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Goings on at the Because We Cannery

The Wunderkammer at The Interval

The Interval has had a strong opening, and we are excited about all the great press it is getting! From The Examiner , The Chronicle, SF Eater and 7x7 to the NYT, and Wired just to name a few.

Today's post highlights The Wunderkammer, nestled within the stairs that leads to The LongNow foundation's office space above.


Tucked neatly under the stairs we designed this Wunderkammer to display The LongNow's projects, and help get the most out of this small multi functional space.


The lights within the cabinets lure viewers to the displays, and give each showcased item a level of importance it deserves. IMG_7560

Creating well used functional space out of a seemingly unusable area, we designed and fabricated the round cabinet with glass fronted doors and storage beneath. Every available space needed a use, so this empty slot near the stair support pole is specially designed for the bottle accessing step stool.


The cabinet wraps around, following the curve of the staircase, and creating a center point within the open floor plan. The storage and display is followed to the second to last step!


Jillian Northrup
House Renovation in Oakland

We are in the middle of a beautiful home renovation in Oakland, adding a two story expansion onto this home, with a large wrap around deck. IMG_7445

Major construction has just started, and things are moving quickly!


The interior framing is all up, and the windows framed out.


The view from here will be amazing! Large windows and french doors open out onto the soon to be constructed deck.

It will be a huge addition to the interior space, as well as lovely hang out areas outside.

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The back yard terracing will add to the usable outside space, filled with fruit trees. A great renovation from an overgrown steep hill.


We're looking forward to posting more about this project as construction progresses!

Jillian Northrup
Long Now Bottle Placement

The Long Now has started to do some smaller, open to the public talks at The Interval. The first one was a great success! Keep your eye on the schedule for more of these evenings guaranteed to be full of interesting conversation. While we were at The Interval for this night of conversation, we decided to fill our bottle. We designed the bottles to be hung from the rafters in the ceiling. These donor bottles reflect the LEDs shining up on them, waiting for their owners. (You can learn more about the donor bottle program here.)

(update!): A few weeks later the bottles have begun to be filled. Look at all those colors of lovely browns and clears! IMG_7581

Teaming up with St. George Distillery, the bottles are filled with either a whiskey or Gin that was made especially for The Interval project. This lovely spirit can only be found here, at The Long Now's Interval.

To fill the bottle, first the proper amount of Gin must be measured out in a large beaker by an Interval bartender.

Then, in a very nice little bottle pouring ceremony, the donor gets to fill their own bottle.

Notice the stand the bottle is sitting in?

Just another little thing we did to make the whole space and experience like no other.

After pouring the spirt into our personal bottle, it is hung up with the others by The Interval staff. Waiting until we come again.


The bottle is then polished lovingly for fingerprints and awaiting our return.

Jillian Northrup
Bay Area Digital Fabrication Club meets this Thursday

The Bay Area Digital Fabrication Club meet-up is meeting this Thursday.

Graciously hosted by BlueSprout, Oakland's new tech factory, the Club is an informal and fun user's group where designers, fabricators, and artsts share tips and tricks about these amazing tools. This month's meeting is all about cheap and/or free 3D modeling options for 3D printing & subtractive fabrication.

Remember, bring something you've made to show & tell, and get a chance to win a prize: $60 worth of 3D printing filament or CNC tooling, your pick!

Would love to see you there!

Jeffrey McGrew
Interactive Displays for Kids

The Hattiesburg Zoo in MS is a kids zoo, and as such we integrated fun, interactive displays for kids when we designed the Asbury Discovery Center space. This room is used mostly for events and meetings filled with adults, but we wanted to make sure the space held and interest for kids, as well as adults. Along with many many objects and images to look at throughout the room, there are three 'Curio Cabinets' along the back wall that draw visitors into the room to peer through the glass into the displays.


As adults may be drawn to the displays within the shelves of these cabinets, those of a shorter stature will discover there are interesting things to be seen at their level as well!



A small shadow box hides in the lower level of this cabinet, easily accessed by the zoo staff to change out the display when needed and gives the most important visitors something to discover.


All closed up, the display is safe behind an acrylic panel, and locked so it is only accessible to zoo staff. The door with a large latch is great for interactive kid fun, as they can open and close the latched door, and discover the treasures within.


On one end of the room, an attractive gear display is hung below the flat screens. The screens are used for presentations and information display during adult events, but the gears are what the kids really care about.


