So you want to start a hackerspace? Awesome! Here are some inspiring resources, how-to’s, and models from hackerspace-loving folks around the world to get you started:
Firstly, Mitch Altman shares the vision of why hackerspaces are so awesome: how they support education, create community, and – most importantly to Mitch – doing what you love. He describes how hackerspaces satisfy two fundamental human needs: community and creative expression. Watch Mitch’s inspirational talk:
Here’s a short video of Lamba Labs a hackerspace in Beirut. It’s in in arabic for those who prefer their language to go right to left:
If you’re excited about places that look like this:
…or like this:
…and love having creative people around you passionate about learning, creating and sharing, then you would probably enjoy having a hackerspace in your hometown. Hackerspaces thrive at the grassroots, so wherever you are in the world, know there are people around you who are awesome and would be interested in helping to create a collaborative community space.
But how do you find them? What are the logistical challenges? Well, the good news is that the global hackerspace community has been creating content for over a year sharing how they have created hackerspaces, and you can learn from them!
GEMSI’s good friend Eric Michaud, who has years of experience opening and participating with hackerspaces, has written an excellent series on the process of opening a hackerspace on Lady Ada’s blog. Check it out!
From the first time I visited a Hackerspace, I knew that I had to do everything I could to get Hackerspaces everywhere. I first experienced Hackerspace C-Base in Berlin, before there was an NYC Resistor, a Noisebridge, or a HacDC. I came back to the United States and found community with like minds – and then I co-founded Washington’s first Hackerspace HacDC …
Another wonderful human, Jenny Ryan, has created some great content documenting the development of sudo room (the Librarians of the hackerspace scene!). Her article, Hacking the Commons: How to Start a Hackerspace, tells the story of how a group of DIYers worked together to create what is now an active and thriving hackerspace in downtown Oakland, California. Sudo room members take notes collaboratively at their weekly meetings (using Etherpad Lite) and document their process and projects extensively on their wiki.
Lastly, there is the foundational document that has inspired and helped hundreds of hacekrspaces bloom. The Hackerspace Design Pattern PDF. This document and the accompanying talk have made concrete 10 years of hackerspace development in Europe. We can learn a lot from their experience.
Now we need to create the American Design Patterns, and start documenting the development of the Middle Eastern Design Patterns!
Here’s a talk by Willow Bl00 and James Carlson at the Chaos Communication Congress in 2011 about hackerspaces, the challenges they face and the opportunities they have available to them in terms of new libraries, “new schools,” new businesses, and new communities:
Hope this is helpful for all those people looking to start hackerspaces around the world. Remember: Reach out, we love you!
Add more links in the comments if you know great hackerspace development resources out there!
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