Hack­lab pops up

Lo­cal tech gu­rus build­ing co-op for artists, in­ven­tors and tin­ker­ers

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

Mak­erspaces, also known as hack­labs, are start­ing to pop up in cities all over the world.

They func­tion as shared workspaces, where hob­by­ists, artists, pro­gram­mers and tin­ker­ers can gather, share re­sources, learn from and teach each other.

Mem­bers pay a nom­i­nal fee and get ac­cess to the space and its equip­ment. If they’re com­fort­able with do­ing so, some mem­bers will be called on to teach classes in the space or give demon­stra­tions of their skills to raise money to help sup­port the space.

They’re also usu­ally sup­ported by in­dus­try and other com­mu­nity groups.

“Part of it is al­most like an old­fash­ioned co-op where you can share equip­ment that you nor­mally couldn’t af­ford or have the space for on your own. But re­ally, the com­mu­nity is what it’s all about - it’s the peo­ple and their knowl­edge trans­fer,” said Derek Camp­bell, one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the space.

The other two main or­ga­niz­ers for the Sum­mer­side Mak­erspace are Aaron Boeker and Steve Howard. All the men have a deep in­ter­est in tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion and see this pro­ject as an op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity. Plus it’s a good ex­cuse to meet and hang out with peo­ple who share their in­ter­ests.

“It’s just go­ing into the un­known. Why do we have a large hadron col­lider in the world? Just to find out things we don’t know,” said Howard.

“So, get­ting a bunch of folks to­gether to cre­ate some­thing new is prob­a­bly go­ing to cre­ate some­thing that we can’t even pre­dict. That’s what I see com­ing from the mak­erspace.”

The or­ga­niz­ers are cur­rently get­ting some cleanup crews to­gether for the their cho­sen lo­ca­tion, known as the Sum­mer­side Ven­ture Cen­tre, which has been made avail­able by the City of Sum­mer­side.

COLIN MA­CLEAN/TC ME­DIA

A group of tech-fo­cused peo­ple in Sum­mer­side are work­ing to build the com­mu­nity’s first mak­erspace in the Ven­ture Cen­tre on Green­wood Drive. Some of the or­ga­niz­ers are from left, Steve Howard, Derek Camp­bell, Chris Will­cock and Aaron Boeker.

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