Beyond the Fence: “Making it in NYC”

Beyond the Fence: “Making it in NYC”
Don't miss this event happening at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this weekend.
Don’t miss this event happening at the Brooklyn Navy Yard this weekend. (Photo courtesy Situ Studio)

One of the things I love about the Brooklyn Navy Yard is that everyone here makes something, and they make it well – from countertops constructed out of recycled glass to high-tech military gear, designer furniture to cutting-edge fashion, craft whiskey to organic rooftop farms. I savor strolling around the navy yard. There’s an old-fashioned, can-do spirit – a feeling that Brooklyn is still home to the finest craftsmen and craftswomen in the world. I feel that energy every time I walk past a busy warehouse or hear artisans brainstorming about a project

That’s why I’m excited to see the new “Making it in NYC: the Era of New Manufacturing” exhibit at BLDG 92. The free exhibit, which begins Thursday and runs through the end of the year, highlights 30 different New York makers in five different industry groups – energy and resiliency, furnishing and home goods, technology and media, building and construction, and fashion and apparel.

“A lot of our companies are at the intersection of industry, technology, and innovation,” Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation CEO David Ehrenberg said. “They might not receive all the headlines, but what they’re doing is essential for local job creation and the well-being of our economy.”

Navy yard-based SITU Studio designed and constructed the exhibit, which invites visitors of all ages to actively engage with and even operate objects manufactured in the navy yard and throughout the city.

Visitors will be able to interact with products created by MHT Lighting, metal fabricators at Ferra Designs, producer of 3D printers Solidoodle, furniture maker Scott Jordan, and designer of women’s undergarments Hanky Panky. Additional, navy yard businesses including IceStone, OgoSport, Lumi-Solair, Spuni, Capsys, Campos Bags, and Crye Precision will be featured in the exhibit.

To complement the “Making it in NYC” exhibit, BLDG 92 will stage a series of panel discussions featuring representatives from well-known New York manufacturers. The panels will kick off June 5 with a discussion on “Home to Studio Manufacturing,” moderated by Dana Mauriello of Etsy.

At the same time, the navy yard is expanding its line-up of factory tours. Some of my favorites include “Whiskey Wars” with Kings County Distillery, an IceStone factory tour, and the “Heavy Metal” tour, which gives visitors an up-close look at fine metal fabricator Ferra Designs.

BLDG 92’s “Making it in NYC: the New Era of Manufacturing” exhibit opens to the public on Thursday at 6 p.m. For factory tour tickets or additional information about “Making it in NYC: the New Era of Manufacturing,” interested parties can contact BLDG 92 at www.bldg92.org or call (718) 907-5992.

Anselm Doering is the founder and CEO of EcoLogic Solutions, a navy yard-based manufacturer of environmentally preferable cleaning supplies and technologies for institutional users. He can be reached at anselm@ecologicsolutions.com.

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