Three handles allow three kids to spin the gears at a time. And at different height levels, all the ages that can walk can reach a spinning wheel.


Watching the gears mesh together and seeing the relation between spinning the wheel and getting the gears to spin, hopefully gets some gears spinning in those little heads!


Great thought and care was take in the design and assembly of the interactive displays. Assuring they were easy to use, aesthetically pleasing and fit with the design of the space.


Here, details are checked over by our staff, testing the final piece before it is shipped to the site.


The outside of the Asbury Discovery Center building has an interactive gear wall for those who are a bit taller, hinting to what might be found inside!


Jillian Northrup
The Asbury Discovery Center is now open!

We could not be more pleased with the opening of the Asbury Discovery Center this summer, a project we have been working on since last year. It all came out beautifully, filled with moving gears, secret doors and hidden treasures. Not to mention reptiles! IMG_7008

The Asbury Discovery Center is the latest addition to the Hattiesburg, MS Children's Zoo. And we were given the task of designing it, and fabricating many of the components.

The main attraction in the front of the building is a large grassy area for Galapagos Tortoises to roam, complete with a small building for them to retreat inside to.


The front of that small building welcomes visitors with an interactive gear wall. It all spins!


Inside the Tortoise House is designed to look like an engine room, complete with electrically turning piston.


The walkways are lined with rotating fans overhead, decorative arches and window and door frames.


The window and door frames peek into all kinds of animal enclosures, like this cute critter


And this enormous window that looks into the reptile enclosure


Finally, when you get into the main education room, there is even more to see, and even more to interact with!


A gear wall at the end of the room is a delight for all the children.


And small doors down at the base of the cabinets are waiting to be discovered.


See more about this project on our Asbury Discovery Center project page.

Jillian Northrup
The Interval at Long Now - Opens this weekend!

The library, bar, museum, and cafe we designed for The Long Now will be opening this weekend to the public!What a great weekend to check it out. The museum and café is open daily from 10 AM-5 PM. Bar hours run 5 PM - 12 AM. 2 Marina Blvd, Fort Mason Building A, 415-561-6582

With the opening of the renovated space, now named The Interval, comes lots of great press.

From the NewYorkTimes, an article in their Sunday Magazine Food section.

From Zagat, a web article about the drinking and ceribral delights The Interval has to offer

From Urbandaddy, a lovely pictorial walk through of the new space

And finally, a wonderful write up on Laughing Squid about the progress of the space and what it has to offer.


Jillian Northrup
Walnut nesting stools

These nesting stools were made for a San Francisco loft space we designed last year.The stools organically nest into one another to create one longer bench.


The loft space itself is now a very fun, bright space designed with lots of patterns and colors in mind. When we were first shown the space it was very cold, with its white walls and concrete floor. Adding some colors and textured materials helped soften the space and make it feel like a home


We did many things to help make this a fun space to live in, like desiging these light fixtures to add interest to the very tall ceilings.


And we chose bright colors for the walls and ceiling to brighten and soften all the concrete.


The nesting benches live around the dining table, but are also designed to be moved around the space.


The handles and soft bases allow them to be easily arranged depending on the type of entertaining.


And smooth recessed circles in the center of each stool gives a soft place to sit.


The stools were designed and made in our in-house shop out of locally sourced Clara Walnut from felled trees in the neighborhood.


And now they are able to live on in a local home.


Jillian Northrup
The Interval- at Long Now

We are very pleased to show off some sneak peek photos of a new space we were the Architects and Designers for. It is equal parts library, bar, museum, and cafe, and it has been named The Interval at Long Now. We are still in the finishing stages. And we are still fabricating some of the more intricate built in pieces. But we can give you a photo tour of what the space is looking like so far...


We take care to make the design of every space meet the needs of the client. In this case, bookshelves up to the ceiling provide a much needed separation for The Long Now's mezzanine offices and the public space below. The bookshelves hold a collection of books that The Long Now has been acquiring since its beginning. Our design even helped spur another project that The Long Now has since started; a project to select 3,500 books that could help sustain or rebuild civilization, called the Manual for Civilization.


We exposed the floor from the industrial carpeting covering it, and revealed the original floor of the 1930's metal shop this space used to be. We had the floor cleaned and polished, bringing out the original character of the slab.


Complementing the floor is a limestone bar top that we encased in resin, bringing out the beautiful raw details of this stone. And providing a durable surface for the bar and cafe patrons.


