Chris Mozier, Fabrication Manager
Our fabrication team has diverse skills and expertise. We have people that have built mechanical sets as part of a theater company, some with backgrounds in printmaking, sculpture, painting, and everything in between. Each of them can think creatively and bring their unique talents and craftsmanship to solving a problem. We also have a wide range of partners willing to work with us and source potential answers through a heavy dose of prototyping.
The fabrication shop is a great place to work because of the constant variation and problem solving, whether exploring new materials, designs, structures, hardware, or finishes. We have more than 15 team members in the shop, which is a 35,000-square-foot space with a full woodworking shop, partial metal shop, and a large staging area for building, testing, and installing full-scale media scenes and projection areas. We do a lot of prototyping and testing. In addition to building complete experience destinations, we also have fabrication-only projects such as custom artifact cases for our clients.
Being in-house, we can bring a fabrication representative into a project early on, during our Design Development phase. At the onset, we’re mainly there to understand what’s driving the project from the client’s perspective, the physical spaces involved, and to soak up the design concepts.
Our fabricators are proactive in helping the design stay special and unique but also something capable of being produced in reality. Say we’re looking at a component literally floating in the design. We can put the question out there—is this suspended from the ceiling, floor-mounted, or wall-mounted?—and start thinking about solutions.
As we progress into our Final Design phase, Fabrication begins looking at more concrete components and thinking: Is the building infrastructure in place for these pieces? Will some of these have to be built in smaller pieces and then assembled on site? We also start prototyping the materials or finishes we’re considering. We might take a hinge designed for a shower door and use it on the side of an artifact case, or use in a mechanical interactive a piece of machinery performing a function that was not that machinery’s original purpose. We make sure these items work in the manner the designer intended.
How We’re Different
What sets Solid Light apart is the full integration of our fab shop with our media and design experts. For example, other companies might build the scenic environment for a media piece to completion, break it down, and take it out to the site to assemble. We build the component in the shop, test it with a video to see how it works, add some finishing, and test it again. During this process, key people can offer their opinions, and we can bring in the client for their feedback. By prototyping and testing components in-house, we know the result will perform as we want and make the client happy.
“Be open to trying new things with us. We like to bring clients through the fabrication department while we’re building the products for them so they can see their work in process—particularly the more integrated, special pieces. That face-to-face time helps us hear directly what their vision is, put it alongside our designer’s vision, and make sure that we’re achieving both of those.”
Chris Mozier, Fabrication Manager, studied sculpture and painting in college, worked in a bronze-casting foundry, and built custom cabinetry before coming to Solid Light almost five years ago. When he’s not overseeing the Fabrication Shop, you might find him working on his house or taking his kids to the park or the zoo.