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Hackerspaces.org
February 17, 2010 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Hackerspaces.org. Hackerspaces are community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects.
posted by vostok (48 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Have loved the idea for some time but am very frustrated that they are all in big cities. (Also aware I could start my own if had the time, space and gumption.)
posted by DU at 6:01 AM on February 17, 2010


thanks for the post. I found a nascent hackerspace nearby and it turns out I already know some of the people.
posted by warbaby at 6:04 AM on February 17, 2010


Hackerspaces rock. In fact, I'll be spending my evening at my local hackerspace tonight.
posted by shaun uh at 6:11 AM on February 17, 2010


Uh is this code for Dive Bar?
posted by wheelieman at 6:19 AM on February 17, 2010


That's an amazingly long list. Seems lke it was only yesterday I was helping the guys move that Vax into the l0pht. How time flies. Like a banana!
posted by scalefree at 6:52 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


See also: Hackspace Foundation UK.
posted by vostok at 6:59 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has the word "workshop" become so tainted by non-physical workshops such as "improv workshops" and "sensitivity workshops" that you can't call an actual shop (space) in which people can work a "workshop"?

Maybe it's the connotation that a "workshop" is making things for sale, rather than for fun/creativity, but the name "hackerspace" just sounds like they're trying too hard. Suspiciously sounds like attempting to invent new slang, while at the same time, sounding out-dated, like a concept out of 90s hacker culture (as seen in movies more than in real life).
posted by explosion at 7:32 AM on February 17, 2010


I agree that "hackerspace" doesn't pass the Will I Sound Like An Idiot Saying It Out Loud test. That said, "workshop" isn't right either because it connotes two things that are wrong:

1) Single user
2) Woodworking (or possibly metalworking)

You could attempt to fix the first by calling it an "open workshop" or "public workshop" but that's not right either. It's a private group workshop. But now we run into your problem where it sounds like an "encounter group".

I don't know how to get around the second problem. What do you call the space in which electronics/musical instrument making/crafting is done?
posted by DU at 7:38 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


In San Francisco this is called "Ritual Roasters". Which is a shame, because I hear they make coffee, too.
posted by Nelson at 7:46 AM on February 17, 2010


These can also go by the name "barspace", although honestly that makes me think of drinking more than working on anything. The wikipedia writeup has an interesting explanation and example of activities that make the term "workshop" not completely appropriate.

It doesn't look like they are all in large cities.
posted by melt away at 7:48 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Freeform Guild ... Space? Shop? Place? Room?

It's not really a guild in the classical sense, but we can learn from each other -- in an anarchistic sort of communal sense (hence freeform)?

I have no clue -- I wish there were one in Madison. We have some sort of art spot, but I think it's a gallery not a work area. Hmm...
posted by symbioid at 7:51 AM on February 17, 2010


Pocket Plane Of Infinite Geekery.
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


*throws up nautilus shell gang sign*

HacDC Represent!
posted by phrontist at 8:22 AM on February 17, 2010


There's a lot of activity that goes on in hacker spaces that wouldn't fit under the title "workshop". It's as much about collaboration, sharing & teaching/learning as it is about working on individual projects. It's about a concentration of information & capability, so when an idea comes along you can look around the space for odds & ends & say "we can make one of those" or "let's put together a test environment & see if that works".

And yes it's also about putting together an eclectic decor both functional & aesthetic so you can hang out in the clubhouse & throw awesome parties. Some of the best nights of my life were spent at hackerspace parties at the l0pht, Ghetto Hacker HQ & spaces in between. The stories I could tell...
posted by scalefree at 8:38 AM on February 17, 2010


This one looks like it deserves the name "hackerspace."
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:38 AM on February 17, 2010


Also, I'd really like this in terms of access to machinery and resources that I, as an individual, can't afford by myself (nor have the skills or space to use such equipment).

Let a thousand hackerspaces bloom!

And maybe a guild would be a good concept to use in this, then, if it is about sharing information and learning/teaching...
posted by symbioid at 8:49 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let a thousand hackerspaces bloom!

