Jillian Northrup's blog

East Bay Mini MakerFaire - This Sunday!

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

NewCo Event at BWC this Thursday

The NewCo Event is happening this week with lots of cool business opening their doors and giving presentations of the goings on inside.
We're participating this Thursday morning, and we hope to see you there!

Visit us at our office during @NewCo Oakland Oct 8. Get 30% off tickets with the code HC30Oak
#NewCoOAK

New Dolby Headquarters

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.

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Knob Wall Video

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!


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It All Comes Together

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.
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Here the window frame is shown in it's final assembly of stainless steel, black plastic and wooden spacers (unseen).
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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.
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The stainless bar pieces, laid out and ready for assembling.
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Assembling the bar goes quickly and easily, because everything is modeled to high detail, and then the pieces are created off of that model.
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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.
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Oakland Commercial Project

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.

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More early office designs as we are flushing out how the space will look and feel.
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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

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.

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

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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.

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Lounge Shipping Containers

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

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

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

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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.

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

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Oakland Home Renovation - nearing the finish line

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!

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

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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.

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

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Because_We_Cannery on Instagram

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:
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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!

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