[hackerspaces] HackerSpace movement, history and development

Paul Boehm paul at boehm.org
Sun Nov 15 02:27:30 CET 2009

Hey Jarkko,

That data is really interesting to me! Thank you! Please take into
account that the numbers on hackerspaces.org are not very accurate or
homogenous. I know that for example the founding date is used
differently between spaces - for some spaces it's the day of moving
in, for other's it's the day they first spoke about the project, for
others it's the date they incorporated the club.

Also i'm really curious about when the term 'hackerspace' itself came
up first. Google isn't really helpful in clarifying the history of the
term, but i have my suspicions. I know that "hackerspaces" have been
around much longer than the term has been in use, and I suspect I
might either have made the word up or at least reinvented the term.

When we started discussing Metalab in 2004, which to my knowledge was
the first of the new wave of intentionally created Hackerspaces, i
certainly don't remember anyone calling these spaces Hackerspaces. CCC
had a lot of them, but they were local CCC Club locations, not
Hackerspaces back then. Starting Metalab with a financing and
organization model independent from CCC, buying the
hack[er]spaces.{com,org,net} domains, and then promoting the concept
like crazy at ccc camps et al, i think had a huge part in starting the
current hackerspace explosion.

I'm unsure about the term hacklab, which seems to be slightly older
and have been in use mainly in spanish and italian speaking countries.
There seems to have been little cultural exchange between that root of
hackerspaces, and the German CCC-style hackerspaces. I'm not sure how
much exchange is happening now, but i suspect we're all getting more
connected slowly - which is great!

If someone can shed more light onto this early history, i'd be glad -
maybe the wayback machine can shed more light.


On Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 11:04 AM, Jarkko Moilanen
<Jarkko.Moilanen at uta.fi> wrote:
> Hi,
> ****** WARNING: Academic and theoretical content ***********
> I was trying to find out any answers/ definitions to the question that kept
> on popping in to my mind. The question was: "What is a hackerspace?"
> Well..after a while I found some 'definitions' and 'features' that can/could
> be assosiated to HS.
> But that's not the point of this post. While doing my humble research (for
> my blog post) I noticed two interesting issues. I did some simple
> statistical analysis about the history of still active hackerspaces and
> found out that before 2001, the amount of founded hackerspaces was 1 or 2.
> But in the year 2001 it was 9 new hackerspaces. After that until 2007 it was
> again just a few new hackerspaces in a year. Question is what was so
> different about the year 2001? The second topic of wonder came to my mind
> while looking at the map of hackerspaces in Europe. There does not seem to
> be many hackerspaces in the Eastern-Europe or Russia. Why? Yes, I'm a social
> scientist (Political Science PhD student and hacker) and that's why I am so
> interest about these questions. And yes, I'm also a member of one
> hackerspace (the5thwave in Tampere, Finland). Perhaps the reason for my
> little study is to get some sort of 'deeper' understanding of what I'm
> participating in. While browsing the archives I found a debate about
> 'theory' related to hackerspaces. I was not sure about posting this message
> here. I hope that this post is not offending anyone or considered too
> 'theoretical' to be posted here.
> Any ideas or suggestions to the above questions would be appreciated. The
> (still not finished) blog post which I'm referring to can be found here:
> http://extreme.ajatukseni.net/2009/11/14/viewpoints-to-the-development-of-hackerspaces/
> Cheers,
> Jarkko
> ***************************************************
> * Jarkko Moilanen                                 *
> *                                                 *
> * Profound XML-technology & Linux Expert,         *
> * Author / developer of DAIDALOS - Distributed    *
> * Agile Open Source Development Method            *
> *                                                 *
> * Choosing the "right" Operating System:          *
> *  If you need functionality and ease of use: MAC.*
> *  If you want to poke around and develop: Linux. *
> *  If you want problems: Windows.                 *
> ***************************************************
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

More information about the Discuss mailing list