Project Spotlight: Black Girls Code Tech Exploration Lab


An Interview with Talisen Construction Corps’ Project Manager Justin Weisman

The Black Girls Code Tech Exploration Lab is nestled in Google’s New York corporate headquarters. Designed by Danish Kurani, the United States’ leading expert on physical learning environments, the Black Girls Code lab is a space that demystifies technology. The hope is to excite girls about technology and inspire them to pursue STEM careers.

Talisen Construction Corps’ Justin Weisman served as Project Manager for the Black Girls Code Lab. This means he was involved in the project from its earliest stages and continued overseeing it through completion. Below, Justin recounts some of the challenging aspects of the project, and the factors that made it successful.

Begin Collaboration Early for Best Results

Talisen’s partnership with Kurani began very early in the project. “We had the advantage of collaborating early on in the design process with Kurani and the client, prior to the finalization of the design drawings” Weisman explained. “Our construction expertise really comes into play at that juncture, allowing our team to dig down into the nitty gritty with Kurani and the Black Girls Code staff to achieve their vision and avoiding common pitfalls before they happen.”

Approach Challenges Proactively and Build Trust

The fact that the Black Girls Code Lab is located inside of Google’s space added a level of difficulty to the project. “For example, there are some fairly strict requirements contractors have to meet in order to be allowed to work in that particular building. Additionally, Google has priority for the elevators, which meant getting supplies and personnel up to the site in a quick manner had to happen. A late delivery could cause a logistics nightmare.” Developing a long-standing relationship with Taconic Management meant the client and project team could trust Talisen to deliver as advertised.

This factor played into a newer, but equally strong relationship that developed with designer Danish Kurani. Kurani worked out of his headquarters in California for the project but realized early on that Talisen was an excellent client advocate and overall resource throughout the entire project life cycle. Weisman added, “After the first month, we didn’t have to waste time shipping samples and so on – Kurani knew we’d make the right choices to delight the client. This was a very satisfying project because we were able to take a tight budget, collaborate closely, and make it work.”