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Hackerspace Architect: Essential Tools

Hackerspace Architect: Essential Tools

It’s getting towards the time that I’m going to stop blogging and start doing… start doing my book. I think my book will contain some tools. “Morrow’s Gifts” as I’ve been jokingly calling them in my mind. These gifts are the three things needed to run a hackerspace if you have nothing else, the essential skeletal plan if you like.

For clarification, this is a work in progress so you might read something similar to this later and find its 2 gifts or 18. The idea is fledgling and not presented as complete.

  1. A Mission - You hackerspace needs a mission. It can be very simple and specific or it can be incredibly broad, though the more specific the better. It should be a clear call to action. A phrase or tag line that pretty much anyone can understand. It can be inspiring or dull as dirt. Inspiring is better. It should be simple to remember. It will form the basis of every decision you make about the hackerspace. You will compare each tricky question and say, does THIS help me in our mission?

  2. A Planogram - You must divide your space up into units on a plan. You should do this in several ways. First into units. It works well if these correspond to sqft or sqm. Assign a rental value to each unit (what it costs you, include power and all the other overhead which are fixed to having a physical space, these are the costs that if all the members left tomorrow, you’d still be paying). You can planogram the whole space like this or you can sub-divide the space and planogram each subdivision like this. You can have multiples of the same space with different plans if you want. It doesn’t matter as long as you’ve chunked up the space.

  3. A Map - this map determines your best guess at the next 5 years of your space, step by step. Whilst the information does not need to be detailed, it does need to have all the beats of what you intend to do, physically with your space on it. It needs to include all the tools you’re going to include, all the activities you intend to run. It should relate to the planogram mentioned in step two. These two gifts work side by side always. If you need to make a decisions about the use of space, then ALL THREE gifts are considered.

Well.. I like what I’ve got so far. I’m going to ponder it a bit more and maybe revise and tighten my ideas. I’d love to know what you think. If what I’ve written makes no sense PLEASE DO ask questions here in the comments section, rather than on twitter, which is where ALL the most useful questions have been going.

today’s thumbnail is more Bauhaus inspired typographical work by NTU Arts students at Lakeside Arts in Nottingham.

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