We specialize in creating simple, elegant solutions to design challenges. Here are just a few of our recent projects.
Aerial Rigging Trolley
Aerial rigger Karl Gillick specializes in making people fly. He works with circus companies, individual artists, and theaters to get performers dancing or moving in the air, whether it's off the side of a building or above a stage. Recently, a small theater company hired him for a run of Mary Poppins, with the task of having Mary fly onto the stage from the back of the theater. To keep Mary in a smooth straight line above the audience and ensure that she landed in the same place every time, Karl designed a trolley system that runs on an I-beam suspended from the ceiling.
While his first system got the job done, it was heavy and complicated. When he was hired to do a second run of Mary Poppins shows in a different theater — which meant putting up and taking down the trolley system several times — he knew it was time for a lighter and more portable system that didn’t compromise safety. After a few months and some consultation with our team, the drawings were finalized, and soon after, fabrication began. The new aluminum trolley system is lighter, more maneuverable, and simpler to use.
When we got married on the coast in Mendocino, CA, we wanted a shaded area that was large enough for all of our guests, but didn't look like the usual rental tent. So rather than rent something, we designed and built our own canopy structure, which is 40' square, packs flat, and can be assembled by three people in less than an hour. The colorful fabric is a total pain to set up in the wind, but it makes a beautiful backdrop.
After the wedding, we ended up using the structure as shade for our 40-person camp at Burning Man. We also rent the canopy out for other festivals and events.
Boxing Bag Trolleys
Working in an urban area with a lot of mixed use buildings gives us lots of opportunities to get creative. When one of our long time clients, HIT Fit SF, had to move their boxing gym from a single-story building in San Francisco’s Mission District onto the ground floor of a multi-story building with apartments on the upper floors, they came to us to design a system for their space.
They needed their heavy bags to be able to move into and out of position for group fitness classes, but also to prevent reverberation from the bags from rattling the walls in the apartments above. We designed a truss and trolley system that is buffered by rubber to absorb sound and movement, as well as stationary points for either heavy bags or speed bags.