Hot off the heels of another successful Autodesk University, Autodesk announced today that they are in the process of building a Pier 9-like workshop for fostering innovation in the Boston area.

The planned facility’s location, which is slated to house around 27,000 square feet of design space and manufacturing equipment, is still yet to be determined. However, Autodesk is adamant about Boston being the primary destination for their new East Coast hub.

The location makes sense when considering the amount of both hardware startups and influence in the area. Between the likes of GrabCAD and Bolt, among other hardware-related startups, as well as nearby MIT and their Media Lab, some of the more exciting developments in the design and manufacturing space are happening in the Boston area.

In addition to the new workshop announcement, Autodesk also announced that they have acquired Boston startup Terrible Labs and has backed another Boston startup, Robin.

Terrible Labs, which was acquired for an undisclosed amount, is a mobile and web applications company that is focused on helping consumer and enterprise-focused companies develop mobile apps. More recently, Terrible Labs has been collaborating with Autodesk on BIM 360 to bring next-level mobile device communication to construction site managers and their teams.


As for Robin, Autodesk has backed the company and will use their ‘smart office’ technology in the new facility. The technology is centered around automating meetings for on-location collaboration and includes a beacon system that communicates with employee smartphones for automated communications.


“This isn’t just about an office space for Autodesk,” said Jim Lynch, VP of Autodesk’s Building Products Group. “We want to expose the community to the things we do around the built environment. We want to expand our engagement within the overall innovation ecosystem in the city.”

If you live in Boston and have been looking for a space to collaborate and build, you might want to keep an eye out for opportunities to use the space.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.