Apr 11, 2013

THOUGHTBARN + Microsoft SXSW

We had a whirlwind two weeks when Microsoft commisioned us to build out their temporary space for SXSW. Working with our project partners, Guerilla Suit, Heston Studio and Giant Noise we designed out a raw space into work/playspace that held presentations, served drinks and hosted bands / digital platform showcases.

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We had a whirlwind two weeks when Microsoft commisioned us to build out their temporary space for SXSW. Working with our project partners, Guerilla Suit, Heston Studio and Giant Noise we designed out a raw space into work/playspace that held presentations, served drinks and hosted bands / digital platform showcases.

With the extremely tight deadline (10 days) , we employed the used a kit of parts of steel saw horse leg, prefabricated work table legs, and plywood to add a bit of warmth to the space. 

With a bit of determination, and the skilled hands of Jon Davidson of DoeFabCo, Connor Finn, and Damon Faulkner, the space was ready to be filled with Microsoft gadgets and techies. 

Our crew arrived to set up the commissioned furniture against the backdrop of an in-progress mural. 

Not before long, the space had been transformed into a bustling meet up spot for festival goers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our furniture allowed the tech set to check out the Microsoft programs and products that were being showcased.

 The bright, primary colors we used for the furniture were complimented by a vibrant mural and lighting installation.

 

A charging station fabricated by BBIITT gave visitors a chance to recharge. 

Here's to a successful SXSW 2013. See you there next year! 

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Mar 05, 2013

Things Are Being Built

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Tbarn to-do lists are all construction details and job site visits these days.  We've got two residential projects under construction (Santa Anna new-build and Big Bend renovation), phase 02 of Guerilla Suit offices being installed and a signage project for a park in Arlington, VA about to start fabrication.

Then we jumped into the SXSW mayhem with a fast-track build out for Microsoft's temporary space during the festival, in partnership with our friends at Giant Noise and Guerilla Suit.  We've had a 10 day timeframe to make a series of custom work-tables, charging stations and bars. Things have been kept simple with off the shelf elements, plywood and lvls and primary color spray paints. This is a situation in which having close ties to a local network of makers and collaborators makes all the difference. Jon Davidson of DoeFabCo, maestro carpenter Connor Finn and Damon Faulkner have all graciously given up evenings and weekends at short notice to help us meet the deadline. We're intrigued to see all the different pieces - furniture, lighting, interactive elements, graphics, artwork – each of which is being managed by an independent team, come together in time for the techies to descend this weekend!

Big Bend // new bedroom in the live oak canopy

Big Bend // stairs to new addition

Big Bend // opening up the existing ground floor

Guerilla Suit Phase 02 // cabinetry build-out

Guerilla Suit Phase 02 // cabinetry under construction by Hatch Workshop

Santa Anna // with shiny new roof and the first leaves of spring, ready for siding

Santa Anna // looking snug, with new coat of bio spray-foam (soy-based) and big sliding doors

Santa Anna // showing off new windows and roof

MS SXSW // colorful sawhorse table legs

MS SXSW // tool-stand-coffee-tables and lvl-bar-tops

- LB

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Jan 15, 2013

The PlayHive: From Your Backyard to the Austin Children’s Museum

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The PlayHive is a backyard play structure that anyone with basic carpentry skills can assemble with 2x4s, screws and common DIY tools (a chop-saw, a sander and a cordless drill). It's an intimate space for sharing secrets on the inside and a climbing frame for testing agility on the outside.  We initially designed the structure for a 2010 Bastrop wildfire benefit, hosted by Breed & Co. The PlayHive was displayed in the Breed & Co parking lot, along with play structures by Burton Baldridge  and Pollen Architecture, and tested enthusiastically by Austin’s under-10 crowd.  It was later auctioned off to raise funds for wildfire relief.

After receiving a lot of interest in the design, we made a DIY kit available online here.  The website estimates that there have been 16000 downloads since the plans were uploaded in March 2012!  The PlayHive is created by assembling circular layers of successively shorter 2x4 blocks and the DIY kit contains a set of templates (corresponding to each layer) which help you connect each 2x4 block at the appropriate angle.

Austin Children’s Museum PlayHive

Last year, we were invited by the Austin Children's Museum to create a custom PlayHive for their upcoming ThinkDoMake exhibit.  This version includes a wheelchair-friendly 'tabletop-hive' and a scaled-down version which allows small visitors to the museum to construction their own forms with the same system.

We'll be building the new PlayHive over the next couple of weeks and installing it 'live' at the ThinkDoMake exhibit opening on February 2nd. If you've got little ones who might enjoy this (or even if you don't), please come and give us a helping hand!  Kits will also be available for purchase at the museum. We're hoping to get feedback on lots of PlayHives being built in people's backyards this spring. The exhibit will be up for six months and will be the last before the museum moves into its new home at the Mueller Development.

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