I might have one of the most awesome part-time jobs: I am setting up a 5,500 sq ft hacker space in
I met Far and Maggie, from the Prometheus Radio Project, for lunch at the Reading Terminal Market. After living in the
At lunch while I enjoyed crepes with Nutella and fruit (I have fond memories of Nutella from my days living in Oxford, England), we discussed ideas such as an international hacker space conference, an organization for helping new hacker spaces get started, and challenges with management, legal, and lobbying efforts with hackers spaces and those faced by The Prometheus Radio Project.
After lunch, Far and I went to Hive 76. It is situated in a large warehouse/loft space in Philly’s warehouse district, not far from
The space’s access is on the 5th floor in a building occupied by artists. Upon entering the loft, the sparsely furnished entryway is accented with little more than a threadbare couch and a large steel frame cubical sculpture. Hive 76 is down the hall, and in contrast to the neighboring artists’ spaces with kilns and easels, this hacker space is comfortably full with tech equipment: laser cutter, cupcake CNC, server racks, a workspace area for computers, and tables for projects. Christmas lights strung from the high ceiling reminded me of the hacker’s workshop in the movie Sneakers. As I sit here writing this blog posting, I have a great view of
Far and I discussed some models for hacker space physical and business organizations: this is why I came. With my huge hacker space (perhaps the biggest in the
Some of the discourse we’ve shared: the hacker space size, equipment and memberships should be commensurate to community in which it is located to facilitate success; membership, ideally, should pay for most if not all of the space overhead costs; a national hacker space organization (with Founder conferences and a data base of shared technical, management, and legal resources) would be very helpful in helping manage existing hacker spaces and facilitate start-ups of new spaces; a hacker space in which co-working/hacker start-up companies can rent full-time locking office space that is physically connected to the hacker space. (Image is of an old typewriter being turned into a keyboard for a computer)