Plans afoot for a makerspace?

01.7.2013 by André Natta · → 5 Comments

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MakerSpace Urbana, Feb-2012There’s an online survey being conducted by some folks attempting to gauge interest in opening a makerspace here in metro Birmingham. Also known as hackerspaces, they’ve gained increased popularity in recent years here in the United States.

They are normally facilities that can resemble workshops where members have access to the equipment and space necessary to pursue whatever creative interests they might have. Classes may also be offered as opportunities to learn about and develop new skills. The landing page for the survey suggests while the organizers are envisioning a facility, they may start out offering a web-based resource that allows for organizing classes in the area.

It would actually be the second known attempt at establishing such a space in Birmingham in recent years. Local coworking space Sparkbox used to host makerspace sessions in their original home on the city’s Southside.

A link to the eight-question survey has been shared on Facebook by Jared Fulton – a status update where he included the space or concept “will be about developing and cultivating Birmingham’s growing community of makers and creatives.”

Interested in learning more about the concept? There was a phone number included in the post – Bruce Lanier’s (222-8226). You can also check out what’s been described as the international directory for the hackerspace movement. There’s also this site making the connection between making and education.

Photo: MakerSpace Urbana, Feb-2012maltman23/Flickr.

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5 comments
Steve
Steve

This is not the second known attempt at a makerspace for Birmingham. There is in fact a rather large group attempting this as a non profit. Google Makerspace Birmingham, AL or check http://redmountainmakers.org

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

It was the second known to this web publication until you thankfully corrected us (though it appears as the survey we've linked to is the one being conducted by the group you've linked to above) Thanks for the heads up to the site, though! Hopefully if they are two separate efforts, they can combine forces and bring something even better to The Magic City.

velochicdunord
velochicdunord

@Andre Natta We'll see what happens, Andre. Both groups have pushed along, although with separate focuses and funding structures. 

MAKEBhm was first out of the gate, and got going sooner, with more of a focus on traditional shop skills. Red Mountain Makers, after a slowish start due to needing to adapt an older space for the purpose, is now focused on growing the community and the member knowledge base. With 57 members, it is focusing on the intersection of tech and the arts. It's a more organic group, with the ultimate form being driven by members' interest areas.

Jared Fulton
Jared Fulton

I think the space would be more like 3rd ward in Brooklyn then sparkbox. Checkout - www.3rdward.com It would have an extensive woodworking shop, welding shop, screen printing shop, ceramics studio, and possibly laser cutter and CNC router fab shop, among other things.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

That's why I included links to the directory and the website - and why I said Sparkbox's original space on Southside and not the current one at Innovation Depot. 3rd Ward's a great space and they're some great folks too. Got to meet a few by chance when I stopped by the BMW Guggenheim Lab in NYC last fall.