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PLATFORMS:

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On paper, It’s All Made Up, or IAMU (both statements are existentially true) is a (generally) DC based Burning Man camp founded in 2011. We are now known for many things, such as creating and operating the DC Burning Man Intermodal Shipping Container program, or being one of the first camps in our region to utilize scaffolding for a wide variety of purposes (in Black Rock City, Miami, and even on the National Mall, twice). 

 

Because of our camp member mix, and the events we would hold (like ‘I’m Black and I’m on the Playa’ or Dia de Los Muertos commemoration) we were asked by the Burning Man organization in 2014 to create a video about diversity and equity in the culture, to help start a larger conversation about how to create a more inviting and inclusive future for underrepresented communities on Playa (what we Burners call the Black Rock desert). 

 

We built our own rapid deployment, modular, scalable, mobile green energy system starting in 2015. Since then we have also deployed, documented and shared our innovations in water use and gray water handling, for which a documentary was produced by none other than Terry Pratt

We were among the winners of the mysterious Necklace Factory Awards of Excellence, which we legitimately thought was a Playa urban myths until an amazingly outfitted, top hatted MC / circus ringleader type walked in and ceremoniously read us one of the most stunning pieces of language we had ever heard from the beautifully printed award poster. And gave us a legit as hell medal. Twice. In 2017 and 2019. If you ever need a good cry about what holy work it is to be a fierce, loving, existential creator, give those a whirl.

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The ceremony these were delivered in was heart and mind blowing. And they came with a matching medal and patch.

We have also had a reputation for being the ‘hard work’ camp, and that’s fair. We have stubbed our toes and been left holding our own bags on more than one occasion. But we always got back up and cleared our heads. And we always made it a point to have a very light touch about anything we had tried, that we may do things differently, better, more nimbly, the next time. Despite all the challenges, the work, the everything, the net result is that more than a decade later, we have ended up being a crew and camp that punches well above its weight, and our work and creations are known by Burners the world over.

 

And we are happy for this. But that is all impact, symptom, of what we intended to be for ourselves more fundamentally from the beginning. We didn’t set out to do those things. We set out to create a home, a platform, connection for all of us to feel safe and supported in being the creators we were, whether we knew what that was or not. That is our originating WHY. And what follows is where we arrived. 

But let's back up a bit..

Why Burning Man?

Why Burning Man?

Why Burning Man?

We all come from somewhere, where we became set in our ways of what we think our lives are, especially the longer we have remained, or somehow stopped moving along the way. In modernity, there are great opportunities and fortunes to be made for those who can lock down and sell us the most tailored and efficient ways we can be set, in anything. It makes us feel like we are in control. But we rarely ask, what in us needs to control? Why do we need that? Many people have told me they have never asked themselves that question. Not the question about not wanting harm to happen to us or those we love. The question about how we never question how that need for control controls us.

 

To me, Burning Man is a context, an existential ecology and a very real place and time on Earth where I work that out trying to plan ahead, but more poignantly, in a live-action reality creation arc for two weeks with some incredible human beings. To me, Burning Man is a portal we all create together for which we do not receive reward for doing, other than the absurd, insanely challenging shit show it can very well be. We all do it, anyway, for free. It can actually be quite expensive in many ways we are not used to covering or paying for, sometimes even with vulnerability we may unexpectedly find ourselves putting forth. Like real love, these real things from ourselves can only really be given. Who wants that? Lots of people, who, despite all their own rough rides in life, know that’s what this all is. That’s actually all we got. So let’s bring all that together, for the hell of it. Like the world has a better plan.

 

Burning Man’s has a reputation of being one of the biggest and craziest parties on the planet. It is. The twist is that it requires each of us to be as real and actual as we can be in our creating and taking care of ourselves, and others, for a week or two. There are no vendors. There is no money. You are two hours from the nearest box store, in an environment that sometimes, literally, tries to kill you…

 

We are a long way from a Princess cruise here. Burning Man is a lot of choosing and shaking off what you are not. It is a lot of creating, with basically no guarantees. The back of the ticket itself includes a friendly reminder that if you die there, it’s on you. Now that is a clearing.

 

You want a lived meditation of the limits and possibilities of being a creator? Let’s go.

VENTURE CREATION & DEVELOPMENT

Current Ventures

I have created or co-founded several teams and ventures to explore and extend discoveries as well as product and service market gaps. The multi-value model commercial ventures are still in the research & development stages. It's All Made Up is a year-round and cyclical creation team you can learn more about in My Platforms.

HomeWorlding

The systemic, social and environmental stresses of the world, compounded and brought to light by COVID, have caused many to take a new look at how we can live full, expressed lives, regeneratively and equitably.

