ABOUT Factory Unlocked:
Factory Unlocked is a small-batch manufacturing co-working space in Pittsburgh, PA that offers affordable access to space, equipment, design and prototyping resources, and business support. As a response to the growing startup ecosystem in Pittsburgh and across the nation, Factory Unlocked exists as a third industrial revolution hub where entrepreneurs can innovate and actualize their ideas.
WHAT I DID FOR THEM:
The purpose of my role as Polymath, Industrial Design Specialist was to assist Factory Unlocked’s members in their product development process. Because I was on board during the company and facility planning/build-out phase, my design knowledge and experience were used to:
Plan the facility layout
Help develop a company brand strategy
Assist in marketing and customer acquisition
Plan event and workshops
Use my visual design skills for various tasks
Once the necessary types of spaces in the facility were identified, I led user-focused sessions to determine the best possible layout. The priorities for layout were efficiency of work flow for the customers, noise and dust mitigation, separation based on hardware and safety requirements, as well as cultivating the desired social environment. Six main possible layouts were created and analyzed based on the above criteria.
To left is the concluded layout for the facility.
After a layout had been chosen, the areas were marked in the facility and set up with the posters pictured left, encouraging visitors and customers to give feedback and help shape the spaces.
CAD renderings were designed to prototype and visualize the layout and furnishing of the facility.
Branding and Marketing
Many sessions were held to develop the mission, vision, and brand of Factory Unlocked.
The final style choice mixed modern and retro sentiments, paying homage to what technology and manufacturing used to be, yet welcoming into the new age of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Company apparel was brainstormed to create a cohesive look among staff members and t-shirts were created for members as part of a welcome package.
The original website was a plain landing page with general information about the space and its offerings. I project managed the website redesign, including the user flow and information, which transformed the site into a branded and informative communication platform.
Website development was done by Gunnar Zemering.
Click here to see the full website.
Marketing, Membership Docs, & More
Along with developing the brand language, I implemented the brand guidelines across external and internal documents, including membership documents, proposals, product offerings, etc.
Additionally, I created posters, flyers, and managed the Instagram account.
Many open houses were held to promote and introduce Factory Unlocked to the community. Work for this included facility preparation, providing tours, and media/email coordination.
A Startup Bootcamp was held in June to pair startups with mentors that could assist them with their growth. My role included workshop and material preparation, leading a workshop session, facility preparation, coordination with event participants, and assisting with event oversight.
WHAT THEY THOUGHT:
“I worked with Lauren for over a year and she is a real talent. The best utility player you’ll ever have in design from graphics to fashion, and architecture to product design. Lauren is willing to jump in and tackle any problem without hesitation, yet with careful, considered deliberation. Project management and hitting milestones are her particular strengths.’’