Client work

SF Chronicle article highlights our recenct Oakland project

The Oakland based co-working space we finished renovations on in June is highlighted in this weeks SF Chronicle, the Sunday addition.
A project that we completed in early summer of this year, The Port Workspace is three floors of awesome co-working.

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Working closely with our client, as we always to, we renovated this empty shopping mall in the heart of Oakland into a vibrant co-working space.
The project is open now. You can see more on The Port Workspace Broadway location on our projects page.

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Three Rings' steam punk office interior still holding strong

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The Three Rings office space in downtown San Francisco is a Jules Verne inspired space complete with portholes to the sea, a secret door and a lounge area made of giant attacking cephalopod arms.
We created this space in 2006, and not only does it still look great, it is still getting press.
Recently picked up by SuperEco, I think this is the first time this space has been called out for it's eco-friendly fabrication!

All the walls and the interior decorative elements at Three Rings were painted with an Ultra-Low VOC paint.
The wood finished were all water based dyes and water borne sealers.
And no actual cephalopods were harmed in the creation of this office.

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Bar Design - Showdown Saloon

We recently worked on a San Francisco bar design, helping them with interior design consultation and furniture design and fabrication. And it is now open!
Check out ShowDown Saloon on 6th and Market.

When we first saw the bar it looked like this:
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Now it is open for business again... and looks like this!
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It is much brighter and more inviting now with the addition of some paint and mirrors.
Sections of the walls were given a fun wall paper, and in this back corner we added some long upholstered bench seats and cocktail tables.

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The seats have a decorative pattern along the bottom...

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And the tables have a multi colored resin float top, showing off designs and text...

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We made a few other elements for the bar, such as table tops, drawer fronts and decorative molding.
It's a cute little bar, and was a fun project!

The Wikipedia globe, now in 3D!

That's right! We've made the Wikipedia puzzle globe in 3D! No glasses required.

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We started out with a 3D model, manipulating the globe in Blender to be flattened so it could hang against a wall.

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After creating a satisfactory version, we "sliced" the model in our CAM software, and set up the job to be cut on our CNC machine, Frank.

Using Trupan, a certified sustainably harvested fiber board that is very soft and mills well, we first made a prototype. Always, always first make a prototype.

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Here at BWC, we only use certified sustainably harvested woods, as we want to ensure there will be those far in the future making wonderful things like this. As you can see from the prototype, the globe was milled on the machine in horizontal slices, then built up into it's final shape. We created the globe to have two removable puzzle pieces. You can see one here in the final large version...

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At this point the globe has been glued up and sanded down. Next, many repetitions of primer, sealing and sanding occurred, which eventually gave us this:

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A smooth surface, with the letters and the puzzle piece lines well formed. A full day and a half of hand painting was next up. We wanted the globe to have a very rich, tactile look to it. Hand painting is the only way.

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The letters and puzzle lines were painted in with meticulous care. The final globe has two removable puzzle pieces, and is coated with a waterborne lacquer to protect it from greasy finger prints. (We only use water based and water borne finishes here at Because We Can)

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And now for a quick demonstration:

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The Wikipedia Globe in 3D, brought to you by Because We Can!

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Twisp & Catsby Conference table for Penny Arcade

Huzzah! We just finished up a conference table for Penny Arcade, and we're totally jazzed about how it came out. Excelsior!

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To make it even better, it costs the same as a normal boring 'mid-level' large (it's 16' long) conference table from an office furniture store. Take that, Ikea and DWR.com!

Heck, honestly we were really excited to do something for Penny Arcade. We love their online comic, and we're hoping to make it to PAX someday, but what we really love is the Child's Play charity. Class act all around. We pitched several ideas for their table, and in the end they choose to go with a 'Twisp & Catsby' theme.

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We simply loved the two part comic they did with the moon, so we used that dream-like aesthetic as the basis for our table. The table is maple, the inlay of the characters is teak, and the rest is done in colored resin, which really brings the table to life. And in more ways than one, for the moon glows in the dark!

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We didn't tell them we were gonna do that. They knew that the moon would be blue, but we also made it glow in the dark (and glow it does, it's pretty bright!) and then just shipped it to them as a surprise! You can see the glow at the end of this 'making of' video we did. Enjoy!

See what we did for Mint.com on video!


