[hackerspaces] Wanted: your Hackerspace Design Patterns

Mitch Altman maltman23 at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 13 03:55:08 CEST 2015

Thanks for the nice list, Robert!  I've added them to the talk page of the wiki page I'm using to compile all of my notes.

From: robert at dallasmakerspace.org
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2015 13:53:44 -0500
To: discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
Subject: Re: [hackerspaces] Wanted: your Hackerspace Design Patterns

Over in Dallas we just cleared 900 members and growing strong. (This could put us at the largest makerspace in the world and growing strong anyone know any other makerspace with over 1000 paying members?)
Here is a couple of notes
Culture (You need to start when your young at Dallas Makerspace we have a culture of safety, recruitment, sharing knowledge.)
Revenue (Reoccurring revenue NEVER MAKE EXCEPTIONS! You have bills to pay come up with an amount that everyone agrees on and stick with it.)
Automation (Automate as much as possible at Dallas our CRM system ties to our access control which will manage a majority of transactions such as Insufficient Funds, Credit Card Expiration. the end goal is make sure you get paid and there are no exceptions to who pays what as we all pay the same dues.)
Cleanness (We have a rather strict clear table policy effectively a work tables default should stay 100% Clear if the person is not there; it works very well for us)
Cleanness ( Project storage is extremely difficult things to manage have clear policies and consistent enforcement. Also know when to say no to a donation (Working space is one of the most valuable assets you have don't fill it up with unusable clutter)) 
Cleanness (If you have not used something in over a year get rid of it and make room for something new) 

Equipment (Focus on the 80% of what your membership want for us we invest heavily into Wood, Auto, Arts)
Equipment (Buy the best you can afford people join makerspaces for 2 primary things first the community and the second is the equipment ((During our Board Meetings I always ask the question will this 1 item bring new people in)))
Equipment (Don't have broken equipment at the facility period. ((I know this will upset people)) Broken equipment is like a plague it expands and nobody does anything to treat it as it gets out of control.)
Equipment (Warranty's as you get larger don't underestimate the value of a service contract when something breaks it's nice to call someone to fix it without everything being a project)
Policies and Procedures (Keep it Simple you are doing well if members even glance at your policies and procedures so don't over complicate them.)
Policies and Procedures (Majority of people will never look at your wiki or rules so put up as much signage as possible.)
Education (There is a direct correlation between classes and membership growth)
Education (If you are going to put training restrictions on tools you must offer training our rule of thumb is monthly)
Personal (Identify your Evangelist's as well as your room leader and invest in them and empower them)
Offerings (If something is just not bringing in people or it's a dead project don't be afraid to kill it off makerspaces are organic in nature you have to make room for new life) 
Communication (After you hit 1000 Emails a month go ahead and abandon a mailing list and move to forums)
Security ( We elected to install cameras throughout the buildings it's extremely nice to go back and see exactly what happened in the event of incidents)
Operations (Separate out your member tools and your operations equipment there is equipment you need just to operate not for general membership use)
As always these are just some notes from Dallas Makerspace as always YMMV.
Robert DavidsonBoard Of Director Dallas Makerspace


On Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 5:31 PM, Mitch Altman <maltman23 at hotmail.com> wrote:

I submitted a proposal for a talk at CCCamp 2015:  an updated presentation of the Hackerspace Design Patterns.  It was accepted!
Have you observed a Pattern (what works well, and what not so well) at your hackerspace that you think others can benefit from?  If so, please share it with me, so I can share it with others in my talk.
Design Patterns are generalize-able statements of what works well and doesn't work so well -- so that others can learn what may work well (or not so well) for them.
The original Hackerspace Design Patterns was presented at CCCamp 2007 and 24C3 when there were only ~40 hackerspaces in the world.  Here's the original Design Patterns (which are way worth reading!):
These patterns directly inspired the creation of the hackerspace movement.  Now that there are over 2,000 hackerspaces listed on hackerspaces.org, it's time to update the Design Patterns to include 8 years of additional collective experience -- and present them at CCCamp 2015.
A somewhat updated version (that needs more updating) of the Hackerspace Design Patterns are listed at hackerspaces.org:
Do you have any observations of what works well, and what doesn't work so well at your hackerspace (or any hackerspace)?  Can you state it in a way that may be generalized so that people starting (or running) hackerspaces may benefit from your observation?  If so, please send me your observation, and I'll incorporate it into my talk.
My 30-minute talk at CCCamp 2015 will include some old and some new examples.  After the talk we will have a workshop on Hackerspace Design Patterns, and really get into what works well, and doesn't work well at hackerspaces.  I'll take notes, write it up, and post it so that everyone starting or running a hackerspace can benefit from our collective experiences.


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