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Members also received weekly emails with recipes and information about who grew their food, along with farmer forecasts and new products. 

Timeline

December 2020 - July 2021

Areas of focus

Industrial Design · Design Build · Branding

Description

The Building Arts Mobile Makerspace was created for the Shelburne Craft School as part of a grant to increase awareness and scope of their offerings, with more opportunities for mobile classes and collaboration on building scale community projects and public art. I covered this project from inch to inch, responsible for everything from research and CAD modeling to cabinetry buildout, electrical, branding, partnerships and material and tool sourcing.

The makerspace is outfitted with everything needed for mobile woodworking classes, community design build, tech and digifab demos and supporting wide variety of other creative endeavors across Vermont. With solar on the roof and a battery bank powering charging for dozens of battery powered tools as well as corded tools such as the table saw, planer and laser cutter, it is truly a mobile workshop that can meet the people, materials, or ideas where they are. Despite Shelburne Craft Schools history of focusing on the traditional art and craft tools of wood, clay, print, glass, fiber and paint, I was also excited to introduce digital fabrication technologies such as 3D Printing and CNC Laser Cutting, blending traditional techniques with new methods and ideas.

SHELBURNE CRAFT SCHOOL

Since 1945, Shelburne Craft School has been offering hands-on education in artisanal crafts-helping individuals experience the joys of making, while cultivating confidence, character, and community. 

In 2020 they were awarded grant funding to create the "Building Arts Program" with a mission to expand their framework to include larger projects, more community initiatives with more mobility and capability.  

Goals of the project:

  • Provide real-world, hands-on education, focusing on high-quality craftsmanship through community-built projects.

  • Provide connection, refuge, and identity through build projects — as well as provide an evolving framework for education.

  • Build upon our existing curriculum in craft, design, and fine arts. Expand to the scale of small structures and buildings, while acting as a catalyst for new community initiatives.

TRAILER AS A MAKERSPACE

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Inspired by mobile work trucks, carpenter's tool trailers, and off-the-grid RV Van conversions, I dove into online research where countless makers, pros, and DIY educators offered up their stories. I also spoke with local electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other tradespeople about how they set up their various work vehicles. Knowing this mobile makerspace needed to be easily transportable by any light duty truck, fine with being outside year round, and able to support a broad array of design build projects, classes and community events; I decided a single axle trailer would offer us the maximum potential while being a flexible and inexpensive starting point. 

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I got to work sketching out the interior design, maximizing the layout to include optimum tool storage, work surface, walkways and efficient set up. Simultaneously, I created a tool list of every item we would store in the trailer. I designed the storage to fit all of those items, while leaving room for future adaptions through modular design and flexible storage. A very abbreviated version of the tool list is below: 

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After refining my sketches and agreeing on a final tool list based on our budget, partnerships negotiated and total space and weight considerations, I modeled the interior build. This helped me to refine my sketches to something I could build off of, as well as calculate material needs and actual tool storage. This model also helped me take into account small details I could only know after having the trailer in hand to measure and inspect. Some of these details, such as the height of the cable that holds the back door or the thickness of the metal trim around the side door forced me to make some significant changes to the layout, but also gave me opportunities to even further optimize the trailer's capacity. Though I made most of the components myself, I decided on one standard plastic jar for all sorts of hardware storage and designed shelves to fit. 

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BRANDING & VISIBILITY

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With this this trailer scheduled to drive all around the  around the state, I knew it was the best marketing opportunity Shelburne Craft School could have to build awareness for its programs. Going off their existing brand guidelines, I explored dozens of ideas for eye catching trailer graphics that would make the best use of the trailer as a mobile billboard for the Building Arts Program. Below are some of my marker sketches and the refinement of the design in illustrator and on the CAD model. 

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The final exterior design boldly expresses the ideals of the Shelburne Craft School and the Building Arts program, acting as a mobile advertisement every time it goes on the road. The icons were custom created to represent the wide array of art, design and building initiatives that will be supported by the project. It also created room for sponsorships which allowed us to get continued support as well as some free and discounted tools for the program. 

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FINISH PHOTOS

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Photo Credit Rachel Averitt

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BUILDING THE TRAILER