Mad Science Supply & Surplus Opens in Pittsburgh!

October 31, 2012 in Notes from the Field

Just in time for Halloween, volunteers from MAYA Design and Literary Arts Boom (LAB) launched a Mad Science Supply & Surplus pop-up shop in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Mad Science Supply & Surplus will be Pittsburgh’s go-to source for over-the-counter concoctions, tools for world domination, spare parts for cloning machines, and must-have instruments for invention, innovation, and inspiration.

The shop is inspired by 826 Valencia and The Pirate Store in San Francisco. Each “826” chapter creates fun and effective youth programming, beautiful publications, and strong community connections. The fake-yet-real stores that front each of the tutoring organizations operate as lures, decoys, and fund-raising operations for the tutoring organizations behind the scenes. The stores sell well-designed products that range from functional to absolutely absurd, thereby attracting superheroes and spies, as well as seemingly ordinary neighbors who turn out to be extraordinary participants, volunteers, and supporters.

Mad Science Supply & Surplus adds the pop-up store vision to LAB’s tutoring operation already underway, and which they hope to develop into an 826 chapter right here in Pittsburgh.

The pop-up store will be open periodically. For a look at what the future might hold, visit LAB online or in person:

5125 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA (co-located with Assemble)

The robot pictured below was graciously on loan from Toby Atticus Fraley and his Fraley’s Robot Repair art installation in Pittsburgh.


About MAYA
MAYA Design is a leading technology design and innovation lab that turns human experiences with technology products into positive, fruitful interactions. For more than 20 years, MAYA’s team of experts in human sciences, engineering, and visual design have worked with a range of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and non-profits to design innovative products and experiences that improve the interactions between people and information.

About The LAB
Literary Arts Boom [The LAB] is an explosively fun creative writing laboratory in Garfield that offers free out-of-school programming to Pittsburgh youth, ages 6–18. Students practice and improve their inquiry and writing skills in a safe and unique space by participating in project-based workshops that incorporate art, technology, and communication. The Mad Scientist theme encourages youth to explore, experiment, and invent. Mentorship and creativity inspire students to pursue their interests, find their voices, and tell their stories.

Related Posts

More Than Just a Game at SXSW

Nov 06 2014

How game design can help users navigate new experiences with curiosity and confidence.

Jon Larkin
Game Designer and Engineer

Guerrilla Research at One of the Largest Trade Shows in the World: A Quick How-To

Oct 06 2014

How do you undertake design research among 100,000+ possible subjects in a way that yields valuable insights? Some lessons learned from our recent experience at IMTS.

Sara Blumenstein
Bridget Monahan
Designer and Researcher

Field Notes on the Maker Movement

Jun 03 2014

After MakerCon and MakerFaire SF 2014, Steve Spencer shares what he sees as the emerging themes in the “maker movement” including passsion, online and shared spaces, lowering barriers, and desktop design and manufacturing.

Stephen Spencer
Senior Designer and Inventor
See all posts in Notes from the Field