An innovation incubator and production hub.
As a combined graduate thesis for an MBA in Sustainable Business Practices and a Master of Architecture, “Maker Culture and the Architectures of Additive Manufacturing,” investigates the emerging role of community-based additive manufacturing facilities. The project seeks to understand how the design of a building can support innovation through the cross-pollination of ideas, and to develop a business model that supports, and thrives in, the emergent Maker community.
The startup ecosystem of Portland, Oregon.
Portland, Oregon is fertile ground for the Startup and Maker communities, as a strong concentration of innovative activities builds a supportive and creative ecosystem of interaction, inspiring forward progress. Studying democratized manufacturing in the context of an innovation incubator model, this project imagines a future where a requisite differentiation between the physical and digital ceases to exist.
Development communities, digital shops, and open source tools underpin the New Industrial Revolution, where a localized, distributed manufacturing infrastructure offers extreme customization, on-demand. Leveraging Portland’s unique Maker ethos, the proposed facility engages community members across the spectrum, from the curious hobbyist, to the burgeoning startup, to the seasoned professional.
Walking the talk: a building composed of modern, additive materials and products.
Staying true to its function, wherever possible, the building itself is comprised of materials and products developed with modern additive manufacturing techniques. The façade is composed of modular panels and shading devices, both of unique forms which highlight the flexibility of 3D printing technology.
A 3D printed concrete structural system.
Even the concrete structure of the building is 3D printed, allowing for a figural, yet efficient, structural system. In this view, the sinuous, layered concrete columns extend from the building, not only serving their structural purpose, but also shaping space and reflecting the character and intent of the building and its function.
Functional gradation through the building.
The lower levels of the building are home to the manufacturing spaces and workshops that require heavy machinery. As you move up in the building, the programming of spaces shifts to include studio workrooms, leasable offices of varying scales, meeting rooms, and other shared community spaces.
Facilitating collaboration across the community.
While private workspaces are available for those who need it, much of the building is made up of shared community space, fostering chance meetings, casual encounters, and cross-pollination of ideas.
Promoting the path ahead.
Since the building is constructed using materials produced by additive manufacturing, it acts as a physical example of the potential path ahead for the evolution of manufacturing and production. Overlooking one of the main interstates in and out of the city, the building reminds visitors and locals that the future can shift in a positive way.
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