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Artisan's Asylum will turn 7 soon - what are we going to do to address the 7 year itch?


Strategic Planning

The board of directors is working on a strategic visioning process that will look at our mission and how our operations support the mission.

Facilities Development

  • Shop lead planning
  • Shop leads now have a mechanism for proposing changes

MassDev Infrastructure Grant

MassDevelopment has given the Artisan's Asylum a matching grant of up to $100k for infrastructure improvements relating to:

  • Replacing unreliable 3D modeling computers
  • Expanding Digital Fabrication capabilities with laser etching and metal cutting machines
  • Overhauling the front of the facility to make the space handicap accessible and more engaging, inviting and better serve the greater community.

Tyler Street Entrance Redesign

The redesign of our Tyler Street facility has a few primary goals:

  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Current access doors are not easily operated or code compliant
  • Improved appearance with storefront windows and new signage
  • Research has shown engaging spaces with welcoming appearences have greater impacts on their communities and receive greater support
  • City support may be available for storefront improvement
  • Street level garage or large scale door
  • Allow access during events
  • Easier access for large art and equipment not shipping by semi-truck

There are several additional benefits that could be achieved at the same time

  • Creating an event space that is segregated from the greater space
  • Currently events require a lot of monitoring to ensure visitors and the facility are safe
  • A separated space could allow us to host private functions as a revenue stream and community meetings and events
  • Additional access from 10 Tyler to 12 Tyler (Building 13/MPR 2)
  • Given the planning and permitting going on the needed analysis and planning might be more affordable
  • Redesigning the bathrooms to relocate the handicap bathroom could allow access from MPR

Development Phase II May 2017

Artisan's Asylum member Bennett Chaney has been retained to come up with the architectural plans for the front-end redesign portion of the project as we move forward. With the short timelines for the original grant, we are hoping for additional funding opportunities to implement.

Here is an outline of things discussed on May 19th. If you have anything to add or additional comments, it would be helpful if they could be added below.

A link to a walkthrough video of Tyler Street:

A couple of drawing packages:


What happens in the Artisan’s Asylum - People making things; ideas developed and shared

Accessibility physical - Very poor accessibility – noncompliant for ADA - Access to classrooms from main entry; visitors have to go through studio space or around workshops

Accessibility visual - Neighbors don’t realize that we are here

Community Membership vs Club Membership - Existing entrance is almost secretive

Accessibility Aural - MPR1 & Computer Lab – needs to be a quiet space

Mechanical Equipment - Loud, but in process of getting repaired

Fire Protection - Enclosure of new location for MPR1 and computers

Workshop Arrangement - adjacency versus isolation - Example: Tuesday nights at Scul, Jewelry, and Electronics

Location of Common Area - What happens in Common Area - Has good placement (as it is now) in the middle of the main passage across the AAsylum.

MPR Zero - New space; what could it be used for? - Activity that is visible from the street _____________________________________

I am looking forward to getting your thoughts on this. Any feedback I could get would be much appreciated, and feel free to stop by my space in Building 8 if you would like to get into more detail.


Bennett S. Chaney, AIA 617.642.5031 ArchDesPhot LLC Architecture | Design | Photography

Development Phase I January 2017

In fact we are looking to hear lots of ideas. On Friday the 6th members gathered to review ideas and thoughts. As part of our grant application we submitted an initial proposal diagram that laid out some of the design goals, but would have some significant impacts on the space. Other submitted ideas are posted in the Social Area for member feedback. Below are some ideas. Feel free to comment here or leave questions.

A thought on door placement, note on how much MPR must be maintained for optimal presentation File:idea1.jpg

Moving bathroom and kitchen. File:idea9.jpg

A moved kitchen, moved handicap bathroom, external access electrical room, additional doors between buildings. File:idea2.jpg

Expanding bathrooms to add accessible stalls, hallway through current. shifted social area that can spill into dock. File:idea3.jpg

A separate electrical room. File:idea4.jpg

Social area, MPR, screen printing combined to one shared work area. Function area where E&R/Jewelry/Front desk are today. File:idea5.jpg

Thoughts on moving shops across the board File:idea6.jpg

Specifically split off class room, combined E&R / Digital Fabrication File:idea7.jpg

Segreated hallway between a coworking area and function area. File:idea8.jpg

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