[hackerspaces] Members storing their personal stuff...

Yves Quemener quemener.yves at free.fr
Fri Nov 22 04:09:35 CET 2013

At Tokyo hackerspace, members have a box where they can store personal
stuff, the rest is considered common material and tools. At a space where I
was previously, things that were unlabeled were considered fair game and
you were not allowed to be angry if someone used it.

I don't remember where I saw the "vortex of doom" pattern, but I liked it
and made one at the Tokyo hackerspace:

It is pretty self explanatory. Anyone can put things away from the vortex
(provided you find a place for it) but after a while it gets thrown away
(in practice it takes more time than 2 weeks as we tend to wait that a
compartment is filled to spill it over the next one)

10. The main problem at THS is that we have a lot of history: some projects
are left for years because some former member abandoned it in a labeled
box. This is not taking an unmanageable proportion yet however.

On 22/11/13 11:44, Nathaniel Bezanson wrote:
> Hi folks,
> At i3detroit, one issue we continually struggle with is storage. Not of stuff the space owns (that's an issue too but not a huge problem), but of members' personal property. With several members commuting by bicycle, and plenty of others working on long-term projects, it's seen as important. But it's also imperfect.
> We currently have some large shelves, where any member can reserve a spot and keep some stuff there. It works fine until it fills up, and then it's very difficult to clear space again. New members don't get space because it's all occupied by long-term members, and sometimes when people quit, they forget their stuff. 
> I'm curious how other spaces handle this. I'm aware of a few examples and anecdotes here and there, but I'm hoping to understand a few specific points from as many spaces as possible:
> 0. Is there a collection of wisdom on this topic somewhere already? I have this feeling that Gui is going to respond with a doc-dump and I'll look silly, but I can't find anything already in a few minutes of searching... :) 
> 1. Do you allow members to keep their own stuff at the space, at all? If not, why not, and what happens to stuff that gets left behind accidentally, or deliberately abandoned/donated? 
> 2. How much storage space does a member get? Is it variable? Based on what criteria?
> 3. For how long can a member leave stuff in the space? Once they start, is it safe to assume that their stuff can remain as long as they remain a member? 
> 4. If there's some sort of inactivity or timeout clause, how does that work, and who enforces it?
> 5. Assuming you require labels on storage spots or labels on stored items, how are unlabeled items handled when they turn up in storage? Or items left in unlabeled spots?
> 6. Have you ever had anyone try to actively subvert the limits?
> 7. Are "group projects" by a handful of members given special accommodation, beyond what an individual member would get?
> 8. Assuming you have some mechanism to throw out stuff that everyone agrees is abandoned, has anyone come back later and whined that their precious shit wasn't yours to throw out? How do you handle that?
> 9. Is your system so drastically different from what I'm describing that the questions don't even apply? Do tell! 
> 10. Whatever storage system you have right now, is it working? What do you see as its main strengths, and main weaknesses? If you could start from a clean slate, what would you change?
> Also for context, it might be helpful to understand how large your space is and how many members you have (I could just look this up in the wiki but it'll be easier to have it in your response!).
> I'll stick our data in a reply so as not to clutter this first message.
> Thanks a bunch,-Nate B-
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