[hackerspaces] How do you define YOUR hackerspace

Ross Smith rsmith at i3detroit.com
Sat May 7 01:32:57 CEST 2011

> Who out there has actually had a discussion about the feel or definition of
> their space and what direction you want to go in? Has it always just been a
> natural progression, or have you actually sat down to discuss what you want
> to be? I get the feeling that PSOne must have had some discussion of this
> type when you got offered funding and turned it down.

OK, I'll bite.

At i3Detroit, we've talked about it at length and decided on two things:
first, that our space as an organization with an elected board of directors
is a somewhat different organism from its members; and second, that the
"organization"'s job is to make it as easy as possible for the members to do
all the interesting stuff - build statues, run 2600 meetings, etc.

As a result, the job of the board of directors is to arbitrate big
resource/conflict decisions, keep the lights on, the paperwork tended, and
the real world off our backs.  Then our members go about their business, be
that welding, movie props, hardware hacking, or stationary trapeze

The benefit of being this vague and open is that our members do use our
space for all those things.  Our members bring their own purpose and use the
space for it.  In this way, the space doesn't have a purpose until a member
gives it one.

Being open like this doesn't mean we have no focus; we have several, but
they are only as strong as the members who lead them are determined.  In my
mind that's how it should be - you get out what you put in.

Ross Smith
i3Detroit President

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
-- Henry Ford
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