There’s a magical place hidden in plain sight in San Francisco right on the water… between the Ferry Building and the Exploratorium, you will find Autodesk Pier 9. You’d never guess that half of this pier is filled with the ultimate creative workshop for design & fabrication - a dreamy, lust-worthy space filled with designers, engineers, artists, fabricators, and every machine they could need - from rooms filled with huge CNCs and water jet machines to 3D printers of every variety, sewing machines, photo studios, welding setups, test kitchen, electronics, industrial robot arms, and much much more. It’s also no surprise that this is where the Instructables team lives. Launched in 2013, it was designed as a state-of-the-art digital fabrication work shop to dissolve the boundaries between software and hardware while inspiring Autodesk to develop tools for the future of making! If you are interested in making something (anything!) odds are good that they will have what you need to make it from start to finish - on the pier!
Shawn and I were invited to review projects from the current group of Autodesk Pier 9 Artists-in-Residence (AIR). (Thanks, Madeline and Vanessa!) What started in Instructables, grew and evolved once they became part of the world of Autodesk. Today, every 4 months, 1-2 dozen artists, designers, engineers, scientists, etc. come to Pier 9 to bring their ideas to life. They get 24/7 pier access, $2000 monthly stipends and project supply budgets, and retain IP and physical work created during the residency… in exchange they must publish their work on Instructables and make a presentation at the end of the program. Not a bad deal, right? The current group will be presenting on November 12th. If you’re in SF, they will definitely be worth a peek - they actually shut down the workshops and present the pieces throughout (Yes, possibly even on or near the machines that made them!)
While there, we had a chance to tour the facility before the reviews, and it is pretty mind blowing. So as we walked and talked, i snapped iPhone pictures along the way for all of you to get a peek inside this wondrous place. Ready? Dive in to the pictures on the next page!