sugar mama!


Mama's Sugar Shack is a cotton candy cart delivering that good-good sugar rush with custom-blended puffs of fluff. Designed and built by Tactile WKSP, the cart is the embodiment of Sugar Mama's enthusiasm and branding.  Made from aluminum, stainless steel, and acrylic, the cart is nimble and always ready to party.   Neon lips were integrated into the chassis, and light up the cart with a ruby red glow. 

Sugar Mama, aka the floss boss, serves up snazzy flavors alongside tried and true favorites.  Her motto "celebrate good times" entices the crowd to let loose and enjoy themselves while savoring a familiar treat. The vibe says party, the wispy treats say enjoy, and the impending sugar high says clap your hands and boogie to the beat!

Graphics by Paul Tuorto : ; Neon by Nate Scheaffer :




The evolution of the Tactile sweet potato box was an unexpected adventure. In the world of potato farming there is an expanding need for stronger, better, more consistent boxes. Taking the concept on as a design exercise, we built a small factory in our rural WKSP.. including several custom manufacturing machines and a 75' assembly line.


With production utilizing 80,000 lbs of rough sawn white oak lumber daily, we quickly learned how to handle large capacities of materials.  We have several truckers hauling in logs and shipping out boxes. To meet our production demand, we had to build our own sawmill. At the end of last season, it was operating 24 hours a day.. cutting over 20,000 board feet daily. Our 18-person factory produces a 400 lb box every 1.5 minutes on an automated assembly line.. by most accounts the best on the market. It may not be art, but there is an art to it.



This video was filmed in December 2014, recording the process of building the structure of the Hillcrest stair tower.  We used HSS 10 x 4 x 3/8" for the structure,  10 x 8 x 1/2" plate for the mounting assemblies, and 1/4" folded stainless steel for the stair treads.  Additionally, all welds on the upper stringer assembly and catwalk were seal-welded to prevent water penetration into the building.  The fabrication time was five weeks (for two women).  The four assemblies totaling 8,500 lbs were craned into place on Jan 15, 2015.

details in film : hillcrest

I dusted off my old Canon AE-1 to document some of our most recent work.  Shot on 3200 speed black and white film, below are a few images of space, form, and edges of materiality and light.  

view from ground level, exterior courtyard

view from ground level, exterior courtyard

upper stair detail : stair as roof as stair

upper stair detail : stair as roof as stair

context : the stair feature nests within an exterior south facing courtyard of a private residence

context : the stair feature nests within an exterior south facing courtyard of a private residence

interior mullion detail : 1/4" frames house stationary and operable windows

interior mullion detail : 1/4" frames house stationary and operable windows

lower interior stair treads

lower interior stair treads


Check out "Your Rooms We Love" special edition of Dwell magazine released this month for a peak into the Ross Residence.  Look to the staircase for some of Ms Pegram's craft and expertise.. custom handrails, guardrails, and steelwork!

A special thanks to our awesome friend and project manager Maggie Kirsch and Tonic Design for another fun collaboration!

Check out our gallery for more images of the project..

2014 Sir Walter Raleigh Award

Tactile Workshop and The Wander Box team were honored in September for a 2014 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance.  Recognizing outstanding new contributions to the character, environment and appearance of the City of Raleigh, this is the first year an award was given for innovation. The awards committee noted The Wander Box's collaboration with local breweries, while bringing life to underused sites and engaging the community in a new way.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Wanderbox's initial success, we look forward to activating new and exciting spaces with you next summer!

possibilities of fast-track : Wander box

The Wander Box was pitched to us as a broad-stroke idea: a concept to morph a shipping container into a mobile beer garden.

We had one week to design and engineer the mobile beer garden, and two weeks for demolition and construction.  With a limited budget and limited time, the design had to be straightforward, practical, and concise.  The result is an object that is honest, elegant, and highly functional.  Perhaps this is the possibility of fast-track design/build.. a clear idea, efficiently executed.  

The container was chopped apart to open two sides of the box, creating an L-shaped bar and a spacious serving area.  The bar opens with two recessed counter-weighted doors, which rest flush to the bar surfaces and are operable by one person.  The beer garden extends from the front of the box with an array of lights and a grid of tables and benches seating 100 people.  The Wanderbox is serviced by a 12-tap/ 24-keg capacity cooler room, powered by batteries or 110v power.  The Wanderbox is temporal and mobile, with all of its auxiliary components designed to be packed into the serving area and secured for travel.  At night, the polycarbonate door cladding allows a single light to illuminate the yellow interior, glowing and inviting intrigue after the doors are closed and locked.  The exterior was left untouched, showing wear from years of use and contrasting sharply with its refined interior and signage.  

We had the privilege of working with an excellent client who trusted our intuition and allowed us to modify and refine our design as we worked through this fast-paced project.  Several details were developed during construction, and the result is more comprehensive product that both owner and designer feel good about.  The Wanderbox is a testament to the power of collaboration, where good ideas mesh with an enthusiastic attitude towards designing better spaces for better interactions.  

For more information on the project, visit our gallery and the official Wanderbox website.