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Upland 2023 Week 1 - 10

We're on fire in 2023. Here are the highlights...

We started off the year with a celebration—and cleared enough space in the shop to setup a pickleball court!

Mark and Anthony won. Because Mark plays, like, all the time. In multiple leagues. Of course Mark won.

We'll celebrate more—and probably play more pickleball—in 2023.

Pickleball 2023

But then it was back to work, with the goal of figuring out how to get through our projects more quickly this year.

We looked to local artists for inspiration.

The highlight was a visit to Phil Epp's studio. He talked with us about his process and gave us a sneak peak at the painting that will soon be featured in our new conference room!

I'm so excited.

Phil Epp showing the Gaeddert Family his studio and process for Chisholm Trail painting

We were also fortunate to spend an evening with Virgil Penner. Another prolific local artist with an interesting perspective. He penciled in a new painting while we were there, and talked us through his process start to finish.

Virgil Penner painting tour

We met with Chuck and Nathan from Kauffman Museum to do some brainstorming.

Exhibit brainstorming meeting

This was a fun way to reconnect, and led to some interesting concepts. Including this immersive space station concept Graham designed.

I have no idea if we'll get to build this one, but the concept was so cool I had to share it.

Solar module science exhibit display rendering Upland Exhibits Solar module space station exhibit display rendering Upland Exhibits

We also started exploring how AI can help us in the early design phases. I've been dreaming of this day for a while now, and it's here. So exciting.

Exploring AI exhibit design ideas at Upland

I worked on a few projects directly with others to think more deeply about our process. My son Brett and I worked on a project he's been wanting to do for a little while.

We talked about the creative process and exploring where the project takes you, especially when you make a (serendipitous) mistake.

Brett making desk display with scrollsaw

I did a small workshop with a local ELP group my son Collin is a part of. We discussed the design and construction process, and started building the city they had been working on laying out for a few months. Kinda fun, and good practice communicating complex concepts clearly.

ELP class workshop

We focused on our own space, since that impacts our design process greatly. We built a gigantic conference table.

6'x12' boat shaped conference table at Upland

Wrapped up our second story office project (for now).

Installing railing at Upland

And I built a lounge using the tools I'd been exploring so that I could take a project start to (almost) finished with new processes.

Level up lounge

Of course, our project work continued at a dizzying pace.

We made a pretty cool whirlwind room. This is a design that our client licensed from another museum and hired us to fabricate. We've not done that before, but I expect we'll do it again.

Whirlwind room for childrens museum Machining blue HDPE HDPE CNC blue chips

We made cases and sign bases aplenty.

Installing museum case glass Upland

Designed, rendered, prototyped, built, hired.

bank exhibit paint color test render Upland Exhibits Engraved acrylic test for science lab display

As I type this, we have teams in Chicago and Oklahoma City, with boxes awaiting pickup headed further.

And as photos from the first projects of 2023 start to roll in from appreciative clients, I'm excited for the impact we're making.

We're only two months in, but it's going to be another big year for sure!

Upland reader rails and sign bases at Selma 5481 Upland reader rails and sign bases at Selma 5470

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