Founder director, Anupama Prakash tells us more;
How did you start? Tell us the story.
Pavan and I met in the year 2012 when we were part of an organisation that dedicated itself for Math and Science experiential learning for school children. We got to collaborate on a very specific project to build a math activity centre called NumberNagar for primary and middle schoolers. It was a project that emphasised on user based experience design to make math teaching and learning highly multidisciplinary. The approach to the project demanded both aesthetic and functional design that called for several iterations during its execution. Material exploration was the order of the day. It was at this time that we realised that the city did not have a space dedicated for prototyping. One with ideas was either let loose to run pillar to post in search of different studio offerings rather than having a one-stop joint for idea exploration. The need was hence clearly defined.
Pavan as then Head of Products, came with the proposition to start a studio for such out of the box thinking and exploration. We spent nearly three months researching online, doing Skype and personal meetings with like-minded people and travelling to see other city practices following which a white paper was articulated and shared with many international organisations from University professors to Fab Labbers.
Having arrived to a point of preparedness, the company was floated and its modest operations began at a garage in the outskirts of Bangalore with the generous support from family and friends. Within the first three months of its operations, we were invited by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) to activate one of their public spaces by conducting weekly workshops that we had initiated. Our continued conversation with BMRCL threw open an opportunity to bid for one of their spaces.
With the support and mentorship of several individuals and able bodies, WP was awarded the bid. In a record breaking three months, a modular structure was raised under the Halasuru metro station where it currently operates from. From the start of its centrally located operations, there has been no looking back in furthering our dream space.
Tell us about your team?
We are a team of six. Pavan “I just want to make stuff” Kumar
is Founder and Director. His first question every time he meets people who introduce themselves as engineers is “what have you engineered?”
Anupama Prakash, founder director, is the hand that runs Workbench Projects. She is a master of ceremonies, operations and logistics, making sure that everything is right where it needs to be. Her passion is to create creativity.
Swathi Parasuraman is the Research Collaborator at Workbench Projects Pvt Ltd. Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Engineering from SRM Univeristy in Chennai, India and a Masters in Life Science from Waseda University in Tokyo, she went on to intern at a company in Japan which was active in spreading the concept of makerspace’s.
Pavan Sheth is the Systems Engineer at Workbench Projects Pvt Ltd. He has an experience of two years in a small spectrum of work practices ranging from hardcore production to designing to sales & marketing. Prior to WP, he worked with RV Industries, Bangalore as Junior Production Engineer managing the shop-floor processes.
Known affectionately as “Mala”, Malini is the Space Supervisor and Support Staff of Workbench Projects Pvt Ltd. Her job is to ensure that all members are comfortable and are at work when it comes to the everyday routine of a makerspace.
Tell us about one interesting thing that was made at the space.
This link should tell about one:
The laser machine.
What do you like breaking?
Stereotypes and mediocrity.
What do you guys do for fun?
Prove the current space of operation as a success pilot model such that more such spaces emerge country-wide and a promising PPP model is seen with utmost merit. Expansion plan either to own, co-own or on a collaborative model is still open-ended stressing more focus on the quality of the projects to be honed in the days to come. We certainly hope to fine tune and stay committed to ‘responsible innovation’.
Read more about Workbench Projects.