What’s a Hackspace?

“Wait a second. I’m a Hacker, which means I enjoy playful cleverness -that’s what it means to be a Hacker.
Now you may be thinking of people who break security; I call them crackers“. -Dr Richard Stallman, RT Interview

Mamod static steam engine surrounded by tools and wires after a long night's bodging to get it working again.
Hack” is one of those words that’s got a lot of ambiguity and bad media usage. Feel free to substitute it with “Bodge”, “Tinker”, “Invent”, “creative recycler”,  but I highly encorage you to read “What is a Hacker” by Eric Raymond.

The Hackerspace Wikipedia entry a more in depth idea of a Hacker Space however to quote some of the other spaces:

  • We provide a space where people who make things can come to share tools and knowledge.“ -London Hackspace
  • Hacking is NOT to be confused with network hacking, identity theft and computer virus propagation, etc. [we do] not condone anything illegal; hardware Hacking is a creative, educational hobby!” -NottingHack
  • Bristol Hackspace is a social enterprise which aims to open up technology to anybody who takes an interest in it. We want to ‘open’ technology both in the sense of taking things apart to learn how they work, and how to mend or adapt them; and in the sense of sharing the knowledge we gain from doing so. We are committed to the principles of Open Source and Open Knowledge.” -Bristol Hackspace
  • Hackerspaces – shared spaces for people who mess around with technology for fun. By creating a shared space to do this, we provide access to better facilities than we could each have at home, as well as opportunities to collaborate, learn, and socialise” -Edinburgh Hacklab

The Garden Shed Principle:

wide shot of my friend trying desperately to fix my bike in a shed-complex.

History has shown that great advances are often made in sheds.

Trevor Bayliss, James Dyson, Robert Watson-Watt, Barnes Wallis, Frank Whittle, Christopher Cockerell, Percy Shaw, Tommy Flowers and Steve Fuber – without sheds these great inventors would have lacked the environment to develop their ideas. Many great ideas originated, and continue to originate in sheds.

Leeds Hackspace is your community shed – a place to create, share ideas, pass on your skills, learn new skills and meet new people. By pulling together we can not only afford better toys and bigger spaces, but we evolve a skilled, experienced and friendly community with which to have fun and learn.

Whether you want to learn to solder, program microcontrollers, build furniture, write software, use the shared tools for your own projects or you just want to relax with a mug of tea [or properly brewed coffee] for a geeky chat we’ve got something for everyone.

“You know, I am sorry for the poor fellows that haven’t got labs to work in.” -1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson; Ernest Rutherford