Welcome to Area 53

May 4th, 2012 by Christopher  

Once Upon a Time,

Twenty some-odd years ago, I sat at a table daydreaming about what I’d do when I grew up.

This was well before I knew anything about computers. I did not have the slightest inkling what my adult life might hold, and I had no appreciable skills beyond daydreaming.

I didn’t have much to go on, other than I knew I wanted to have fun at my job. I didn’t know what the job would be, but I don’t remember spending much time worrying about that.

What I did spend time doing — rather a lot of time — was imagining how and where I would work.

In my head, and then on a piece of paper, I drew big white cubic rooms, layered in whiteboards, with a single light hanging from the exact center of the room.

I imagined the exterior wall full of different-sized doors in odd locations, Willy Wonka style, through which I would pick a different entry every morning. This was, I told myself, a great way to keep oneself from getting stuck in a mental rut. (You’d be trying a new approach every morning! Literally!)

I imagined a door full of doorknobs, only one of which would work. (It would not be the one in the normal spot.)

I gathered all these ideas together for the place I would one day work. What to call it? Adults worked in an office. This was not an office. An office was a place to go work on boring things.

Instead, I began to think of my imaginary building as a “doofus”.

I liked this name for two reasons:

  1. You can’t take yourself too seriously in a doofus.
  2. A doofus is where you DO things!

Meanwhile, back in 2012

Just a year ago, Figure 53 was three people in three different states. Now we have six people, and four of us are in Baltimore.

When the team in Baltimore grew, I scrambled to find a place for us to work. We nestled ourselves in with another company who graciously shared their building, but could only give us a month-to-month lease.

This, as they say, was a problem.

As the company continues to grow (stay tuned) a month-to-month lease is an increasingly tenuous arrangement.

In short, we needed our own home.

Welcome to Area 53

I am very proud to announce the new, permanent home of Figure 53.

This, friends, is our new doofus:

2443 architecture

2443 plan

As of today, you’ll find us at 2443 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore Maryland, 21218. Right around the corner from the Autograph Playhouse, home of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. Also around the corner from the best coffee shop in Charles Village: Charmington’s.

This is our new, permanent home. We own it. From today onward, it’s our creative laboratory, hacker space, hang-out, headquarters, home base, technology canvas, art project, flex venue, classroom, and whatever other role we can bend to the purpose of creative delight.


Open-door hack days?

Co-working days?

Make our space available for classes and meetups?

We don’t know exactly what yet, but we’re interested in connecting with our neighbors and doing fun things.

A hall, a hall! give room!

And let us fill this space with people and projects and coffee and code and cork boards and sound and light and art and tools!

view from the front door

Photos by & copyright Shaw Jelveh Design.

5 Responses to “Welcome to Area 53”

  1. Mike Post Says:

    Sweet! Looks fantastic! Congrats to you all!

  2. Ralph Cornforth Says:


  3. David Crowley Says:

    Damn you Chris, you are always one step ahead of where I want to be. Congrats.

  4. Jamie Says:

    Amazing, Chris! See you in Charmington’s.

  5. Scott Paley Says:

    This is pretty awesome. Congratulations!

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