Think. Design. Make: The Forge

This fall I worked as a physical storyteller at Civilla, an IDEO-type design firm in Detroit, MI. In my role I was a builder of sorts, taking design insights from our various projects and making them into experiential installations and objects. I traveled all over the city – from hardware stores to maker-spaces, theaters to printshops – to get all of the materials and engineering knowledge that I needed to bring these stories to life. I am an artist. I am a designer. I also love power tools and laser cutters. And, nowhere in Detroit, or in fact my life, have I been able to find a physical place that brings all of these interests, skills and vision together as a way of life.

I began wanting one location where people could not only record a song, use a hacksaw, and collaborate on design projects - but were compelled to come together in innovative and collaborative ways to conceive, execute, redo and reimagine such projects.

And so, as part of my second term with Ei, a few close friends and I are launching a fundraising campaign to build out a solution. Something that brings a variety of creative worlds together: The Forge.

The Forge will be an artist residency program and maker-workshop in a renovated house in Detroit, MI. Over the course of each year-long residency, five emerging artists and designers will live, work and bring their ideas to life.

Additionally, The Forge will be open each weekend and, depending on funding, during the week for members of the local community to join us, take workshops, learn new skills, and explore materials, and be immersed in an idea-filled environment.

Our Indiegogocampaign launched last week. We buy the house this summer. We renovate this year, and in early 2017 we open applications to find our five creative people to bring together for this experiential, hands-on immersive experiment.

To learn more about this new endeavor, visit our Indiegogo page.

Will you join our journey?

Claire Montana Jencks

Claire is a physical adventurer in a digital age. From Interactive Theater Educator, to Software Engineer, Designer, Photographer and Wilderness Guide, Claire’s work experience points definitively toward Jane-of-all-trades. Whether in the backcountry or the boardroom, Claire is fascinated by the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship. She is always ready for a game of pick-up ultimate, a conversation about Urban Design or a snack of any kind.

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