A ‘Makerspace’ in the making

Since a couple of months, I’m part of creative collective ‘Stockholm Makerspace’, working towards the goal of setting up a hackspace / fab lab in Stockholm. The group is sprawling from diversity: hands-on electrical engineers, all-eating hardware hackers, prototype builders, robotics fans, software folk and then myself, only girl so far and a the D.I.Y arts & crafts fan of the group (see some of us in the pic below, Erik, Johan, Noah and little me, pic was taken at a meeting that Tekniska Museet invited us to).

We all met online. The guys in the group had been discussing hackspaces in a forum, one of them had spotted me in the local paper interview that had featured my ideas on D.I.Y culture and in which I was quoted saying that I’d like to set up a hackspace. The same guy mentioned my name in on of the discussion posts, something I in turn eventually spotted (thank you Google), leading me to e-mailing and asking if there was a meeting planned, and turns out there was, that very same day. As one meeting led to another, and the group eventually formed. Since April, when it all began, we’ve had lots of inspiring meetings. In June we hosted a public event at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, inviting people as eager as we are to get a open hackspace up and running. To broaden the  scope of the hackspace, we have chosen to go with the term ‘Makerspace’, as it allows for a broader association around making. The process of shaping a philosophy, a ‘voice’ and an agenda has allowed me to draw from my experiences from visits at other hackspaces and D.I.Y hubs around the world, some of them featured below:

Being more of a crafts junkie than a hardwear hacker I rate Etsy’s Open Crafts Night in Dumbo, Brooklyn as my favorite, I posted a full album of snapshots from my visit onto my Pinterest.

I also enjoyed visiting Kunststoffe in Berlin, as focus there is on upcycling and reclaiming, something I feel strongly about, read full post about my visit there in this post over at my blog ScrapHacker.

Other places I’ve visited include Collab in NYC and London Hackspace (a visit I wrote a post about that visit here).

I’m also very happy that the hackspace concept and culture is arriving in Stockholm – this weekend Tekniska Museet and hackspace Sparvnästet collaborated in hosting Make-all, a 2-day event sprinkled with hacky hardware, Arduino, lock picking and other hack essentials.

At Make-all I missed access to “soft” hacking like paper craft, beading and other kinds of old school making. My hope is that Stockholm Makerspace will add something to the hackspace fauna by being open to many kinds of making and by providing with a broad scope of accessible hands-on D.I.Y experiences, topped with continuous discussion on the link between what we do with our hands and what we think with our minds. My favorite example is the origami-math connection, captured so beautifully in documentary ‘Between the Folds’:

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