Loft Life

The Loft is the space reserved on campus for the Master’s students in the Design Impact Program. Officially know on campus maps as Building 610, the Loft is adjacent to the Product Realization Lab and centrally located on campus near the Tressider Student Union, at the corner of Duena and Santa Teresa Streets. This special space fosters a culture of creativity and exploration that is central to our program. The Loft is so named because the original space was “borrowed” from the attic of the old ME Foundry building.

Photo of the original Loft when it was over the old ME Foundry Building (and was actually in the loft).

The Loft today.

The following is a manifesto from the some of the current Loftees that describes the way our students feel about this special place:

Greetings Creative Campers!

Welcome to the Loft, the mothership of the world’s greatest summer camp, the most excellent loophole in higher education and, indeed more literally, the four antique-brick walls that put a loose box around a tight tinkering of misfit genius. We are electrified to know that you’ve taken an interest in our more than 50-year-old creative community, embodied by our studio in the heart of Stanford’s campus. Our motto, said often, includes but one word: Design.

The rogue interpretation of that single word is made in an assortment of unique ways by its inhabitants, the Loftees. Each given a cubby-hole of creativity, Loftees inquire into the nature of materials and (or) light, build spaceships, endeavor into experimental living, place electronics where none had gone before, cultivate “the Force,” and far more! An allergy to normalcy and an instinctual, life-long mistrust of the beaten path has led creative folks to this small building for, now, many generations. Those generations who come back to teach and share what they learn in the broad world round out the Loft as truly a meeting house for a band of wildly differently yet empathetic artisans.

“Our motto, said often, includes but one word: Design.”

In the Loft, there is no “program” in design, but rather an open space for it. Bill Burnett, elder Loftee and current Captain of the SS Loft, often says “every band tours, but the real music is written back in the basement or garage, where the musicians are free to experiment.” The Loft is where we experiment, where we put our ears to the tracks. It is our garage, it is our studio, it is our home.

Warning: The Loft lacks a supervision of sorts and we prefer you leave your parents behind. Our bunkbeds, handmade silverware, and flamboyant wood-shop clothing are all tidied rigorously by a fiercely childlike yet seriously inquisitive group of adult students. Professors, tourists, and government representatives who enter do so as inquiring equals. Safety not guaranteed. Status not warrantied.

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