London Hackspace is a non-profit hackerspace based in Ujima House, Wembley and is London's cheapest open access maker space. They are a community run workshop where people come to share tools and knowledge - essentially members pay a monthly membership fee and get 24/7 access to the tools and facilities they have on offer. London Hackspace was conceived in 2009 and started off as a small group of like minded individuals meeting in a pub. From there the Hackspace has grown and occupied several different premises before moving to Ujima House in 2018. In 2019 we celebrated our 10 year anniversary.
We asked Hackspace to share about their story!
What do you or your business do? "We are a community workshop enabling members to share tools, knowledge, and experience. We were one of the first hackspaces (sometimes called "Maker Spaces") in the UK (I believe the first), and we have a large selection of different tools. A key part of London Hackspace is the community - both physical and online. We hold regular open nights for both potential members and existing members to get together, visit the space, and talk about ideas, share knowledge, and more. We have a variety of different interest groups covering anything from electronics to DNA sequencing and woodwork. We have workshops for electronics, metal work, wood work, model making, 3d printing, fabric crafts, biological experiments, amateur radio, and general tinkering. The whole space is run by the members, for the members."
What makes your business/product unique or special?
We have a large community, and also tools for lots of different tasks in one place. Not only can you design and build your next electronic creation, but you can also make a case for it. Especially on our open nights, but also at other times, members can ask each other for advice and share tips - for example, many people have tried to build 3d printers and, after struggling to make them work, brought the to one of out open nights for free help and advice.
The space enables all of these activities - and the great thing is, the tools are on hand so you don't just have to be stuck talking about an idea - you can actually make a start on trying it out!
London Hackspace's biggest benefit is its community of like-minded people. We're also one of a few places in London where you can take the exams to be come a licensed amateur radio operator, with training courses being planned. We have probably one of the best amateur radio antenna setups in London.
Describe a typical day for you?
The nice thing about London Hackspace is that every day is different, so there really isn't a typical day. The closest thing is probably our tuesday night open evening.
After greeting people and maybe giving a few tours of the space to newcomers and potential members, I usually settle down to work on the hackspace infrastructure. Most recently this has mostly been designing and implementing improvements to the door entry system. Alternatively, I might head into the radio room and experiment with our amateur radio setup. Other times I'll just chat to other members.
How many cups of coffee do you think your team gets through on an average day?
Not actually that many - London Hackspace follows the hacker/maker scene tradition of keeping large stocks of Club Mate on hand. It is a high caffeine, relatively low sugar energy drink from Germany. It is particularly popular in hackspaces and Berlin night clubs.
If you want to become a member of Hackspace (and you can for as little as £15 a month), they host an open evening every Tuesday from 7PM where they give potential new members tours around the facilities and also give people the opportunity to ask questions and collaborate on projects. If you want more information, head to https://london.hackspace.org.uk