Ode to Tube Wall


Four years ago, we built a wall made out of cardboard tubes for the specific purpose of cordoning off a large area at Maker Faire for our chain reaction activity. We thought it would be just used for that one event, but was such a huge hit and worked so well that we kept reusing it again and again.

Open MAKE Toys seup
We brought the tube wall out on the museum floor for temporary tinkering studio events, framing out spaces for open makes, and to define our booth at every subsequent maker faire. The flexibility of shape and ability to change the length made it super convenient for us to prototype custom environments for different activities.

Saudi Arabia 7/9/12
We even brought a version of the wall to Saudi Arabia to create workshop spaces for activities that required deeper engagement and focus.

And although at times it seems a pain to transport the wall by bomb cart from one end of the embarcadero to the other, it has become an indispensable element for our Tinkering Studio space.

Construction Pier 15
So after spiffing up the tube wall a bit, we put it right back to use as a temporary measure before getting more sturdy gates built by Al Bellevue (to be featured later on the blog) to close off the space during construction. We also are using the tube wall to set aside a dedicated area for workshops in the center of the Tinkering Studio.

Construction Pier 15
The elegant system of dowels and zip ties, while a little tricky to put together, gives the wall a flexibility and stability that works beautifully for our rapid prototypes and environmental tests.

Tinkering Studio
The tube wall has given us way more use than the specific event that it was designed for. And in our new space, it looks pretty nice as well!

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