Brooklyn Navy Yard Celebrates Maker Movement with “Making It in NYC: the Era of New Manufacturing” Exhibit, Talks, and Tours

To celebrate the New York Makers Movement past, present, and future, the Brooklyn Navy Yard will stage a free, interactive, multimedia exhibit at BLDG 92 as well as offer to the public a series of panel discussions and factory tours. The exhibit and programs will run from May 16 through the end of the year.

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"Making It in NYC" exhibit at BLDG 92. Rendering courtesy Situ Studio

“There’s an extraordinary history of manufacturing in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and throughout New York City, history that is mirrored in what’s happening in the Maker Movement today.”

Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) May 02, 2014

From 19th Century warships to 21st Century high-tech military gear, lifesaving drug discoveries to life-changing technologies, world-renowned furniture to world-class fashion, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and greater New York City have long been fertile ground for entrepreneurial manufacturers and makers.

To celebrate the New York Makers Movement past, present, and future, the Brooklyn Navy Yard will stage a free, interactive, multimedia exhibit at BLDG 92 as well as offer to the public a series of panel discussions and factory tours. The exhibit and programs will run from May 16 through the end of the year.

“There’s an extraordinary history of manufacturing in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and throughout New York City, history that is mirrored in what’s happening in the Maker Movement today,” said David Ehrenberg, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “A lot of our companies are at the intersection of industry, technology, and innovation. They’re not making apps to sell for millions of dollars. They’re focused on making high-quality products, physical products, products that are transforming lives. They might not receive all the headlines, but what they’re doing is essential for local job creation and the wellbeing of our economy.”

Titled “Making It in NYC: the Era of New Manufacturing,” the exhibit and programs will be divided into five industry groups – Energy & Resiliency, Furnishing & Home Goods, Tech & Media, Building & Construction, Fashion & Apparel – and feature the contributions of 30 New York business, including MHT Lighting (energy efficient products), Ferra Designs (metal fabrication and design), Solidoodle (3D printers), Scott Jordan (furniture), and Hanky Panky (women’s lingerie and “The World’s Most Comfortable Thong”).

Additional Navy Yard businesses featured in the exhibit include IceStone, OgoSport, Lumi-Solair, Spuni, Capsys, Campos Bags, and Crye Precision.

“Making It in NYC: the Era of New Manufacturing” kicks off with a hands-on, state-of-the-art exhibit at BLDG 92 constructed by Yard-based SITU Studio. The exhibition design consists of 70 interlocking perforated and folded aluminum composite panels that support and frame the diverse content of the show. Functioning as a 3D pegboard, the adaptable display incorporates a degree of flexibility that anticipates the dynamism of the NYC maker scene. Visitors are invited to actively engage with and even operate the objects featured in the exhibition.

“Our challenge, as designers, was to come up with a display system that incorporated enough flexibility to showcase the broad spectrum of innovation, entrepreneurship and production that is the NYC Maker Movement,” said Bradley Samuels, co-founder of SITU Studio. “When displayed collectively, the exhibited products point to the renewed momentum in local manufacturing that this movement is generating – something that is very exciting to witness.”

To further the local Maker Movement conversation, BLDG 92 will stage a series of panel discussions featuring representatives from exhibit companies and other well-known NY manufacturers. The programs will kick off June 5 with a discussion on “Home to Studio Manufacturing,” moderated by Dana Mauriello (Etsy). Future programs include:

  •     June 10, Resilience & Energy Start-Ups, moderated by Micah Kotch (NYC ACRE)
  •     July 17, Regional Sourcing for Goods in Electronics, moderated by Heidi Anderson (ITAC)
  •     September 11, Networked Manufacturing, moderated by Sarah Krasley (Autodesk)
  •     September 25, Values of Local Fashion Production in NYC, moderated by Elizabeth L. Cline (author, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion)
  •     October 9, Factory Sourcing Local and Overseas, moderated by Jessica Banks (Rock Paper Robot)
  •     November 13, Maker Movement and Community, moderated by Susan Perl and Amy Ilias (ABC Carpet and Home)

“There is a robust series of programs, talks, events, and factory tours that accompany the exhibit and present great opportunities to meet makers and manufacturers and explore ways to tap into our city’s creative capital,” said Daniella Romano, who served as curator of “Making It in NYC.”

Also, recently launched factory tours give visitors behind-the-scenes entry into Yard-based companies. Whiskey Wars gets you inside of Kings County Distillery, New York’s oldest operating whiskey distillery and first since prohibition. The IceStone factory tour uncovers the process of making high-end countertops and surfaces composed of recycled glass and cement; and a soon-to-be-launched Heavy Metal tour affords visitors an up-close look at fine metal fabricator Ferra Designs.

“To me, the factory tours are more than just open houses,” said Rob Ferraroni, founder of Ferra Designs. “We’re conducting tours not only to showcase our craft, but to hopefully inspire future makers as well.”    

For additional information about the programs or to make reservations for individual events, please check http://www.bldg92.org.


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