That may just happen:
One of his main goals will be to fund researchers at hacker spaces, start-ups, and boutiques who are most likely to develop technologies that can leapfrog what comes out of large corporations. "I want revolutionary changes. I don't want evolutionary ones," he said.
posted by scalefree at 8:51 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Geez, I wish HacDC was less expensive.
posted by tmcw at 8:56 AM on February 17, 2010


Shit! I can't believe I didn't know my town had one of these. Therefore yay for this post.
posted by clavicle at 8:57 AM on February 17, 2010


Atelier sounds like fooking poofters hang out there. Don't see any problem with calling hackerspaces hackerspaces. It's not a lame neologism like "persons of size" or "enhanced interrogation."

Dorkbot is fun as well. Not exactly the same thing, but it has spawned hackerspaces. previously twice
posted by warbaby at 9:11 AM on February 17, 2010


NYC Resistor bookmarked. Post favorited. Thanks.
posted by Splunge at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2010


I've been trying to start a hackerspace in Albuquerque for a while now. It's not easy to accomplish this in a smaller city, I have to tell you. It's all about capturing the right level of enthusiasm for the concept at just the right time. We've got a space in mind, finally- we're just trying to put funding together now.
posted by signalnine at 9:31 AM on February 17, 2010


I like the idea, but I too am bugged by the term "hackerspace." I like to do fun stuff with computers (web, video) but I don't consider myself a hacker. As explosion noted, that's in "jaw-dropping feat of breadcraft" territory.

But again, I like the idea, and I would be willing to put up with name.
posted by brundlefly at 9:34 AM on February 17, 2010


I'm really pissed off that HacDC came in when it did; I moved away from DC in August of 2007. To top it off, I lived on that block of Newton Street, in the big apartment building next to the fire station.

A couple other spaces that are nifty are Freeside Atlanta and Mountain View's Hacker Dojo. I have friends at both and they are worthy spaces.
posted by kdar at 9:39 AM on February 17, 2010


Has the word "workshop" become so tainted by non-physical workshops such as "improv workshops" and "sensitivity workshops" that you can't call an actual shop (space) in which people can work a "workshop"?

"Workshop" is insufficiently l33t. We're trying to bootstrap one in my town, only I've been trying to steer the name a little bit: "Dudez, we should call it 'Ottawa Community Fab Lab' so that the National Research Council will give us a laser cutter", under the grounds that it is slightly more difficult to get a grant if you call yourselves the "Capital Hackers", etc. We'll see.

But honestly, humanity has been setting up workshops since we started knapping flint.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:46 AM on February 17, 2010


But again, I like the idea, and I would be willing to put up with name.

It's your space, call it whatever you like. Call it an Emerging Technology Field Lab or a Multimedia Artist's Loft. Apparently Maker Spaces is becoming a popular name for them, thanks to the magazine. Take your pick or make up your own, that's part of the fun. You're creating something out of nothing, calling it into existence. You get to Name it.
posted by scalefree at 10:39 AM on February 17, 2010


In addition to covering the hiring of Mudge/Zatko as a program director, the CBS article also says Black Hat founder Jeff Moss was added to the Homeland Security Advisory Council last year. Changes like these help make a nerd like me appreciate the Obama administration.
posted by kgander at 10:55 AM on February 17, 2010


How is HacDC? Seems pretty interesting...
posted by Loto at 11:13 AM on February 17, 2010


Hackerspaces are awesome! Noisebridge, a space in SF which I'm proud to be a member of, recently sent a balloon to 70 thousand feet and successfully recovered its payload!

Tomorrow (Thursday) night at 8pm is the one-year anniversary of our monthly Five Minutes of Fame event, wherein we'll (try to) have 10 five minute talks in an hour. The schedule for tomorrow is here, and there should be a live stream here. Admission is free.
posted by finite at 11:28 AM on February 17, 2010


I was interested until I saw Burning Man listed as a hackerspace (technically, an event, with BRC being the "space").

