Ten Years

Good morning!

Ten years ago today I walked down the street from my Baltimore apartment to Maryland's Department of Assessments and Taxation, and filed the papers to form Figure 53, LLC.

Named after an illustration from an Italian architect of the 1600s, Figure 53 was born to build the digital gears, ropes, and levers of modern stage magic.

genesis of the name

I didn't quit my day job right away; it was still a pursuit of nights and weekends. I had a pair of twenty-dollar Target headphones, a narrow Target desk, and just enough space to tuck a computer into the back nook of our little rowhouse apartment.

first office nook

Somehow, one thing led to another, Figure 53 turned into a bunch of great folks, and here we are ten years later. Some in Baltimore, some in New York, some in California.

Thank You

To everyone reading this: Thank you.

Thank you for all the emails, the suggestions, the encouragement. Thank you for helping each other solve interesting design problems. Thank you for suggesting QLab for other people to try. Thank you for investing in QLab so that we can work on it.

The Next Ten

What's up next for Figure 53?

(rubs hands together with delight)

Oh y'all, we're working on some fun stuff.

Like this, our new 10,000 square foot playhouse in central Baltimore:

the new playhouse

We bought it last year, and we're working to renovate it into a new office, black box theater, product laboratory, classroom, and active venue. (The architects tell us we can start construction within about a year.)

In the years to come we expect to use this space to test and develop new features and new programs. We envision QLab master classes; maybe even yearly events or festivals.

And then there's QLab itself, which we've been working on real hard too. I'm so excited to tell you more about that, but it's not quite time yet.

But if you want to hear the news first, you can:

Standby QLab 4

Thanks, everyone.

Chris Ashworth is the founder of Figure 53
Other posts by Chris  •  @Chris_Ashworth