From neighborhood activism, to placemaking thought leadership, to permanent street furniture
WHAT WE DO
Place Fab works with local designers and digital fabrication equipment to manufacture street furniture that quickly elevates any outdoor space. Our team tests, drafts, fabricates, finishes, and ships all furniture from Dallas, Texas. Although we typically work with city planners and community activists, our products are simple and intuitive for public space or even a backyard.
Fresh takes and creative uses of hardware designed to uplift outdoor spaces.
Human-centered solutions for all: whether they walk, cycle, or cruise from ages 1 to 100
Built with lumber, steel, and recycled polys but assembled quickly. These designs are built to last.
WHY WE DO IT
For a decade, our founders have been obsessed with mindful urban design and the transformation of neighborhood use, health, and safety.
Following years of local work, the Better Block Foundation was launched by Jason Roberts to revitalize neighborhoods through digital fabrication and community partnership. Along with the rest of the team, Kristin and Jason designed street furniture installations and made them available to the public through an open-sourced design library allowing anyone to download and create their own outdoor furniture from anywhere. We traveled across state and international borders, bringing together city leadership, stakeholders, and community members to temporarily transform public spaces with designs that could be rapidly built, tested, and torn down in a weekend.
But that wasn’t enough.
To satisfy the growing demand for more substantial designs on a commercial scale, Jason and Kristin launched Place Fab. Working our way through the United Way Social Accelerator program side by side with the Better Block Foundation, we were able to apply our deep knowledge of special places for people and create a line of manufacturable steel, wood, and recycled poly products for sale to cities, business-owners, and hobbyists.
Today, Place Fab offers the best of these tested and beloved placemaking tools. Geared for cities or DIY-ers, our products can be paired with off-the-shelf items from a big box retailer or specialty products from your local lumberyard. Through our work, we aim to push the boundaries of street furniture design, foster sustainability, enhance the digital fabrication process, and train-to-employ locals with living-wage jobs.
Place Fab aims to support the community through nonprofit partnerships, apprenticeships for locals, living-wage stateside jobs, and advancement of the principles of successful and approachable placemaking.
Our mission to create impactful design and a successful business is just as important to us as our desire to support homegrown placemaking efforts and the local Dallas community. Because of this, we currently prioritize two main initiatives in our work: a giveback program to the Better Block Foundation as they continue to provide open-sourced designs and transform communities across the world and the development of an apprenticeship program to train and employ southern Dallas digital fabricators and manufacturers with livable wage jobs. Though we are (currently) small, we have mighty goals. A percentage of your purchases will directly benefit both of these initiatives.
WHO DOES IT
Place Fab is made up of a team of tactical urbanists, experienced placemakers, progressive designers, long-time machinists, and local community members all based in Dallas, TX. We apply our experience in rapid public space prototyping to the world of manufacturing, creating a line of products that we saw missing from the market.
Today, Place Fab works to bring beautiful, functional design to every neighborhood. We are proud of our team, their knowledge, and the tools kindled from years of experience, working with communities, swinging hammers, and breaking a rule or two in the name of public space.
MEET JASON AND KRISTIN
Jason Roberts and Kristin Leiber are both neighborhood activists and small business enthusiasts based in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas.
Jason Roberts is a keynote speaker, civic activist, restauranteur and urban designer whose life’s work is dedicated to creating healthy, vibrant, and sustainable neighborhoods. Winner of the Champions of Change award from the U.S. White House, Jason has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Dwell Magazine.
Kristin Leiber is a fellow dabbler with a background in the corporate realm. However, her true passion lies in start-ups, sustainability, and radical change. With previous stints in nonprofit work, food waste recycling, healthcare, financial services, and social work in foster care and childhood education, Kristin is no stranger to building strong communities.
Working together at The Better Block Foundation, the duo found a rising demand for sustainable outdoor street furniture and tools for community leaders and urban enthusiasts. Their boots-on-the-ground approach taught them what was needed in public space, and their makerspace built their experience in digital fabrication and materiality. After participating in the United Way Social Accelerator program and winning 2020 Social Innovator of the Year, the Place Fab initiative was empowered to become a reality.