More seriously, I have a friend who's a member of the one in Somerville, MA, but when I looked it up and saw the membership fee was $100/mo., I realized I was not the target demographic. I'm not wealthy enough (either independently or through mommy and daddy) to hack being a hacker.
posted by Eideteker at 11:56 AM on February 17, 2010


FamiLab is our local Orlando Hackerspace. Fellow Mefite kableh was a major driving force for getting this going. Thanks Mack!
posted by white_devil at 11:56 AM on February 17, 2010


@Eidetaker -- you might want to see if they have a lower rate, or you just might not have to pay to do what you want to do. At Noisebridge, the only difference between a fees-paying member and anyone else is that a member can block decisions that affect the whole organization. Others are welcome to use the facilities and participate.
posted by ntk at 12:06 PM on February 17, 2010


I haven't found one. The only membership link on their page goes directly to a paypal form to submit a $100 payment for March membership. I suppose I could e-mail them, but I honestly don't know that I'd be all that interested. I will keep an eye out for any events they have that would give me a taste, but I don't really feel an immediate desire to just fork over $100 site unseen.
posted by Eideteker at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2010


More seriously, I have a friend who's a member of the one in Somerville, MA, but when I looked it up and saw the membership fee was $100/mo., I realized I was not the target demographic. I'm not wealthy enough (either independently or through mommy and daddy) to hack being a hacker.

I'd pony up $100/mo to have access to a laser cutter and colleagues working on hardware, even if it means using a generic coffee maker at the Hackerspace rather than going to my local coffee shop where I spend $100/mo.

------------------------------------------

A moment for selfpimpage: We're bootstrapping a RepRap User Group movement. These are good places to find fellow hardware hackers.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:52 PM on February 17, 2010


I just discovered Metrix here in Seattle, and I really like the idea; if it had come along five years ago, I'd practically live there by now. In the meantime, though, I've acquired enough tools, and set up a nice enough home workshop, that it's hard to imagine a project I'd rather work on there than here. It's nice to know I can always drop in and rent the laser cutter, but that feels like it would be largely missing the point.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:08 PM on February 17, 2010


I've been advising i3Detroit against the name "makerspace" because I don't think we want to hitch ourselves to a term whose rise and fall we may wish to outlast. I like "hackerspace". Make could've called themselves Hack but they (rightly) sensed that the broader market didn't grok it. Hackerspaces are doing cool things and taking the term back to its roots. I also like "facility", as a generic. My own effort to start The Detroit Facility was a flop, and we rolled our support into i3Detroit, but I still like the name.

also, hello phrontist and other HacDCers! Been a while...

I should note here that i3Detroit is just about to announce a new membership structure, with reduced dues, simplified joining, and other changes. $39/mo and $89/mo, down from $100, you heard it here first! (though I think most existing members will continue to pay the $100 just because we want so badly for this to succeed).

A question for other hackerspaces: Have you had trouble getting people to understand that you're open for guests? A lot of people come away with the misconception that we're a private club, or that guests are welcome by invitation only. We try very hard, in our event postings and tweets and everywhere else, to make it clear that our door is open. This is complicated by the fact that we can't pay someone to staff the space full-time, so it's actually only open when a member is around, but really, is that so hard to convey? Apparently so. Very interested to hear how other spaces advertise and relate to the public.
posted by Myself at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2010


Try appending the words "Community Workshop"?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:51 PM on February 17, 2010


We took a different route when we set up the Manchester Digital Laboratory. While we're working with many of the usual communities involved in hackerspaces, we've tried to cross over into other communities - theatre, arts, writers, filmmakers - and apply a DIY ethos to these other practices. We've also deliberately avoided the member-subscriber model, to increase our availability and utility to people. We're also making friends with the Manchester FabLab, which is another project of its time - DTP thinking applied to manufacturing and fabriaction. Hopefully we'll have the first RepRap that rolls off the line there... Anyway, I know a few people here are in the neghbourhood, so I'd urge you to come over and see what's on - in the next few days, we have DIY 3d scanning, physical computing workshops, amongst other things. Pretty much everything we host is free, and you're welcome to start up your own events and workshops.
posted by davemee at 3:17 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's an amazingly long list. Seems lke it was only yesterday I was helping the guys move that Vax into the l0pht. How time flies. Like a banana!

