Advancements in digital manufacturing and technology are creating more specialized jobs, driving economic growth, and generating a new typology of hybrid maker communities. The accessibility of new tools is allowing individuals to produce goods locally, dawning a future of urban production that is heterogeneous, small-scale and collaborative. With the success of companies such as Etsy, Ponoko and Lifehacker, prototyping and manufacturing has fallen into the hands of everyday individuals.
In order to stimulate growth and create jobs for the emerging classes of specialized labor forces is to adapt to the volatility. The country is challenged with handling the transition and needs to address how multiple, more advanced streams of production can operate effectively together.
Oakland’s industrial waterfront offers a swath of abandoned structures once serving specific, homogenous functions. Because of their embodied material, shear scale and adjacency to cities these relics contain the infrastructure that could catalyze a revolution of urban production. Strategically, they are located along vital communication and distribution networks that could proliferate more transparent product development.
It is the prerogative of this thesis to consider the implications for these large scale devices to introduce new frameworks allowing new heterogeneous forms of urban production to exist simultaneously in complex aggregations.