HomeWorlding is a creation, development and connection agency for a growing realm of independent, creative and transformational communities. We facilitate the flow of knowledge, experience, tools, solutions and resources that enable such communities to thrive.

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It's all Made Up

It’s All Made Up (IAMU) is a collaborative collective and community of creators, problem solvers, and space makers, among many other things. Originally (and still) a Burning Man camp we are a home, platform and connecting place to be present and connected, to express and create, with and for one another. Our culture is based on the idea that once you have done something, it’s hard to convince yourself that you can’t. 

Deep dive the creations

Visit website

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Client Ventures

Not infrequently, and especially with small businesses or start ups, I will work with owners or co-founders to take care of a specific project or implementation. While these scoped efforts can often be done quickly, they are often connected to several other parts of the business that could benefit from development or improvements. As outside, drop in talent that can design and implement across several areas, my clients become free to focus on opportunities or tasks they haven't been able to get to while handling everything else.

Sweet Crimes Gluten-free Bakery & Test Kitchen

Keri, a friend and IAMU camp alumni, needed some help picking up some commercial kitchen appliances from an auction. The mission was simple, but her situation was not. Construction was delayed on her new facility and storefront, her website and delivery apps created more work than they handled, she needed to hire and train staff, set up inventory. And she was expecting her first child. I jumped in to help and connect everything. Except deliver the baby.

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Within

Within is the spiritual counseling and healing studio of Bernard Mason in Washington DC. He is a natural and talented healer and counselor, as well as a former accountant, and needed help creating a website as he launched and expanded his services. 

Our website work has expanded into other efforts to help Bernard identify ideal clients, better hone and leverage his natural talents and service offerings, integrated booking & payment systems, and brand identity and integrity work. 

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VENTURE CREATION & DEVELOPMENT
Current Ventures
Client Ventures

WEB, APP & BUSINESS SYSTEMS

Business Process System Design & Development

Sweet Crimes Gluten-free Bakery & Test Kitchen

Keri had been using Shopify as her web front end for live and advanced orders. It was not delivering on its promises, and 3rd party delivery apps were wrecking her data. She was also going to be moving into her new baking facility and cafe storefront, which meant integrated POS and inventory management systems. We moved Keri to Square with a custom implementation that would solve her current needs and make space for what would come as she scaled up operations.

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Websites

Global Christian Cross

With turnkey manufacturing and fulfillment in place, Global Christian Cross needed a compelling website to communicate the uniqueness of their offering to as broad a range of customers as possible. The site needed to convey history, culture and quality to close the gap on buying decisions.

Check out case study

Visit website

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Sweet Crimes Gluten-free Bakery & Test Kitchen

Keri had been using Shopify as her web front end for online orders. It was not delivering on its promises, and 3rd party delivery apps were wrecking her data. She was also going to be moving into her new baking facility and cafe storefront, which meant integrated POS and inventory management systems. We moved Keri to Square with a custom implementation that would solve her current needs and what was next.

Visit website

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WEB, APP & BUSINESS SYSTEMS
Business Process System Design & Dev
Graphic Design

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN, MEDIA

Graphic & Visual Design

Also a case study...

Marketing & retail materials close the gap

Global Christian Cross needed to distinguish itself in a crowded market. To help prospective retailers understand how unique The Cross for All Christians was, and to directly support the retailers’ own abilities to move the product, I created a small set of provisioned or self-service materials to help make everyone's job easier.

Repurposed lighting & photos become album art

I compose, produce and publish ambient and deep house tracks through my creative handle, Charles Actual. Since much of the sound is an aural version of forms and themes I work with in lighting and photography, I was able to reimagine and reuse themes from  prior work to create connections for the brand visual identity.

Information Architecture

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Enterprise Security Directory Integration Meta-key

Across 50+ years, 40 offices, 23 countries and 3 large mergers, a multi-national needed to integrate all their incompatible enterprise security and directory systems into one. I realized that every person's security access could be defined by the same 3 terms. Happily, each different system accommodated my simple formation, allowing a consistent meta-key across everything, even paper files.

InformationArchitecture
IA.DESIGN.MEDIA
Websites
3DModelingPrinting
PROTOTYPING.DEV.BUILD

PROTOTYPING, DEVELOPMENT & BUILD

3D Modeling & Printing

Global Christian Cross

.05mm material tolerances mean a lot in precious metals, and how a dream is made real. To Global Christian Cross, it meant everything.

Check out the case study

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Space Making

Space Making

Lighting a new hearth with a pop-up unconference

The HomeWorlding team helped convert a newly acquired but unused 19th century printing office into a pop-up, multi-function, COVID-aware, communal gathering and unconference space. The building soon going to be renovated so the gathering needed to convey and create a sense of everyone lighting a new hearth together.  Indirect lighting, fabrics and pillows created a comfortable, bedouin feel, where everyone felt home.