Thinking about our New Space

We are excited to be launching a permanent home for 2019 in Northwest Berkeley where we will host professional development workshops, experiment with playful installations and lead a variety of tinkering camps and classes for kids and adults.


We are sharing a beautiful victorian former schoolhouse with our friends at Maker Ed and will be working with many outside partners, educators and tinkerers to create unique and whimsical art-pieces, programs and events.

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At the center of the space is a large open area with a variety of tools and materials for tinkering. The WICO corner of the space will be right off the makerspace and we’re looking forward to connecting our prototyping process to the evolving environment.


This Sunday we hosted an initial kick-off planning session with a selected “brain trust” of collaborators who have volunteered at WICO programs, advised us and inspired us over the past two years. A goal for the session was to share hopes and dreams, give the group the chance to get to know each other better and establish some of the overarching themes for the coming year.


We started by looking at photos of many of the events, camps, workshops, installations and programs from 2018. Each participant chose a photo that represented a interesting for them personally. We all wrote out why we chose that one and shared with each other how we could explore that topic in the new WICO space over the coming year.


For the second half of the brainstorming session we ran an adaptation of the “where do you stand” thinking routine that I borrowed from our former explainer leader Anne Richardson. We asked each person to complete the sentence “the primary mission of the new WICO space should be…” and write their answer on an index card. We read the cards out loud and arranged ourselves in a half circle ranging from agree on one side to disagree on the other. After everyone picked their place we went around and explained our position, asked people to clarify their definitions and reconsidered our original assumptions. It was really interesting to hear the varied interpretations of words like “sustainability”, “community”, “flexible” and “education”. After each round we asked a series of probing questions without expecting or attempting answers.


With those two exercises, we called it a night and spent the rest of the evening continuing conversations, socializing and eating some tool themed cookies that Nicole, Andrea and I baked the day before!

There are so many new opportunities to collaborate on experimental workshops and installations in the coming year and we can’t want to start sharing our slate of programs and events with you all!