[hackerspaces] Taxonomy of maker spaces

Sean Bonner seanbonner at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 00:15:15 CEST 2009

I think one of the magical things about hackerspaces is they aren't
clearly defined, and explaining them is almost impossible without
setting foot in one. They are definitely a case of the result being
greater than the sum of the parts.


On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 1:41 PM, Jerry Isdale <isdale at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm new to this list, but recent discussions seem to me to have an
> undercurrent of 'just what is a hackerspace'
> It is important to many folk to have good definition of terms, and very
> heated flamewars happen over such (mis)understandings.
> So as a help to noobs like me, I'd like to discuss some of the terms used
> for various biz models for the generic term of 'Maker Space'.  Terms like
> hackerspace, fab lab, tech shop, and names for variants outside those.
> "hackerspace" seems to be one nebulous term with some charcteristics
> Far gave a nice summary as:
> The core concepts of a hackerspace:
> 1) Owned and Run by it's members in a spirit of equality
> 2) is a nonprofit orgnization, and open to the outside world on a
> (semi)regular basis
> 3) Shares tools, equipment and ideas without discrimination
> 4) A strong emphasis on technology and invention
> 5) Has shared space (or is working on a space) as a center of the community
> 6) A strong spirit of invention and science, based on trial, error, and
> freely sharing information
> 'fab lab' seems to be more instituion based, specifically related to MIT
> efforts. While non profit, it seems more focused on education and less on
> continuing community and commercial spinnoff.
> 'TechShop' is a commercial franchise variant. It offers the space equipment
> and some classes, but with an underlying profit motive (perhaps small)
> Other variants might be the commercial workshops that focus on particular
> tech (woodworking, metalworking, screenprinting, etc)
> Or the kids who gather in a family garage to hack and play.  Or the club
> that meets (ir)regularly.
> If you strongly about 'hackerspace'', how about defining some of those maker
> spaces that aren't.
> Mahalo
> Jerry
> Sent from my iPhone
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Sean Bonner
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