Humanmade is is much more than your average makerspace. It’s San Francisco’s first Advanced Manufacturing Training center with a mission around workforce development. It also houses San Francisco’s most extensive open-access Design, Fabrication, and Prototyping Facility. Located in the Design District, at the bottom of Potrero Hill, in the same building as SFMade’s Manufacturing Foundry, Humanmade has a shop of more than 13,500 square feet. The facility houses a full woodshop, metal/hot shop, laser cutting lab, 3D printing lab, textile lab, electronics lab, and more industry-standard design software than you can dream of!
Opened to the public since July 13th, 2019, Humanmade is a place where anyone can come to learn and master new skills while also gaining access to the tools of innovation. A place where you can design, fabricate, and develop anything from prototypes to small batch production runs. More importantly, Humanmade is a place where one can attain a life-changing career in the manufacturing sector through its workforce development programs.
Humanmade employs eight full-time and six part-time employees to date, with a majority of them boasting advanced technical skills. These skills allow the staff to not only be instructors for the different pieces of equipment available in the shop but also to enable community members to quickly become pros at operating the machines of their choice after their training session ends.
We got a chance to interview Humanmade’s Co-Founder Sarayah Rogers in October of 2019.
|Address||150 Hooper St #400, SF. Open daily 9am-11pm|
What’s the story behind Humanmade?
Upon TechShop’s abrupt closure in November of 2017, which displaced over 1,200 makers, artists, and fabricators overnight in San Francisco alone, Humanmade’s Founder, Ryan Spurlock, knew that he needed to provide a space for people to get back to work and fast. Ryan used what he had learned as the General Manager of TechShop SF to make Humanmade even more impactful by forcing inclusion in the sector through workforce opportunities to those who would otherwise not have the means or network.
Humanmade’s nonprofit was launched with the mission to empower individuals in our community to become the next generation of inventors, designers, and fabricators by providing access to the best training, tools, and facilities through workforce development and STEAM training programs.
We were fortunate enough to work with you [SFMade] to secure the top floor of your new Manufacturing Foundry. It was not easy!… It took over a year to raise the funds and build out the facility. Humanmade officially opened to the public on Saturday, July 13th, 2019.
Sarayah, what are your and Ryan’s backgrounds?
Ryan was the former General Manager of TechShop San Francisco. During his time there, he assisted thousands of members as the Maker and DIY’er movement started to thrive. He guided TechShop San Francisco’s product management, product development, and business development, while also nurturing an environment that celebrated a competitive market edge through innovation, community, and teamwork. After TechShop’s closure, Ryan was determined to find a new home for the community, and that home is Humanmade.
I used to be the Event Coordinator at TechShop San Francisco, and that’s how Ryan and I initially met. At the time when TechShop closed down, I was working for Dolby Laboratories, and Ryan called me with the idea for Humanmade and offered me the position. And that was it, and there was no looking back!
You’re just over 3 months old. How many members do you have now, and who can join?
Currently, Humanmade has about 135 active users, and we welcome everyone who wants to join, whether individuals or groups.
One of the most notable groups using Humanmade is the nonprofit AbilityHacks. They are a community of individuals with disabilities and volunteers that work on addressing specific, unmet ability challenges. Both clients and volunteers take ownership of mobility challenges and work closely as a collaborative group on solutions that are both personalized and will be useful in the long run. They host bi-weekly meetups from 2pm-5pm, so you should stop by Humanmade and meet their team! We are very excited to provide groups like AbilityHacks both access and training to help support their fantastic mission!
What are your different programs?
Humanmade has partnered with SFMade to run San Francisco’s first Next Generation Manufacturing Workforce Development Program. This 12-week training is designed to train someone with the skills necessary to attain a career in the manufacturing sector. It includes 300+ hours of CAD modeling, focusing on either 3D printing or CNC machining, and the goal of the program is to equip low-income San Francisco residents with skills to gain employment in the growing manufacturing industry and achieve upward economic mobility.
Humanmade also offers paid training to the general public. We have over 10 Fundamental Safety and Operations (FSO) training sessions to get people trained the different equipment in the facility, and we also offer workshops that enable people to do fun projects like a picture frame or a cutting board. The FSOs are usually 2 to 3-hour classes designed to teach someone how to perform basic operations on a machine, and once cleared, community members can book the tool for personal use. Humanmade will also be rolling out our after school and summer STEAM programs for kids 8-17 early next year, with additional workshops and advanced training sessions later this winter.
How would you describe your company’s core values?
Humanmade’s core mission is to provide career opportunities through manufacturing skills to anyone with the desire to learn them, and help attain something that everyone deserves in life, regardless of race, class, gender or other perceived barriers… a sense of purpose!
How experienced is your training staff, and how to they get trained on all the equipment – including the new machines you occasionally receive?
Humanmade staff members come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including fabricators, artists, craftspeople, and industrial designers. The Humanmade staff has over 150 years of combined industry experience. The one characteristic that they all share is their desire to problem-solve!
Aside from our standard FSO (Fundamental Safety and Operations) machine training that everyone – including our staff – has to go through, most new skills are learned together as a group when a piece of new equipment arrives or a community member has difficulty with their project that takes brainstorming a solution.
What should we look forward to from you?
The future of Humanmade will be continuing to grow our training programs. As the manufacturing industry evolves, Humanmade will be there preparing individuals for the future of work.
How has SFMade been most valuable to the growth of your business?
SFMade has been immeasurably valuable to launching and growing Humanmade — from your years of evangelizing the benefits of manufacturing in San Francisco to acting as our fiscal sponsor to helping Humanmade call SFMade’s Manufacturing Foundry home or simply mentoring us to help shape our mission along the way.
~An interview by Pierre @ SFMade. Thank you Sarayah!