Ideas on how to set up a hack space in Blackbird Leys?

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David Newman

Nov 21, 2022, 9:09:47 AM11/21/22
to Oxford Hackspace,
I don't know how many of the former Oxford hackspace people are still

As a Blackbird Leys Parish Councillor, I'm interested in seeing if we
could set up a hack space or maker space in Blackbird or Greater Leys.
The Aristotle Lane Maker Space is at the other end of Oxford.

Any suggestions on what we might do in the part of Oxford with the
lowest skills and education level, but with quite a few tradespeople?
There is a college and a community centre (to be demolished and a new
one built in a year's time) and the RAW workshop.

And is there any old equipment from the Oxford Hackspace left in storage?

David Newman
Blackbird Leys

David Newman
Tel. 01865 429750 or 077707 35474


Nov 21, 2022, 11:26:06 AM11/21/22
I'm only an admirer from the U.S., wishing she were part of your maker space crowd, so I'm hoping all works out well.
If I can help from Rhode Island, lmk.  😁
...Heather Hansen

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Katherine Phillips

Nov 21, 2022, 11:40:15 AM11/21/22
The Library is Blackbird Leys has lovely rooms and would I'm sure be very interested in being involved. The new Manager is Anita Parsler ( I work in the library so if you contact her please say I gave you her details. At very least the library would like to publicise what you set up.

Katherine Phillips

Daniel Mirfani

Nov 21, 2022, 1:08:23 PM11/21/22
to, Lauren Hutchinson
I am traveling at the moment but the guy who used to do all the 3d printing, planning, design and architectural related work is now a part time lecturer at Brookes and might be able to help.

I'll pass this email on to him see if he is up for it.


Jeff Alyanak

Nov 21, 2022, 1:38:58 PM11/21/22
to David Newman, Oxford Hackspace,
Hi David,

In my experience with the Toronto, Canada hacker- and maker-space community, and big part of a starting a successful new space is about community outreach and open events.

I helped consult on and run a number of drop-in events for spaces back in Toronto that really helped us connect with the local community. I found that the more general, open events worked best early on as you won't yet know exactly what your local community needs.

Some of the most effective events in engaging people were:

* DIY repair clinics
* Consult-a-hacker/maker events (hacker "office hours")
* Beginner-friendly skills workshops (soldering, sewing machines, coding, etc)

Any event that can be run such that it's cheap or free to attendees and which can be run as a "drop-in" (with attendees able to show up at any time during the event window) work wonders. There are many people who are _interested_ in these skills but barriers like price and scheduling may be blockers for them.

I found the the "office hours" concept worked really well because it gave people a very low barrier to entry. They'd show up and ask questions about very diverse topics. Some had questions about their ongoing projects, others wanted to know how and where they could learn various things.

Although in my experience we rarely had more than one or two experts available to run these office hours each week, we all knew each other's areas of expertise and could put people in touch with one another whenever we weren't able to directly consult or assist.

These types of events also require very little equipment, so you can jumpstart the discourse with the community right away and drive your acquisition of the gear based on what your community really wants.

In any case, if these types of events are of interest to you I'd be the first to volunteer to help organize and run such things.
Jeff Alyanak
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