What is a Makerspace/Hackerspace?
One way to explain a makerspace is to say it is a collaborate work environment. However, makerspaces are also extremely varied spaces in terms of organization, mission, culture, scope, and size. There are small workshops where a few good friends get together to drink homebrew beer and hack on custom-designed 3D printers. There are sprawling spaces hundreds-strong, a small village barter economy - with ideas and imagination as currency.
Some say makerspaces will replace libraries. As books (and knowledge) ever march digital, what function and role does a library play in society? The library, as the institution we know today, is sure to vanish - our generation will witness its death throes. The Makerspace is the sole heir to its the social responsibility and function, to the ongoing development of skills, and as a curator and index of knowledge.
It's a place for tinkerers and hobbyists to talk shop and compare notes. It's an unbounded blank canvas for creation, where ideas can be put to the test, things set on fire, and the stuff of legends cast in the forge of blood, sweat, and tears. Or just tablespace to work on your soldering skills. It's really up to you, as a participant, to create and define what the space ultimately becomes.
Will it be a mere reflection of yourself? A composite, stained-glass mural of its member ids and egos? Or does it emerge into its own strange and magnificent creature?
These sites give a great introduction to makerspaces and the growing maker movement:
- Wikipedia's Hackerspace Article
- Hackerspaces.org Site
- Hackerspaces Subreddit
- Earth is the Hackerspaces Planet
- Hackerspaces Soup
- Make Magazine
- Maker Faire
Makerspace members both create and contribute to community projects. Project may involve as few as a couple of participants at a local makerspace, to many thousands of contributors across the internet. Some examples of projects that inspire makerspaces include:
What is the best time to stop by and see it for myself?
We have a weekly open house, traditionally on Tuesday night around 7p or thereabouts. At our open house, you're welcome to just browse around and see what members are working on. You're free to ask to join the fun! The open house has more of a social feel, but feel free to break away if you find something interesting to work on.
If enough people gather in a cluster, the cluster may be led around.
We also have events and classes (just about) all the time. Check out and join our Meetup group for the schedule and to RSVP.
Home was BAMA, the Sprawl, the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis.
Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million mega- bytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta...