[EMS Discuss] Maker Space Tour Report

Bob Miller kbob at jogger-egg.com
Sat Mar 29 20:37:01 PDT 2014

Thanks for the report.  Did you ask either group about their financial
arrangements?  ADX is for profit.  Its prices are on the web, and they
are not cheap.  I don't know anything about Flux.

On Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 7:12 PM, Mark Danburg-Wyld
<danburgwyld at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was sorry to miss this morning's EMS improvement day. The reason was, I
> spent the better part of yesterday and today up the street in Portland.
> While there, I was able to tour a couple of other maker spaces, ADX
> (http://www.adxportland.com) and Flux (http://fluxlab.io). I thought I'd
> write up a few notes about each, in case it inspires any ideas for further
> improving EMS. :-)
> ADX is a larger space, around 10,000 sq. ft. There's multiple sub-spaces
> within there - a front reception area, a modeling/3D printing/laser
> cutter/soldering area just off of that, together around 1000-1500 sq ft,
> plus a coffee bar/lounge area with a separate door to the street (about
> another 1500-2000 sq ft). The rest is straight shop. There's a good sized
> wood shop, including a CNC that would easily fit a 4'x8' sheet of plywood,
> bunch of standing tools, etc. The metal shop has numerous welding stations,
> grind area, etc. I didn't get a good look at the interior of either shop,
> just a view through the door. The rest of the shop space is sublet to
> personal artisans - at least three dedicated 'studios'.
> The overall vibe is more of a co-working craftsman space. The person giving
> us the tour said there are a fair number of 'hobby-ist' members as well, or
> people who are primarily interested in learning to weld or whatever. But the
> bulk of it seems to be people making a living out of the shop. The 3D
> printing/laser cutting area looked a little under-utilized, comparatively -
> when I was there, there were 4 or 5 people working in the wood area, no-one
> in the metal shop, and two guys in the modeling area but just using it as a
> hang-out space it looked like.
> Flux bills itself as a "feminist hackerspace", although open to anyone. It's
> about 1,000 sq. ft., in a more or less office-space, on the second floor.
> The layout is very open, mostly given over to a more lounge area, with
> numerous rentable desks along the walls. There's a 3-D printer and a small
> desktop CNC machine, plus a station of hand-tools and a soldering station.
> We got to talk to one of the main organizers, Molly, for quite a while. She
> said it's primarily used as a space for members to have events and to learn
> skills. They have at least one other organization (Pixel Arts
> (http://www.gameeducationpdx.com/)) that works out of the space, renting a
> desk and when we were there using the space for a training session for new
> volunteers. Beside the plethora of comfortable chairs and tables, they had a
> pretty good sized library (mostly computer programming related, maybe a
> third more crafts oriented, plus a good 10% random/other).
> I asked Molly what EMS might do to make our space more inviting to women, in
> particular. She rattled off a number of ideas: smell, aesthetics, clear
> labelling of tools, and having prominent & clear "no scoffing" and "no
> asshole" rules. Smell doesn't mean perfumed, just if the space stinks of
> stale beer and leftover pizza, that's a turn-off. The aesthetics piece is
> mostly around cleanliness, although having things looks nice certainly can't
> hurt. I was really struck by the idea about code of behavior - it can mean a
> lot to walk in, knowing that even if you can't recall the name of something
> that you're not going to be mocked for it. I encourage everyone to take a
> look at Flux's STFU communication rules. It may not be what you initially
> think from the acronym. :-)
> Any questions about particulars of either space, let me know.
> Thanks,
> Mark
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Bob Miller                              K<bob>
                                        kbob at jogger-egg.com

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