Mint.com just got this video interview on Yahoo developer network blog.
It shows off some of the stuff we did for their office, specifically the treatment on the tops of the cubes.
You can also see the quotes on the walls and video screens we made if you look closely. The video title says "part 1"... so there may be another up there soon?!


It doesnt have the benches we made for the break room or the conference tables we did. But, if you want to, you can see those here!

Some new stuff up on the site!

Whew! Have we been busy lately. Too busy to blog much, and too busy to post what we've been up to!

This is only some of what we've been doing lately, with a whole lot more on the way:

Cryptic Studios

We did an office space for Cryptic Studios recently that we're happy with. They had to go with cubes (sadly). So after doing some space plans for them we proposed that they go with the lowest cube wall they could, and have us produce these 'cube toppers' to make little 'cities' out of the various workgroups. And, being a game design company, those cities had to be Cities of the Future. God it was fun drawing these up. Each city skyline is different, with little visual treats snuck in here and there. Toronto got biodomes, Sydney got Mecha, and Frisco got a Laser-welding kraken attack! More photos here.

Sparkplay Media

We did an office space for Sparkplay Media. This one was a lot of fun too, for they are located in a wonderful building in North Beach. The propsed theme is 'world explorer's lounge' and as such we were able to do some great stuff within that. Secret doors, nice bar, fun props, and some decorative elements really helped round out the space planning we did. More photos here.

LCD Flatscreens

Another fun one that happened recently was a small job with a fun twist. For a trade show display, a client needed some flatscreens to display video, but wanted them to fit better with their 'eco-glam' look. Sustainable walnut and steampunk details to the rescue! More photos here.

And that's just a taste, we've been super busy with some much larger things that we're hoping to show off this summer! Just a quick reminder too, if you're signed up for my personal RSS feed, you might want to point that reader over to this link instead. That's the RSS feed for both Jillian and I, so that you don't miss out on all the stuff we've been posting!

Spooky Puppet Theater

For Halloween this year we made Backbone Entertainment a spooky puppet theater.

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Red velvet curtains and tassels add a splash of decadence and color to the wonderfully ornate carvings done in all black.

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So that it can easily come apart for storage, and be assembled for parties, the theater is made in a flat pack style, 5 pieces total with shelves on the back side of the two stages. Two people can easily put this piece together.

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Simple pins hold the side together, and large slotting in the front makes this a quick and easy assembly.
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Completely designed and built in-house by our talented design team.
Hope you had a happy Halloween!

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Our Maker's Notebooks have arrived!

We just got our extra Maker's Notebooks! When the Make: Magazine folks contacted us (along with a wonderful small army of others) to give advice to make 'the best project notebook evar' we were both honored and totally jazzed to help out. While we bought some at Maker Faire, and Toast got one at Foo Camp, we just got two more for helping out. Which reminded us how much they rock!

More than just a sketchpad or notebook, it's innards are well organized, it's outers look great, it comes with stickers for customization, and a huge rubber band to hold it all together. A helpful reference section in the back and a screaming blue color rounds out one heck of a little notebook. The paper quality is awesome, and the hard bound cover and placeholder ribbon are great.

We've tried the moleskins, and found the paper to be too smeary for some of the pens we use and the covers actually too flexible for us. A long standby were square 5x5 spiral-bound sketchpads, but we could never find them in gridded/lined paper. And actually, that's the only change we'd make to the book, we wish it was spiral bound. Well, and we wish it had some info on the inside about the paper's origin and acid content. But hey, it's as close to perfect a notebook as we've found yet. You can find them over on the Make store.

Secret Doors, fancy fabulous and affordable

Our second themed office space with secret doors, we are proud to be helping out Spark Play Media with their new office in San Francisco.
Their theme is going in the direction of "world explorer's lounge". And what is a wold explorer's lounge really without some secret doors?!

Closed they are huge paintings of characters from their game.

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Then, with a magnetic latch, they open to reveal the room within!

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We made two secret doors in their space, with the affordable price of about $1,000 a piece.
The images were printed onto an inkjet canvas paper to give them the appearance of being actual paintings.

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They have a fully structural door as their backer board that keeps them from warping on their hinges.
But the door is still low profile enough to maintain the illusion that this is just a painting on the wall.

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When we first came to Spark Play Media's new office space, it was a beautiful space, though a bit sparse.
We helped them with Space plans, furniture purchases, theme concepts and decoration purchasing, as well as custom designs and fabrication, such as secret picture doors.
From sparse to totally plush, we helped them go from this...

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to this...

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