History

This is a crowd-sourced living document, email us with your corrections.

The Power of Making

From the 6th September 2011 to the 2nd January 2012 the Victoria and Albert Museum in collaboration with the Crafts Council hosted an exhibition called the Power of Making. This highly successful exhibition, curated by Daniel Charny was visited by over 30,000 guests. The space featured an area called a Tinkerspace at the rear with 3D printers and a workbench for people to get involved in Making during the exhibition.

Makers Guild

At the same time, Fiddian Warman and Rachel Coldicutt formed Makers Guild a meetup group with the aim to bring Makers together to showcase their work and in 2012 they began running a series of events on the subject.

Brixton Hackspace

Throughout Summer 2011 Fiddian and Blaine Cook (ex CTO of Twitter, now founder of Poetica) started looking for spaces, building a community and running online polls. Brock Craft, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and Joanna Kohlmann were also involved in this push throughout 2011 and into 2012 as people began to meet up about starting a Brixton Hackspace/Makerspace/Project Space. A number of different names we’re bounded about on what was then the Brixton Hackspace Google Group (brixhack@googlegroups.com).

Dos and don’ts for Maker Spaces

On the 24th April 2012 the 5th Makers Guild meet up was announced – Dos and don’ts for Maker Spaces, this event, held on the 4th May included speakers from Technology Will Save Us, Makerspace Cambridge, DoES Liverpool and Makerhood.

Brixton Tinkerspace

All of this led to a public meeting at Dogstar in Brixton on the 25th October 2012, held Fiddian and Daniel at which they announced plans for Brixton Tinkerspace. It is at this meeting Tom Lynch and Tom Newsom, currently two of our directors, and Yulia Silina first got involved.

To this day Tom N is regularly reminded of the embarrassing moment when, somewhat displeased with the high talk-to-action ratio, made his “dramatic exit” out of the meeting  only to return moments later for his bike helmet and his tail between his legs. However this “let’s get on with it, rather than talk about it” attitude is almost certainly what pushed us to where we are now.

76182_335878283185825_806468013_n

Original Brixton Tinkerspace Logo

After this meeting there was a real sense of excitement and the group continued meeting for some time at the Dogstar and Brixton Community Base but after Christmas 2012 things went quiet. Tom L posted “Dead?” on the Brixton Tinkerspace Google Group, which was the first point at which Matt Copperwaite introduced himself, Matt is now also one of our directors.

The Logo

As we began to grow our community, we began to figure out what we wanted from the space and how we might make it a reality. We also started exploring branding options, so Panja Göbel kindly did some work on the branding for us.

Tinkerspace_ID_explorations

Logo Explorations by Panja Göbel

 

Tinkerspace_webheader_yellow

Final Brixton Tinkerspace logo

Incorporation

As 2013 drew on, it looked like we had something “real” so we started looking at registering a limited company. This forced the issue of the suitability of the name: Several people had spoken about the negative and derogatory meanings of the word “Tinker”, so we had to choose something else for Companies House. Eventually Matt, Oli Evans, Tom L and Tom N met on the 18th September 2013 at The Prince Regent and talked it through, but still with no real resolution. The conversation continued online until the 25th September 2013 when Tom Lynch said “Love it, screw this – decision made: SL Makerspace…” in response to Tom N posting a logo mockup:

Makerspace_icon

Proposed logo by Tom Newsom for the rebrand.

On the 25th September 2013 Tom N also began the process of registering South London Makerspace as as a limited company, and on the 26th September 2013 company number 08706591 was registered as a company limited by guarantee. Committing us to completing accounts and moving this forward, The Toms had already agreed to be directors, but we were lacking a third to get the company going. In a somewhat spur of the moment call out Matt Copperwaite volunteered.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 20.11.20

Updated South London Makerspace logo by Tom Newsom

The mockup was developed into a full logo and we got our social media channels all in order. We then put real effort into growing the community, holding our first of many “Make Days” at the London College of Communication. We also started the process of setting up our bank account.

27–29 Norwood Road

Over the next few months the focus shifted to really getting a space and, after a long autumn of frustrating searching, Tom L began to make enquiries about 27-29 Norwood Road, an empty shop in Herne Hill. Over the following months, with the help of the Herne Hill Forum, Meanwhile Space and the landlord, we were able to secure a 2 month rent free use of the space which was formerly an Apollo video store, and The Good Companion Cafe + Shop.

Revamped logo by Tom Lynch

At this point we also rebranded with our final logo. The M of Makerspace is loosely based on the bold M in DIN 1451 with the same Ruler, Scissors, and “unknown slider” detailing as before. However adjustments were made to give emphasis to these details at lower resolutions. The logo uses the open font Dosis, although we use the open font Roboto for everything else.

IMG_7070South London Makerspace opened it’s doors for the first time on 31st March 2014. Sadly someone put a little downward turn on the whole affair when they chased Tom L off the pavement and into the space, smashing our window in the process. Various events took place during this two month period and eventually it was extended for an additional two months before we had to move out. During the 4 months, our membership grew from 3 to over 60, we hosted The Restart Project, The Herne Hill Free Film Festival and a number of public open evenings, but sadly we failed to find a new space and had to move to storage at the end of July. This Google Street view gives a sense of what the space looked like before closing.

Arch 1129

Over the next months real effort was put in to find a new home. Eventually we found a railway arch behind our previous venue, which we’d been tipped off about some time before by businesses in the same set of arches. Sadly this unit was already taken, but undeterred we kept looking and eventually the landlord told us of another unit a couple of doors down – literally directly behind where we had been staying on Norwood Road.

Arch 1129, 41 Norwood Road, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9AJ became our new home on the 18th October 2014.

Since then the local community, members and directors have been working hard toward the common goal of turning this railway arch into a shared space where locals can become members and access like minded individuals, specialist tools and space to build their projects.

South London Makerspace opened for use in Spring/Summer 2015 with access to a range of facilities including an Ultimaker 2 3D printer, a Trotec Laser Cutter and a wide range of hand and machine tools.

Highstreet Fund

In Spring 2015 we successfully applied for funding to complete construction of the Makerspace phase 2 workshops, and begun the major work in October 2015, the work is almost complete with it expected to be finished entirely Summer 2016.

This work created a new dusty wood workshop and provided money for a range of tools, as well as a messy workshop with laser cutter, 3d printer, and other areas, clearing phase 1 for electronics and textiles.

Refresh

In late 2015 we started work on the latest South London Makerspace website redesign which eventually led on to looking at the logo which had an issue at small sizes,  a redraw of the logo squared it up and simplified the ruler on the left hand side, as well as formalising the use of the red box, a new redrawn logo was born:

avatar

Future plans

After 2 years of construction and making the space alongside using it we need a break. we’ve vague plans to for phase 3 to reconstruct the snug building out back, and we would like to take another railway arch in the future to help us expand the workshops which are a bit tight for space, however we’re keen to just get making for a bit!

Supporters

Phase 2 of our workshop build was funded by The Mayor Of London’s High Street Fund

supported by mayor

South London Makerspace is proudly sponsored by:

Trotec-Logo-transparent

 

Ultimaker-Logo

 

hitachi

 

aatext72

 

corel

 

autodesk_header_logo_140x23

©2013—2017 South London Makerspace

Proud to be part of the London Open Workshop Network

Found an issue? Let us know or fork on Github