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Jeffrey McGrew at The Interval: Talking with Robots about Architecture 2/10/15, *San Francisco

Jeffrey McGrew at The Interval: Talking with Robots about Architecture

The Interval at Long Now

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PST)

San Francisco, CA


The Long Now Foundation welcomes
Jeffrey McGrew
architect and designer (Because We Can)

The Interval at Long Now: check-in begins at 6:30; talk will start at 7:30
Join us afterwards for drinks and conversation with our speaker

The co-founder of the firm that designed The Interval, talks about the future of building and technological innovations that are changing the industry

What’s happening now and what will be tomorrow in the technology of building buildings? Change comes both slow and quickly in the building industry. New technology leads to new ways of working, but also sometimes makes older ways of working viable again. The flow of innovation in design and construction is not easy to predict, but it’s fascinating to track. Our next talk will tour some of the most recent developments and give perspective on how we got here and what’s coming next.

Jeffrey McGrew can speak from first-hand experience about how robots and other new tech help to build better buildings with more efficiency and less expense. These tools not only help the buildings, but also the humans–enabling architects, contractors, clients and everyone else in the construction ecosystem to better communicate and get the work done faster.

Computer-aided design (CAD) tools emerged in the 01960s and changed the world of architecture, though industry adoption was begrudging and slow. In the 21st Century innovation is arriving rapidly. BIM, JIT, RFIDs and Spimes will all feature in this talk. As will Antoni Gaudí, Tesla Motors, and robots big and small.

Architect Jeffrey McGrew’s career has tracked precisely the rapid evolution of software and automation in the building industry. Eight years ago he and his wife Jillian Northrup founded the design-build studio Because We Can as two designers and a robot: their trusty CNC router, named Frank. Since then they’ve added more robots, more people, and many impressive projects to their growing portfolio.

As an architecture firm that also helps build the projects they design, Because We Can excel at tackling creatively demanding and unusual projects. Inspiring office spaces, distinctive home renovations, a steampunk zoo in Mississippi, a home feline habitrail, details for The Serpent Twins Burning Man project, and The Interval bar-cafe-museum for The Long Now Foundation are a few of their many projects.

Here’s the computer rendering of a room they designed for the Hattiesburg Zoo in Mississippi and some of the finished work:


As a nimble, robotically-enabled studio Because We Can fills many roles in their client work: design, architecture, fabrication, and installation included. Jeffrey is comfortable working with both computer code and building codes. That versatility and his experience at more traditional architecture firms and with hands-on construction, gives him a broad perspective on where the industry has been and how it is actively evolving today.

We hope you can join us for a glimpse of the future and perspective on the past
from one of the people whose vision helped make The Interval possible

Jeffrey McGrew is an Oakland, California-based architect and the co-founder and lead architect of Because We Can. His experience spans business, architecture, construction, and technology. Before Because We Can Jeffrey spent time working for Gensler (a global architecture firm based in San Francisco) and Mark Cavagnero (architect of the new SF Jazz Center) amongst other firms. He has also been a technical advisor to Autodesk’s CTO and his team, a freelance BIM consultant, and helped bring several physical and software products to market. He framed houses to pay for college, then dropped out so he could just get to work. He earned his Architect’s license via the old apprenticeship model.

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Photos by Because We Can





Have questions about Jeffrey McGrew at The Interval: Talking with Robots about Architecture? Contact The Interval at Long Now


February 8, 2015 - Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, ENTREPRENEURS, opportunity, TECHNOLOGY, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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