Hi, I’m Eric Michaud.
From the first time I visited a Hackerspace, I knew that I had to do everything I could to get Hackerspaces everywhere. I first experienced Hackerspace C-Base in Berlin, before there was an NYC Resistor, a Noisebridge, or a HacDC. I came back to the United States and found community with like minds – and then I co-founded Washington’s first Hackerspace HacDC and founded Chicago’s first Hackerspace, Pumping Station: One. Since then, I’ve been traveling full-time, fundraising for Hackerspaces with College of Lockpicking up till 2012 where I started the security firm Rift Recon.
This How To Start A Hackerspace guide is for you, for everyone who has felt like I have and wanted to have a space to hack, to find community, to learn, to break things, to make things and to have a place to do it. Read How To Start A Hackerspace and find out everything you need to know to get started – including learning from the trials and tribulations of myself and my co-founders – and how to make a successful Hackerspace a reality.
Share this information widely, because we will have great hacks, hackers, and Hackerspaces when everyone can set up their own Hackerspaces.
Now, let’s get started.
In this “How To” I’ve broken it up into several parts listed below:
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 1
What is a Hackerspace, and who do you want as your core crew to build your Hackerspace?
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 2 – A Place To Hack All The Things
What requirements does your Hackerspace need to meet?
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 3 – A Home For Your Hackerspace
Where to locate your Hackerspace, and things you’ll need to consider.
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 4 – Get It Done
Make a task list and delegate responsibility to the core crew.
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 5 – Money and Resources
How to bring in resources to get the tools and materials you need.
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 6 – Get Your Space Ready
What to do, and where to put everything in your space once you have it.
How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 7 – Launch
What to do when everything is set up.
Got that? Awesome!
As you read How To Start A Hackerspace remember that Hackers are people who push the boundaries of their form and art, in whichever discipline that is. A Hackerspace is just a physical resource that is empty until you fill it up with tools, people, and projects. Check out what other hackers have done at global resource hackerspaces.org, and find shared info and wisdom at hackerspaces.org/wiki/Documentation.
“It takes a village to build a hackerspace” – ergo, You Can’t Do It Alone
When founding Pumping Station: One in Chicago and co-founding HacDC in Washington DC I didn’t do it alone. PS: One and HacDC took dozens of people with experience in many disciplines. Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, lulz were had and the overall learning experience was great. Just remember to let people help, be ready to admit when you are wrong sometimes, and always keep moving forward.
Setting up hackerspaces is a blast – but when the space is up and running is when the real fun begins. Now you have a place to hack on all the things, and more of them than ever before.
Lastly, this how-to isn’t a detailed dossier. It’s intended to provide an overview of all the tasks involved in setting up a dream Hackerspace. You will have more questions now (leave them in the comments!) but do know that more How To Start A Hackerspace posts are on the way here at the Adafruit Blog.
In the first post How To Start A Hackerspace: Part 1 we’ll cover how to find your core crew and what your space will initially be focused on.