tools that you could rent time on. The idea was to have a large open floor with the large machines spaced out as needed. Around those machine work areas, the client wanted some kind of screens, so people could have privacy to their potentially proprietary work that they were creating on the machines.

We decided to start out with three objects; a whiteboard / privacy / sound screen, a standing computer workstation, and a configurable tools / parts cart.
Everything would be on wheels, be both usable and playful, and would match an overall theme.
We then decided to start with three themes, each with it's own totally different look, so we can find the right look & feel for the shop floor.

This first scheme is a slick modern look. Taking aesthetic cues from retro-futuristic robots and sci-fi, all surfaces are white, gloss, clean and curvy.

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\FactorLi\Revit Project\Fams\Idea Boards.pdf

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\FactorLi\Revit Project\Fams\Idea Boards.pdf

The second scheme is Dazzle Camouflage. The surfaces are flat and angular, and everything is covered in a dramatic patterning of the Dazzel Camo. As these screens are to hide and distract potential onlookers from the work goings on behind the scene.

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\FactorLi\Revit Project\Fams\Idea Boards.pdf

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\FactorLi\Revit Project\Fams\Idea Boards.pdf

The final scheme is a bit more traditional in concept, celebrating the functionality of the machines on the floor in the design of the pieces. CNC hewn panels, CNC woven mesh, and exposed flat pack joinery call to the digital fabrication abilities of the machines on the floor.

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\FactorLi\Revit Project\Fams\Idea Boards.pdf

L:\BWC Bucket\projects\FactorLi\Revit Project\Fams\Idea Boards.pdf

This factory space never came into being, but the designs are still potentially useful for another project down the road.

Maker Faire- Ten years ago

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Happy 10th Anniversary Maker Faire!
We still think you're awesome!

In preparing for the upcoming Maker Faire next month, MAKE who publishes MAKE Magazine & puts on Maker Faire, just did a little piece about the first Maker Faire back in 2006. We have a few quotes and photos in the article, as we were there! In the thick of it! Bright eyed and looking to the future of running a design and fabrication Architecture company someday. Look how far we have come since then!

It's a nice little article, that you can read here, remembering the fist Maker Faire 10 years ago (can you believe it)!


Programable LED ceiling squares

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Check out these cool ceiling fixtures we created for the Julia Morgan School for Girls in Oakland.

The lights are connected to an arduino, which is hidden in a laptop work station along the wall.
The idea is to have the students learn to program the LEDs to do different light patterns in their programming class.
They can then show off their skills for all to see, as these are in the front hallway of the school where parent and donor events happen.

As with all the pieces we've made for this school,
the fixtures and laptop workstation match the aesthetic style of the 1920's Julia Morgan building.

The BWC Library

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The most dramatic renovation we did in our office recently was our new library and meeting room.
Changed from having an exposed concrete floor with shelves of books, we made this space into a cosy meeting room,
and an opportunity to show off some of our handy work.


The doors that slide away on a barn door system are made of 1/2" frosted acrylic with Europly bases and steel strapping.
The sanded acrylic allows the natural light to diffuse in during the day, and the bulb light out at night.


Our wooden robot mascot, here made in sycamore and walnut, acts as a handle on the outer most door.


We installed durable but fun Flor carpeting and a center table for meetings.


The table surface is a thick slab of Pine, finished with our water soluble clear coat, and with dramatic live edge details.


We kept the live edge of this slab and coated it in a soft resin. Keeping the original beauty of the material while creating functionality.


The bookshelf against the back wall houses our design, fabrication and art reference library.


Recessed lighting in the bookshelf illuminates the inside of the shelves within the walnut hardwood trim details.
The bright light draws the eyes to the back of the room and allows the books to be very visible.


On the ceiling we hung full color, programable LEDs that shine upward and bounce off the white of the ceiling.


Nested in the bookshelf we've created a control panel for all the lights, hooked to the Arduino, the bookshelf & ceiling lights and the power.


Here's a video of our new Library & ceiling lights in action!