place fab: a placemaking production shop
The fundamental building blocks of community, it turns out, are small. Trivial even. They’re bollards. And benches. Planters and platforms. Awnings and tables. Crosswalks, sidewalks, and boardwalks. We’ll design a pavilion, too, don’t get us wrong. But not until those smaller, crucial elements are in place. Those are the elements that create connection. What a lasting community needs in any placemaking project is a first step. An early standard setting. A place where buildings, elements, and human architecture all combine to invite lingering. Because where people linger, community happens. Let us help you build elements to make that happen.
We design and create a wide variety of unique public seating options, bike-lane buffers, planters, family-sized tables, and many other elements that can be used to instantly transform a space into a hub of activity. We create furniture for small businesses, outdoor venues, corporate offices, and all other spaces that benefit from human-centric design.
Our team designs and builds robust barns, parklets, and other forms of gathering spaces to facilitate human connection in underutilized spaces. These installations create a sense of identity for places, as they are built to draw attention to an area, housing the space so that people feel more comfortable lingering within it.
We digitally fabricate and customize public installations designed to draw attention to a particular cause. These installations have been used primarily for workforce culture development initiatives, community input and engagement, and to serve as focal points during public demonstrations.
designed, printed, and assembled to unite people.
pascal bench attachment
Place Fab was launched in winter of 2019 as an addition to an urban design nonprofit known as the Better Block Foundation. The Better Block has specialized in rapid urban design for over ten years, bringing urban planning, community engagement, and digital fabrication together worldwide to lead projects conceived and implemented in partnership with community members. In 2016, the Better Block launched Wikiblock, a free online resource featuring many popular placemaking designs for anyone to download, print, and assemble for free. The Wikiblock library and visual appeal of the Better Block projects created a stir in other business and nonprofit groups who wanted to see their designs utilized outside their storefronts, in their offices, parks, and even homes. People wanted better placemaking elements everywhere they went.
To meet this demand, Place Fab was launched. Place Fab is currently housed out of the Better Block office and works to design and prepare placemaking elements for people all over the world. The Place Fab team is comprised of makers and doers whose mission it is to make better places available to everyone by delivering the elements that make that vision possible in all places.
pop-up business infrastructure
Markets and food vendors are vital instruments in drawing people into public spaces. They guarantee a meal, place to linger, and something to do. We've found that some brick and mortar businesses dream to expand their customer base by attending pop-up events in their local plaza or some other space where potential customers may flock. They are often held back because they lack mobile infrastructure. This is also true for many aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to sell their products, but lack the space to do so from. We work to lower this placemaking barrier by crafting kiosks and stands that serve as semi-permanent structures for local businesses to utilize.
small, vitally important elements
The fundamental building blocks of community, it turns out, are small. Trivial even. They’re bollards. And benches. Planters and platforms. Awnings and tables. Crosswalks, sidewalks, and boardwalks. It's often better to design bigger installations once those smaller, crucial elements are in place. Those are the elements that create connection. What a lasting community needs in any placemaking project is a first step. An early standard setting. A place where buildings, elements, and human architecture all combine to invite lingering. Because where people linger, community happens. These small elements can be utilized by anyone: urban planner, small businessman, and stay-at-home mom alike.
Digital fabrication allows our team to shape products that meet particular design parameters in a unique way. We create specialized installations to help our clients achieve awareness about their mission and/or event details. Our designs are fully customizable, from size to stain, and we can create an installation specially designed to fill a need. Whether this means a three-piece trampoline parklet for an after-school program or a specialized sign to announce a new dog park, we can build what you need, even if it cannot be found anywhere else.
Architects focus on individual buildings.
Fabricators focus on individual elements.
Placemakers focus on community design.
Placemaking Fabricators focus on all of the above.
700 W Davis st.
Dallas, tx 75208