Where to Find Designer Studio Space in San Francisco

A reader wrote in yesterday to ask about studio space for San Francisco designers and, specifically, where to find it. Not being a designer myself and, therefore, not having searched for studio space, I’ve only got a few suggestions, so anyone who has additional ideas or tips, please add them in the comment section of this post.

And remember, this is a serious matter. His relationship may be in jeopardy due to a suffocating assortment of fabric! This is something many crafty people and designers will sympathize with, I’m sure. After all, haven’t most crafty people in long-term relationships frightened or pissed-off sigs with an over abundance of crafting supplies and materials at one time or another? I recall an incident during my candle-making phase, when I *forgot* about the boiling wax on my stove (hey, it happens when you’re making like 20 candles in one day) only to have it catch on fire, which led to a long, tedious discussion with my better half (who was quite certain at the time that my creative endeavors were endangering his life) in which I tried to explain the upside of obsessive crafting. I guess it worked, because now we’re married. Anyway, my point here is, we’ve got to help a crafty brutha out. And fast. Read on for the question and my answers:

Hi, I thought I would take a stab in the dark and ask if y’all knew of any “inexpensive” shared studio spaces for designers here in SF. Right now I’m working out of my apartment in Hayes valley, but I can barely fit my Pfaff hobbymatic into my shoebox of an apartment and I think my boyfriend is reaching his limit ’cause my stash of fabric scraps is starting to fill every spare inch of space. I’ve tried looking on Craigslist but haven’t had any luck. I would love to find a space where I can set up a few machines and have more space to cut and pin. I know there are lots of “Art” spaces in the city, but there doesn’t seem to be many design spaces.

Do you have any ideas? Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


Here are my suggestions:

Stitch Lounge: For $50, you can get 6 hours of sewing time at this cute Hayes Valley sewing lounge.

The Craft Gym: Studio time in this Tendernob/Polk arts and crafts workshop runs $18/day or comes free with a $54/month membership, which also includes private storage for your materials, 10 percent off all Craft Gym classes and private lessons and access to all of the facility’s equipment.

Root Division: If you really know your stuff, you might consider checking out this artist collective and art education center in the Mission. Resident artists teach classes to kids and adults and receive subsidized studio space in return. You still have to pay something, but it’s cheaper than a typical studio.

440 Brannan Studio: In the back of this retail space populated by GenArt alums, a studio with professional equipment, storage space and plenty of sewing machines is available to both student and professional designers for $10/hour (unassisted time) or $5/hour (just for pattern and cutting tables). Storage space is $25/month. You can check out some images I took of the studio here.

Do you have suggestions for David? Leave ’em in the comments section so we can all benefit and grow from your wisdom.