South London Makerspace

I was thinking about hacking a BigTrak Jr, and so I dropped a line to Danny at Orion Robots. Not only did he answer my question, but also he told me that there was a Maker Day at the London College of Communication. Excellent, I thought, and decided to head down.

It was a wet and miserable day, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a good-sized group of makers and hackers chatting and sharing projects. I met Faraz, who was messing around with some RGB LEDs and an Arduino. I showed him the video of Darrenlloyd Gent‘s RGB LED Strip Information Display (see it here), and we talked about things we were working on.

The main event for the day was a presentation about plans for the South London Makerspace. What is the South London Makerspace? It’s a shared-use space where members can pursue hobbies, crafts and technologies. For many people in South London, getting to the London Hackspace in Hackney is a pain in the neck; the South London Makerspace aims to provide a local alternative. The guys behind the project have been searching for a suitable site for the Makerspace, and the presentation showed us what they’ve found.

The proposed location is under a railway arch at Loughborough Junction. There’s a detailed overview of the the site and the surrounding area here. The arch is a big space, with plenty of room for all sorts of cool activities.  I was really impressed with the visualisation of how it could look. For me, it’s a really convenient location too. As I sat, watching and listening, I felt myself getting more and more excited by what was in front of me. I found myself thinking that I could really get a lot out of a local makerspace.

I could really give a lot too.

The South London Makerspace is a project with huge potential, but realising that potential is going to take a lot of work. The space needs to be cleaned. There’s junk that has to be removed. The door needs a security system of some kind. There’s plenty to do. That’s why the South London Makerspace needs you, and me, and any other interested makers, to help get started. You can make a pledge here, or just sign up to show your interest.

EDIT 15 Nov 2013: The guys at South London Makerspace have just published their report from last weekend, which should be read as a kind of companion piece to this. You can find it here.

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