Above the bar The Interval's bottle club program is stored in a 'bottle keep' tradition. We worked with The Long Now to conceptualize how the bottles would be stored are retrieved for the patrons. Settling on the ceiling storage, we designed and fabricated these ceiling mounted bottle holders, where the bottles will be lit from above, creating a twinkling, glowing effect.


A small room in the back of the space has the best view. So we put in comfy seating for those long important conversations. For the tables in this room and throughout the space we sourced local Northern CA walnut slabs.


In the front of the space is a table for larger groups or communal seating. We've turned one of The Long Now's prototype pieces from their museum into a table. "A museum piece that you can also rest your drink on."


You can learn more about the space and The Interval at Long Now from their blogpost


Jillian Northrup
Maker Connections and Maker Faire

Our Maker Connections video is now online for all to see! This is a new show that Make Media is doing where we showed off our work shop to 3rd grade classes around the country, remotely. It was really fun introducing the kids to the concepts of digital fabrication and getting to hear all of their questions. Hooray for exposing young minds!

Also in Maker news... We'll be at Maker Faire today, showing off our Serpent Twins project. Come seek us out! We'll be in the back parking lot where there is fire!

Jillian Northrup
We're speaking at MakerCon

We're honored to be included in the first Makercon next week. We're very excited to be giving a talk on Building Codes & Makerspaces: What you need to know to Hack that Space.

We'll be talking about all we've learned first hand in helping BlueSprout, the new Oakland-based hardware / business accelerator and industrial coworking space, get off the ground. There are a great deal of pragmatic and code issues that must be sorted to get to work (legally).

Later in the week, we'll also be at the Maker Faire, riding with the Serpent Twins. We'd love to see you next week!

Jeffrey McGrew
Bay Area Digital Fabrication Club starting up!

We're getting a local Digital Fabrication Club off the ground! Click here to join the Meetup.

It's an informal meetup to compare notes, enjoy some pizza and beer, and to help support each other's work. The group will cover the whole range of digital fabrication from subtractive (CNC) to additive (3D printing) to manipulative (Kuka arms!).

First meeting is this Thursday, April 17th. It's going to be at BlueSprout, the Oakland-based hardware, industry, and small business accelerator we've been helping start.

If you love digital fabrication as much as we do, we'd love to see you there!

Jeffrey McGrew
Resin inlay for Zoo's table tops

One of our recent exciting resin pours was for these table tops for our Hattiesburg Zoo project. We wanted to do some inlay into the designs we created for these table tops. So, we began by taking our designs and carving them into the wood on Frank, our trusty CNC machine. Then filling the carved pockets with pigmented resin.

Camera Roll-246

While those were being created, we finished making the bases we'd designed for these unique, one of a kind table tops. IMG_6115

After sanding the cured resin down to the wood, we finished the tops with a clear coat.


Once dry, these reversible table centers were placed in their final home.


Each of the 6 tables has a different pattern, and go with the interior of the space we designed.


These are just one small part of a larger project we are doing for the Hattiesburg Zoo in MS.

The final design for the interior room will look like this!


Jillian Northrup
Gears and more gears!

We have been working steadily on the design and fabrication for the interior & exterior building of the Tortoise exhibit area for the Hattiesbug Zoo in MS. The latest completed pieces are the interactive gears going all around the complex. This larger interactive gear piece goes on the outside wall of the main tortoise house, for kids and adults to play with.

IMG_6023 See a video of this piece in action...

Made of polypro, exterior grade woods and stainless steel hardware, this piece is made to survive the Mississippi weather and children alike. IMG_6026

Smaller gears are in a cluster next to it, as a sign hangs above, as shown in this early drawing.

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The 'gear cluster' final designs look like this:

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Below is a photo of a 'gear cluster' completed, made of polypro, exterior grade woods and stainless steel. IMG_5988 See a video of the gears in action...

The interior of the main presentation room will look like this, with another interactive gear wall under the flat screens in the back.

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Here is the final design for the interior interactive gear wall C:\Users\Jillian Desktop\Documents\Gears Under Flatscreens_Install.pdf

And here is the final fabrication of that piece getting its last bits put in place at our shop IMG_6003

Steering wheels in three sections of the interactive wall allow for the spinning of the gears IMG_5998 See a video of this interactive gear wall...

Next up we are working on this small building pictured below, which will be the holding pen and watering hole for the Tortoises. IMG_2117

Very soon, that building will look like this! C:\Users\Jillian Desktop\Documents\Zoo Education Center_V3_Jillian.pdf

Jillian Northrup