Makeshift Brooklyn Week 005

Last week Rena and I took the calendar and ripped it into three parallel strips (metaphorically, at least, since it’s hard to rip pixels): Brooklyn buildout, website refresh, and Kickstarter. These each run on their own timeline and each is plenty enough to keep us busy, so now more than ever decision-making is about trade offs. What must be done now, and what can be displaced to later?

Our Kickstarter is coming along with just under $12k left to raise. We’ve been written up in the Wall Street Journal (paywall) and Design Observer and enjoy seeing every one of your tweets and Facebook posts. We still need your help spreading the word and bringing in contributions though — only 10 more days to make this happen!

In preparation for the cell division that will happen when BK opens we’re going to have to redo the website — the question is how much we will change. This topic was the subject of a long discussion with Rena this weekend. We were able to meet in person, which is always more productive, as she and I were both at Camp Mighty. Rena gave a talk and I was an Artist in Residence. Our long term goal for the website is to do a better job showing the life of Makeshift and less time telling you about it. This reminds me of my previous work at Helsinki Design Lab, where the stuff we did was very abstract and hard to put into words without using thousands of them. There we had to put a lot of effort into visualizing the work we did, but luckily the nature of what happens at Makeshift is immediately more visual. More to come on this.

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Left: I made a glowing ‘M’. Right: Rena’s talk included this important point, which inspired a flutter of instagrams and tweets

And then the build out. Week 005 was mostly focused on engineering. Calculating electrical loads, coordinating life safety equipment (read: sprinklers and fire alarms), and drawing all of the tiny details that need to be included in the construction drawings. Some of them, anyways. There’s always more to be done. Victoria was at Camp Mighty too, so we were able to talk about sofas and carpets and other details. Soon our focus will shift more to these aspects of the Brooklyn buildout.

On my flight back to NYC I caught up on some reading, including this bit of de Tocqueville:

Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society… If men [SIC] are to remain civilized or to become so, the art of associating together must grow and improve in the same ratio in which the equality of conditions is increased.

Week 005 felt like three weeks in one and I have a crick in my neck to prove it.