You know, my entire inspiration for the hardware hacking activities I do today, and much of my training, came from the Black Crawling Systems archives. I can't tell you how jealous I am that you were there to see it all go down.
posted by fake at 4:07 PM on February 17, 2010


i'd like to meet you all
posted by vostok at 5:01 PM on February 17, 2010


I'll gladly take that $100 you spend on coffee, sebastien. I don't drink the stuff myself. =)
posted by Eideteker at 5:03 PM on February 17, 2010


Us Freeside ATL people call it just "the space".

That's what it is - it's space. It's resources, but mostly, it's space. To dance, to create, to destroy, to debate.

I'm gonna miss that place. :(
posted by TheNewWazoo at 6:50 PM on February 17, 2010


If you're in San Francisco - come on down to Noisebridge for FMoF tomorrow. It's a blast.
posted by ioerror at 7:32 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A question for other hackerspaces: Have you had trouble getting people to understand that you're open for guests? A lot of people come away with the misconception that we're a private club, or that guests are welcome by invitation only.

At NYC Resistor we have an open night every Thursday called Craft Night. Anyone can drop in from 6-9 pm to work on a project they already have underway or to solder on one of the space's eternally unfinished works (for example The MegaScroller). Having it on a predictable night makes it easier for people to figure out when to drop by. They remember 'oh yeah, it's Thursday, I keep meaning to see that hackermakerworkshopspacething.' It's also easier for Resistor because every Thursday we know at least one someone has to turn up.
posted by maximka at 7:49 PM on February 17, 2010


Heh, Singapore's hackerspace calls itself both a Zouk for geeks, and Singapore's first kiasu free zone.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see so much activity in Singapore's Hackerspace. Might drop by their one of these days, particularly given that I seem to know many of the people organizing events there. :)
posted by the cydonian at 7:56 PM on February 17, 2010


Hey, don't disrespect the megascroller! We started lighting up segments at the hackathon. It will live yet!
posted by phooky at 8:51 PM on February 17, 2010


You know, my entire inspiration for the hardware hacking activities I do today, and much of my training, came from the Black Crawling Systems archives.

As above, so below. That was the motto of GoddamNET, a BBS message sharing network that had all of 2 nodes: BCS & Calvary ("you bring the hammer, we'll bring the nails"), run by another l0pht member. Two BBSes sharing one message base, that was really cool at the time. Stuff we take for granted now seemed like magic back then.

I can't tell you how jealous I am that you were there to see it all go down.

I'm jealous of all these people with hacker/etc. spaces today who have resources & technology available to them that lets them create things we could barely dream of back then. Programmable CPUs, Arduinos, laser cutters, 3D printers, DIY CNC machines, virtual servers; they're all magic to me. Yeah it was fun living out on the edge, but that's the beauty of the edge - it's always out there waiting for each new generation to discover & conquer its own territory.
posted by scalefree at 10:45 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the meantime, though, I've acquired enough tools, and set up a nice enough home workshop, that it's hard to imagine a project I'd rather work on there than here. It's nice to know I can always drop in and rent the laser cutter, but that feels like it would be largely missing the point.

IMHO, that's kind of missing the point of the hackerspace movement, which is just as much about socializing with like-minded individuals and getting people involved, as well as pooling resources.

I'm kind of in the same boat. I own a home now, have a lot of the fun tools I always wanted, etc. Most of my fellow members are a bit younger than me and haven't had a chance to accumulate as many tools, or haven't been around people who inspired them to create something. It thrills me to be able to share some of the knowledge I have with others, and learn from them as well.

Our hackerspace is still small and seeking more members and we haven't had the money to invest in any serious equipment (except a MakerBot =D), so it's hard to make a pragmatic argument for people to join and I can certainly see where you're coming from. I look at it as doing a public service.
posted by kableh at 1:03 PM on February 18, 2010


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