In an off-the-charts-busy co-working space in an old auto garage in burgeoning downtown Colorado Springs, four independent creative studios crank out good work in The Machine Shop. Co-Pilot Creative, Fixer Creative Co., Design Rangers, and Echo Architecture are the local machinists, each with their own style, all working to make this city a place people want to be.
The space is an impossible alloy of light, steel, glass, wood, and warmth; stable and sturdy, cozy and gracious. The nearly ten foot tall front door, all steel-patina and weathered wood, curiously-hinged, swings open to the living room style entry with a leather couch and cowhide rug. The floors and bar are concrete: a reminder of this place’s past and a cue to the kind of solid work the place produces. A huge garage door opens to let the outside in, and let the creatives out onto the wooden deck in front.
Valerie Lloyd, de facto director of The Machine Shop, and partners started it as a mix of people in the perfect space, people who wanted to promote the growth of Colorado Springs, to expose this city to the value of good design. With their Artist-In-Residence program, the Shop is inviting the whole city in to see the work of local creators (the modular desks and glass walls roll out of the way, transforming the space into a gallery). Expression is of central importance here; multiple crafts on a mission to create better design, shaping brands and forming a city.