Planning Your Space

All three of the people I interviewed had various ideas of what a Maker Space might look like.  Even Joel – who thought it was something you do when you’re cleaning out your house!  You can actually use anything to be a maker – what is someone’s junk can be someone else’s treasure!

One of the first steps to consider is the space – where will your makers do their thing?

  • Choose your team – Everyone and anyone you need to create a working environment (electricians, plumbers, designers, technologists)
  • Find inspiration from others – visit maker spaces in your area (yes…they do exist).  Ask them questions and learn from their mistakes
  • Prioritize the purpose, goals, and outcomes
    • What is the purpose of your space?  What do you envision people doing in it?  Is it for learning, playing, tinkering or demonstrating?
  • Identify your resources
    • What is your startup funding, costs and budget?  Perhaps you can look into grant funding.
    • How will you sustain the space?  Will you charge a lab fee or ask for donations?
    • Think about the fidelity of your space.  Will it have expensive high tech and very expensive equipment (high fidelity), medium fidelity (some technology – but not as expensive, or low fidelity (things around your house, markers, paper, cotton balls or sticks and leaves?
  • Create standards for your space, certification for use of high tech equipment, a team who will know how to run, fix and troubleshoot all of the equipment in your space
  • Build the space and secure the tools, technology and supplies
  • Design assessments for activities, program review and evaluation schedules if necessary

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