Patrick Neave, Alex Angell, Sam Willcocks, Matt Venn, Nathan Dumont, David Stewart, Jon Dowling, David Henshall, Tarim, Ian Stratford, Barney Livingston, David Wyatt (minute-taker)

overall concensus

we want more members. More members = more use of the space, equals more money for a larger space, equals a definite need for a larger space, equals more tools and more cool stuff happening.


  • Patrick's presentation
    • Aim of this meeting: start to decide how to proceed, make it official
    • The problem: too little space…
    • Options: Stay, expand within BV, move to a new space
    • Does anyone think we don't need to move? Matt: yes - underused except on Thursdays
    • Patrick presents numbers ⇒ we need more money for a bigger space (he suggests 2000sqft)
    • ⇒ options are increase membership, increase subscriptions
    • People paying £10/month coming along rarely might not want to increase contributions?
    • Figures for people who never come back after a Thursday? Catch-22: the open night is the most crowded, so least appealing…
    • Likelihood of more space in G11? Poppy going to be moving out soon (?) - solar people? special people with more space to store stuff
    • Patrick's figures: £17k/yr for commercial rent in a 2000sqft unit
    • No urgency - we're not being thrown out
    • 100 members @ £20/month
    • Patrick's vision for the hackspace:
      • Concrete-floored workshop space
      • Carpeted, desk-equipped space for knitting circles/hackkids
      • Centre of Bristol
    • Tarim: What's the problem we're trying to solve?
      • David H: space that people can use in the way (when) they want
      • Patrick: wants to grow the space
      • DH: Bristol could support a bigger hackspace - 100 members ⇒ space, facilities, equipment, - IS: bigger community gives a variety of influences, diversity, workshops - also, mechanical people need more space than electronics
      • Patrick: access is a problem
      • Tarim: any chance that could be solved within BV? Patrick: G11 is not big enough for 100 members - Nathan: wrong type of space because it's only one space, noise & messiness issues
      • DH: short & long term problems
      • DS: space puts people off - we could do more - and space is not big enough for >3 people to *work*
      • Tarim: doesn't want to move to an even larger space that's even more underused & costs more money & lose BV space
      • Existing space is underused - lack of equipment? or lack of promotion? - nothing to promote?
      • DH: majority of subscriptions paid by people who turn up on a Thurs evening - nice social event, exchange of knowledge
      • IS: G10 + G11 would be ideal, with G10 being messy space - could we encourage other current tenants to move to Phase 2? - bit by bit - BV is well managed, cheap, good location, and we could always scale back again - Poppy possibly moving out end of Feb - possible issues with too much hackspace, but all the artists are interested whenever they come in
      • DS: £4500 in the bank atm [though some is owing to BV & electricity company] - more than a year's worth of rent - allows us not to risk the Hackspace
      • Patrick: can't make plans, and working piecemeal
      • Patrick: crowdfund the expansion? 1000 Twitter followers (half imaginary?!)
  • Summary so far: Can't get more space without more members unless we crowdfund: Patrick's idea 100 people £200 each, 1 year's membership for free - give us the money upfront for negotiating with landlord, spend excess on equipment
  • Message for Maker Faire? Needs to be decided
  • Survey Bristol: what do they want? £20/month for a community workshop? - Barney: surveys are not very helpful
  • DS: most people want a bigger space - concrete proposal: set out a vision statement written version of what we want to achieve
  • Matt: issue is space getting better utilised? Barney: most hackspaces are like that - members have day jobs, if we had more members people would be using it more
  • Everybody likes to turn up on Thursdays because we're one social group - if there was a different group that used it on a different night that'd use it more - if had 3x members there'd be 3x people in the space all the time, if not more if you have critical mass/network effects
  • Alex: do we focus on what we have, rather than what we do or can offer? DH: workshops are a strain, don't want to commit to doing them often
  • DS: dichotomy between Thursday nights & rest-of-the-week - most of the people …
  • Tarim: move the open night to another night to stop people leaving because they think it's too busy - but we don't want it to be too
  • Tarim & IS: find out why people who leave don't come back - perhaps appoint someone each evening to greet newcomers
  • Patrick: have a “cosy corner” where new people can be taken to sit down & have the hackspace explained to them
  • Patrick: concrete proposal: page on website with benefits of joining, along with a paper copy to be given to people when they arrive, poster with QR codes? for website, join mailing list; capture their information & email them in a month to find out why they haven't joined?
  • Sam: concrete proposal: have a members-only mailing list? for discussing things like this which only paying members can access? Sam will set up
  • Patrick: this is a useful meeting to have regularly
  • DH: plenty of kickstarter-type organisations, can do a speculative proposal - and can iterate if necessary
  • Matt: Artspace Lifespace are moving out of current Bristol College location, looking at renting a new warehouse space somewhere - might we want to work with them? We need to tell them what we want (how much space), how much cash we can bring (£6k/annum), what activities, what collaborations? - whole bunch of people wanting to move together, collective of people needing big workshops, mostly metal-hitting/angle-grinding
  • Consensus: we want more members!
  • Patrick: other groups are interested in sharing space, but we don't think they should be spatially segregated - use it on different nights or just share facilities


  • Members-only mailing list: Sam will set this up
  • Extra space in G11, G10, G12: Matt has asked for first refusal on any extra space in this end of BV, Poppy is most likely to be moving out soon
  • Everyone to review minutes
  • Write a vision statement: member benefits, aims, what we can offer - David Stewart and Barney Livingston
  • Investigate crowdfunding platforms: David Henshall
  • Improve reception of newcomers: David Stewart (to organise)
  • Communicate with Artspace Lifespace: Matt to send them our minutes & find out more about what they're interested in, & send details to list for people interested in going to meeting on Sunday

Next meeting: March 4 - to talk about crowdfunding? set up questionnaire to ask if you'd pay £20/month for new space; plan for influx of new people after Maker Faire (Saturday open day the weekend after Maker Faire, and a sequence of other events/workshops: 3d printing, repair cafe) - Patrick and Tarim to organise - write an agenda - crowdfunding, maker faire, general quest for more members

  • botlab/future_hackspace_discussion_meeting_2013_02_06
  • Last modified: 3 years ago
  • by felix.h