This summer, a group of Payette People visited Payette’s Fabrication Lab space in the Seaport District. Over thirty people from the office attended the event, which was co-hosted by the Intern Cohort, WiD and YDC. The goal of the visit to expose more Payette People to the resources, knowledge and tools available in our FabLab, and with the individuals make the fabrication lab the powerful resource that it has become. Parke MacDowell led the tour, walking everyone through the shop space, showing the available tools and discussing some of the projects which are currently underway at the shop.
The tour evolved naturally into a Q&A about how teams can incorporate fabrication into their projects, and how fabrication can be incorporated into education and career trajectories. Sandrine Heroux and Dorsa Naimi shared insight into their own experiences in architecture, explaining and exploring how fabrication can be the foundation of an academic pursuit as well as a career path. This discussion, as well as many others, travelled with our group as we closed the evening at the Harpoon Brewery!
The fabrication team’s goal is to support a design concept through embracing Payette’s ‘culture of making.’ We do this by producing models at multiple scales for different phases of a project – contributing to the design process. Through communication and collaboration with staff, we apply the most effective method of fabrication to successfully convey the design concept.
As a Fabrication Team intern, I have learned different methods of making including metalworking, CNC milling, 3D printing and more. This is demonstrated through the many models seen in the office and in the shop. On the FabLab tour, visitors saw the shop and BeND!, a full-scale project the team has been working on by translating a digital model into reality. In my time at Payette, I have gained valuable skills beyond methods of making, especially efficient ways of designing that communicate a concept thoroughly – skills I will carry through the rest of my academic career.
Many interns, including myself, work with the Fabrication Team at some point to make models for our project teams—during the process of making the Drexel University model for the schematic design deliverable, the Fabrication Team made CNC-milled high-density foam floor plates that I assembled and attached to the façade. Fabrication is a vital aspect of how Payette approaches design, and it is important that all interns understand and have exposure to that. Understanding the entirety of Payette’s unique design process allows all employees to comprehend and appreciate their role within the greater context of the firm’s identity. Because the FabLab’s place at Payette is particularly relevant to interns, visiting the physical space and listening to Parke MacDowell’s presentation was a great way to make my experiences at Payette feel more complete.