Our Method

Shongololo takes a holistic approach to fabrication, grounded in understanding the fundamental aesthetic, functional, and conceptual vision driving each project.

We start by partnering with you on an information gathering mission to contextualize the project, your work, and relevant constraints (e.g., timeline and budget). Based on this discovery process, we form a production brief, which proposes best routes for execution, identifies required design assets, and pinpoints any gaps that need to be filled.

The cornerstone of our work is filling those gaps. We connect you with resources to create manufacturable 3D design assets (as required) and finally, with the fabrication partners necessary to physically realize those designs. Throughout the entire process, we are there to manage and guide both communication and operational execution for the project.

We adapt this methodology across an array of creative disciplines, partnering with:
We understand that our clients come to us at different stages in a project's life. Whether you only need our sourcing services or would like to explore a concept with us from ideation to delivery, we can collaborate with you to find the best fit for your needs and circumstances.

Our Services

Production Designers
Experiential Designers
Costume + Set Designers
Visual Merchandisers

Fine Artists
Interior Designers
Public Artists

Science-based Artists
Digital Pioneers
Creative Technologists

Our scoping and articulation process anchors your project in a thoughtful, intentional decision-making framework. We help to turn the abstract into the tangible.
Through an extensive information gathering process, we aim first to understand our client at a fundamental level. We obtain an understanding of their creative practice, cornerstones of their past work, and areas of experimentation and effect which they seek to explore in their current work. Alignment on this less tangible context helps to guide more intuitive decision-making on critical operational items further into production.

Once we establish context, we look toward the physical considerations and goals of the project. These include material, aesthetics and finishing, site details, functional considerations (e.g., material flexibility, mechanical

components, electronics), budget, and delivery timeline.

From the results of our exercise and research performed on the client’s behalf, we present a production brief which articulates:

Conceptual and physical project vision

Proposed fabrication, material, and finishing approaches

Physical feasibility constraints and potential solutions

Identified design assets needed

An actionable outline of next steps for the production process

Project Vision Articulation

+ Design

Shongololo connects you with the comprehensive design, drafting, engineering, and 3D scanning resources you need to effectively prepare for fabrication.
which guides how we design new 3D CAD files or propose adjustments to existing designs.

This process is an iterative one and involves combining all the learnings we glean into a progressively more refined design. Revisions are typically required, but this ensures that the final result is able to function and look as envisioned.

At the end of the PP+D phase, you will have a set of final design assets, vetted for fabrication in the selected production methods and materials.

Whether you have existing designs which need adaptation for manufacturing or the project requires creation of a full set of design assets from scratch, we partner with you to ensure you have all you need for a smooth fabrication experience. By anticipating and addressing issues during the design phase, we can help control budget and smooth overall project timelines.

We take into account the selected production method, material, functionality, appearance, and required finishing for each part. Based on these considerations and a dialogue with our fabrication partners, we prepare a Design for Manufacturing assessment, 

Our project management approach ensures that a well-executed project doesn't have to mean a stressful one. We take care of everything you would rather not.

Project Management

Our clients are top tier creators, often juggling myriad projects and commitments at once. Our service is to alleviate as much of that lift as possible with projects we own. We manage all the necessary, but often tedious steps required to effectively execute a project on-time, in-budget, and according to the project specific requirements.

We know the right questions to ask of suppliers and designers, the right people and resources to activate for research, and the right details to consider, all so you don't have to. All clients are encouraged to be involved as much or as little as you'd like.

Our namesake, Shongololo, comes from the South African word for 'millipede.' While on the surface a millipede may be an unexpected source of inspiration, we see it as a perfect metaphor for effective project management:
A thousand tiny steps, which together create the illusion of an effortless movement forward.
By design, our fabrication partners are as diverse in their specialties as our clients in their creative practices. We get to know your project, then find its perfect match.
We've assembled a collective of the top artisans, casters, foundries, machinists, 3D printing labs, and production studios to provide the specific expertise required to execute your vision to the highest standard. That standard considers quality, finish, efficiency of production, cost, and materials in tandem.

Whenever possible, we partner with local fabricators, close to our clients. This supports our creators’ local economies and often eases logistics coordination. As the best option is not always available in one's vicinity, we also collaborate with specialists from across the US and the international production community.  

As a practice, we are intrinsically connected to innovation - we keep a pulse on emerging developments in digital manufacturing so you don't have to. In particular, our focus on progressive applications of these technologies for art and design means we are always considering the latest approaches in how we solve problems.

A primary driver behind founding Shongololo was a recognized gap between technologies available to the industrial and corporate sectors and those accessible to creatives. As dual citizens of the creative community and the manufacturing world, we hope to be ambassadors of these resources to inform and enable creators.

+ Fabrication