Aims of Hackerspace
We believe our hackerspace's primary aim should be hardware projects (robots, digital art, …). This does not mean software hacking is less fun / important, but hardware projects have larger requirements that will also ensure enough space and comfortable programming environment.
We should first make it clear why do we want to create a hackerspace: to have a place for like-minded people to meet and hack on exciting projects together. But we should narrow this down - there is plenty of places where to meet up and just do some coding, but it is a lot worse if you want to piece together some non-trivial hardware (which is not affordable by individuals) or do some piece of digital art (you can do a lot of stuff with LCD projector and laser pointer!).
So, we propose that the focus of the hackerspace should be on space that makes non-trivial hardware projects possible. This does not preclude software hackers coming just as much there! But it means that the hackerspace cannot be just regular office space, it must have some empty large rooms available that can get a bit dirty and where the tiny wheels of newborn robots can roam freely.
Hackers! Bright minds like:
- Students of anything below. However, this shouldn't be a student-only space as some in the world are; I know many e.g. hardware hackers that are past their studies now.
- Computer programmers.
- Electrical engineers.
- Digital artists. We do have some and I have no idea who they are, what are they working on and what hardware are they using.
- Physics / Chemisty / Biology geeks? Do some experiments in the wild!
There is a lot of possible stuff to work on. Just getting together to talk and hack on some cool software is of course great. But other possibilities include:
- Lectures on anything interesting; from computer science and computer security to electric engineering to digital art to DIY-biotech to clockmaking
- Software hacking parties, security workshops, computer graphics / computer games teams, bootcamps for free software developers, kernel hacking tutorials, …
- LAN parties (for propagation), but we probably don't want just any participants or this might get out of control
- DDR / game arcades (MAME) / … activities, but only if they won't disturb others
- [HW] Various “daily gadget” microcontroller projects, Arduino fun, …
- [HW] GSM hardware, universal radio
- [HW] Fun with cuddly killer robots - lego technics, Roomba, custom-built, …
- [HW] Reality synthesis: RepRap, 3d printer, laser cutter, …
- [HW/Art] Multitouch tables / surfaces, electronic graffiti, …
- [Art] Electronic audio/video lab? Photo equipment, …
- [Art] Virtual reality lab?
- [Bio] Biohacking? A lot is possible nowadays. No clue about regulations / caveats. But consider: glowing rats!
- [science] Physics/Chemistry experiments
- [general] space for events (like openSUSE release party, OWASP meetings)
- competition participation (like Grand Challenge/Robotour)
See Available equipment for the list of equipment we already have available for the hackerspace.
- a sensible network connectivity + wifi coverage of the space is pretty much a must
- place should be electrified well (high power usage, reasonable price, 3-phase electricity
- reasonable climate throughout the year (includes air ventilation)
- Furniture! Currently, we are probably just short of chairs.
- Some (possibly older) computers should be available for hackers without notebooks and/or for HW control/hacking.
- whiteboard for lectures and brainstorming (much better than blackboard - no dust, etc.)
- At least one LCD projector for lectures and project usage.
- Fridge and/or small kitchen might come useful, but is non-essential. (can make profit by selling Club Mate, similar beverages or even baguettes)
- Toilet and some kind of running water (suitable for washing, tea) is essential.
- Shower - a plus, but not essential.
- Security system: For the first month or two (few members, not too much hardware), basic FAB will be fine, but later we will want a more sophisticated system, ideally electronic locks for flexible access control (cards, tokens). Many other hackerspaces solved this already.
- lockable closet for expensive HW or materials (can be lockable room)
- probably some services for public like
- creating PCBs
- See also Requirements.
See also Hackerspace Design Patterns for a lot of inspiration; Pasky thinks their suggestions are sometimes a bit megalomanic for a fresh startup but it is still a nice ideal goal.