MANY 6160 – my workshop
The Production Floor. This is where my workshop is located. It’s in the old Myer’s building smack bang in the middle of Fremantle. I was invited by the good folk at Spacemarket to come up with an idea of what to do with an entire floor (some ~4000m2) within a 20,000m2 block of abandoned concrete.
The Production Floor is a concept and environment that arose from having the immense opportunity this space affords coupled with the current needs of our creative community.
Manufacturing has slowed in Australia as dollars per unit become the bottom line. This is just business. It’s how business operates. It’s fine. Businesses need to work and be sustainable and that is what we are looking to foster here.
I’ve found that a lot of small businesses and emerging creatives are unable to do fulltime what they’ve been trained in, practiced at and dreamt of doing and there seem to be a set of reoccurring themes as to why.
Themes like space.
A physical space where you could set up your equipment and leave it set up.
Many of us were working on our kitchen tables and in our carports and setting up and packing down took as long as it did to actually make something.
We’ve got space here. Space to grow into as our practices grow. You can now take on that new job because spatially you can accommodate it.
The ‘Big Job‘ is what builds businesses. They’re the one’s that we dream of and chase and get excited about. Big Job’s are the key – not just in monetary terms – but also the exposure that leads to next weeks continued employment. Landing and executing the Big Job are different things however.
Most importantly, the Production Floor gives us each other. An elasticated workforce that can be called upon to aid, assist or diversify a project. To get it across the line without the overheads of employees and insurances.
The shadowy extra benefit here is the temporary work force you can call upon learn skills from you. They get paid to be exposed to something new. That makes so much sense to me. Along with that, people also have complimentary equipment and experience. Need a table saw, laser cutter and a silk screen to make what’s in your head? They are all here.
Marketing and exposure is a big tick for this place as well. I know so many folk who are so stupidly gifted at making things but work as something else for 38 hours a week. The reason is that no one knows who they are or what they do.
Working on your own business in a collective of this scale builds your exposure. This building, this project and the other tenants become your champions. Examples, approaches and opportunities are created by your neighbours.
With the Production Floor I started thinking about “types” of tenants that could really benefit from a 4000m2 workshop space. Who needs this opportunity?
Every year WAAPA, Tafe, and the Universities graduate hundreds of people. People who make things and are pretty great. Their practice is often dependent on access to expensive equipment and workshops as well as a community where design and aesthetics are spoken about and explored.
Post-school there is an isolation that tends to occur where you may want to make something but don’t have any of the tools you need, nor can you afford them.
MANY 6160’s Production Floor seeks to create an environment and culture where these folk can come and just be great. Where they can be supported, not just aesthetically, but also by developing their businesses and practice so that they can transform their part-times interests into full-time practice. Doing what they are built to do.
Personally I’d like to say a massive thank you on behalf of all the Production Floor tenants to Spacemarket, Sirona Capital, the City of Fremantle and the community at large for their support. The structures that have been created and the culture that has been crafted will become a blueprint for structuring shared creative spaces, not just here but throughout Australia.
Business isn’t going to change here. Dollars per unit will always exist (and most of the time win). Australia as a whole will continue to make less things as it’s cheaper elsewhere. This is the reality and future of manufacturing and retail in Australia. Spaces like MANY 6160 and the Production Floor offer something quite different.
Yes, some of it is about money, but it is money as a reward for hard work, bright ideas and good product and it goes directly to the person who earned it.
The Production Floor offers an environment where we have a shot and a shot is all we need.
Spaces and workshops are available. Email
firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
A Good Looking Man
MANY 6160: the Production Floor