Surf's Up at Make

Rapt Studio creates a co-working space, California style.

Co-working spaces are popping up all over the world, social and creative hubs for people who want to get out of their basements and into a professional workspace but don’t want to take on the costs of rent and equipment on their own.

In San Diego, they’re doing it surfer style. 

Make is a 175,000-square-foot workspace in a converted floral trade warehouse. Rapt Studio (San Francisco) came in on the ground floor, working with real estate developer Cruzan to envision a unique space where people will design and make things, from sportswear to software.

Opening this summer, Make will be home to big and small companies that will come together in a 40-foot-wide, L-shaped breezeway cut out of the interior. Tenants will gather around a barbecue pit and watch movies projected onto an outdoor screen in an amphitheater. Shuttles will take them to the beach and the Coaster commuter train station. Other amenities will include on-site showers, a gym, and green space.

The Rapt design team built the experience from the ground up, including strategy, naming, identity, and architecture.

“We wanted to establish a place where creative companies could thrive, and where people can immerse themselves in the culture of the community,” says David Galullo, Rapt principal. “We’re creating a scenario where your business walks into a set stage for your productivity.”

And since this is California after all, the cool factor is high. Rapt collaborated with surfboard maker Salt Surf and Linus Bike to provide rental equipment that will be available to tenants (the beach is just a five-minute bike ride away), and commissioned artist Jason Woodside to paint a vibrant mural.

While the building is undergoing renovation, a temporary sales office/showroom is set up in repurposed shipping containers. The containers will also be incorporated into the final build, used for the café and bike and surfboard rental outpost.


Client: Cruzan

Location: San Diego

Project Area: 175,000 sq. ft.

Open Date: June 2015

Design: Rapt Studio

Design Team: David Galullo (design principal); Cory Sistrunk (design principal/creative director); Sam Farhang (design director); Michael McDonald (project manager); Sam Gray (art director); Karolis Kosas, Donald Koide (graphic designers); Leon Wood, Michael Maciocia (designers); Iván Saragusti (operations)

Consultants/Partners: Smith Consulting Architects (architect of record), Lusardi (general contractor, construction), Sign Grafix (neon sign fabrication), Jason Woodside (shipping container mural artist), Salt Surf (surfboards, hand painted by Rapt Studio), Linus (bikes), Office of James Burnett (landscape), Essence Printing (print collateral)

Photos: Weston Colton

>>Be an Xplorer! Find more great content in your area of interest in SEGD's Xplore Experiential Graphic Designindex.

New Member Offer

Click to access the 2020 "Never been an SEGD member before" $185 sign up offer

Upcoming SEGD Events

2022 Conference Experience Portland
2022 SEGD Academic Summit
2022 Wayfinding and Placemaking