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Summary:

Intriguing “hackerspace/makerspace” i3 Detroit is holding its grand opening tomorrow, with an open house between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m at its new facility at 322 East Fourth St. in Royal Oak, Mich., followed by a party that kicks off at 7 p.m. Unlike some run-of-the-mill […]

Picture 8Intriguing “hackerspace/makerspace” i3 Detroit is holding its grand opening tomorrow, with an open house between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m at its new facility at 322 East Fourth St. in Royal Oak, Mich., followed by a party that kicks off at 7 p.m. Unlike some run-of-the-mill coworking spaces, which tend to be more like a cross between an office and a coffee shop, i3 Detroit’s 1,500-square-foot facility contains an assortment of fabrication tools, a classroom and a stock of many common components to use during project builds, which according to founder Russ Wolfe should create “a collaborative environment for people to explore the balance between technology, art and culture.”

i3 Detroit is a non-profit organization, and paid membership ($100 per month) includes 24-hour entry to the facility, access to all tools and preferred admittance to classes.

If you’re involved with an unusual coworking project, tell us about it in the comments.

  1. Glad to see our little effort attracting some notice! Hackerspaces owe their inspiration to even older traditions like artist communes, and the idea is the same: Shared tools attract a community, and the real benefit is the synergy (forgive me for using a buzzword) of ideas from all the interesting people who end up in the space together.

    There are numerous spaces in other cities, and more are popping up all the time. They go back decades in Europe, although their model is less hardware-centric, focusing almost solely on the social aspect. The idea comes from all over, including artist communes, libraries, knitting circles, and so on. (Discuss: Does such a space provide a public good, akin to a library, and should taxpayers support it?)

    If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by, even if you can’t make the grand opening party. There’s usually someone in the space any given evening.

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    1. As someone who likes to tinker with electronics/hardware myself but who doesn’t have the space in my apartment, I would love to see a similar facility in my city.

      I can also imagine it would be a inspiring pace to work, even if you’re not a maker professionally, as it could be a creative place that can germinate ideas, rather than the usual coworking spaces that tend to be dominated by web developers.

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  2. I don’t know anyone who’s a professional maker of any sort, yet everyone who’s spent time in the space has, yes, found it an inspiring place to work or play.

    I find myself in the space sometimes at odd hours, working alone. It’s good to have access to the facility, yes, but it’s nowhere near as good as having a handful of instant friends to throw ideas around, sanity-check each other, and utter the magic phrase: “You know, there’s an easier way to do that.”

    According to the list on hackerspaces.org, there’s nothing in Bristol itself yet but several nearby spaces. UberVolt is an e-bike modding community in Swindon, E-Space is a vaporware effort in Exeter which may yet turn into something, and SoutHACKton is a fairly active community (guess where) with regular meetings at a web dev house called Steamshift.

    From the looks of SoutHACKton, they don’t have an industrial shop, but they’re definitely doing some cool things with small electronics and they seem to actually exist, which is more than you can say for a lot of entries on the hackerspaces list.

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    1. Yo, Nate! It’s Graham from GeekChique.org, co-fouder of E-Space.

      We are SO not Vaporware! We’ve had two and a half meetings (The first attempt at meeting two was cancelled after massive fail… (Julius was at a conference, and I ended up in hospital. ;D) – besides, we’ve only been around since August 15th! If you’re interested, our next meeting is Friday 23rd October at 6PM, City Gate Hotel Exeter. I guess I’ll see you there! Feel free to join the forums, too. They’ve not been up long enough to get major attention, but they’re getting there. http://www.geekchique.org/forums

      See you soon!

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  3. Sweet! I’m glad to hear there are good things happening in Exeter, and even more glad that you guys are on the Hackerspaces wiki. I know it’s hard to stay on top of all that stuff and update the entries to indicate activity, but that’s part of what helps people find you.

    Best of luck!

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  4. [...] Coworking is a movement that just seems to continue growing. Innovative spaces keep opening all over, meaning you should be able to find a great place to work nearly anywhere in 2010 — pitch up in a new city and there’s likely to be a great coworking venue someplace nearby. It also means that you’ll have more flexibility to pick and choose a space that matches your exact needs, with more niche, specialist places opening. Looking for a coworking venue that has fabrication equipment and tools? There’s a space for that. [...]

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