Space is a (Big) Place - Design Bureau

Space is a (Big) Place

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

By Eve Fineman
Photo by Christopher Kitahara 

Chicago and its design community have access to space in volumes not easily found on either coast. One such space is a 30,000-square foot warehouse, whose vastness is enjoyed by a young, energetic group of furniture designer/makers dubbed Dock 6 Collective. The collective’s output ranges from Navillus WoodWorks'  hardy furniture (it has patented a new leg design) to Lagomorph’s collab with a leatherworker, a console in tooled leather and walnut.

“There is just enough competition to push all of us to continually design rather than sitting on what we have done before or on ideas that we know we do well.”—ZAK ROSE

Each member of Dock 6 (Dan Sullivan, Carson Maddox, Zak Rose, Andrew Kephart, Seth Deysach, Douglas Thome and Scott Patterson) has their own business, shop space and design direction. Individuality, however, gives way to community and collaboration, with shared areas for what designer Seth Daysach calls the group‘s “bitchin’ set of tools”: CNC routing, welding and finishing, among others. The designers have found that pooling resources has benefits. “As a group we are able to purchase materials in bulk, share contacts, technique,” says Dan Sullivan. 

Dock 6 is also a social hub. The collective lunches together and hosts an annual art and design show, barn dances, even crawfish boils in the cavernous space. As Zak Rose tells it, sharing and getting along is nice, but so is the peer pressure. “There is just enough competition to push all of us to continually design rather than sitting on what we have done before or on ideas that we know we do well.”

Tagged with: