For decades individuals have pooled their talents and financial resources to create community woodworking shops, darkrooms, art studios and other facilities so they could pursue activities they couldn’t afford on their own. What’s different about makerspaces is that they provide the tools, space and community needed to support many different activities and interests.
ADX – This makerspace in Portland, Oregon, describes itself as “dual parts workspace and incubator, our membership-based community unites multiple creative disciplines within a 10,000 square-foot facility that is accessible, collaborative & affordable.” ADX opened in May 2011 and they have more than 150 members.
Artisan’s Asylum – Located near Boston, Massachusetts, Artisan’s Asylum started out about 3 years ago in 1,000 square feet and then expanded to 31,000 square feet. One reason they’re so large is because they have more than 90 private work and storage areas, ranging from 50 to 250 square feet, that their members can rent. Their very well-equipped facility also offers a wide range of affordable classes.
Columbus Idea Foundry – This makerspace is located in Columbus, Ohio, and operates in a 25,000 square foot building that has 4,000 sq. ft. of classroom and gallery space, 10,000 sq. ft. of studio space and 11,000 sq. ft. of workshop space. Their mission is “to provide tool-access and tool-education to small businesses, creative artists, and YOU.”
Fayetteville Free Library’s Fab Lab – The first makerspace to be created inside a US public library is not far away, near Syracuse. It includes a 3D-printer, a laser cutter and computer workstations with sophisticated design programs.
TechShop – “A membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make.” It was started in 2006 as a for-profit membership based workshop in Menlo Park, California. Since then they have expanded across the country and are now in six cities, with more locations planned.
The Crucible – This educational facility “fosters a collaboration of Arts, Industry and Community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts.” It was started in 1999 in a 6,000 square foot warehouse in Berkley, California. It has grown to 47,000 square feet and they are now probably the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the United States.