Happy New Year!

A short update on making the space, and a message from Cambridge Science Centre about one of their projects….

Makespace update

We’re working with the university to finalise the details of the lease for the space in 17 Mill Lane. We’ve been delayed by the reorganisation of the estates management team who have lost a lot of personnel to voluntary redundancy, meaning even small tasks like checking the asbestos situation have taken much longer than we’d’ve liked. Nonetheless we are making good progress towards getting these last details sorted out. I’ve moved to a part time job so that I’ll be able to spend a bit more time on Makespace during the work week to shepherd through the insurance, legals and other bits and pieces as quickly as possible.

Once we have fire detection fitted and a security system in place, we hope to start a “bootstrapping” phase where the space is being fitted out before we open properly. We intend that Founder members will be able to help on site during this phase – this is the last chance to sign up as a Founder – sign up here if you are able to support us with £250 for the first 6 month’s Founder membership upfront. (Other membership types will be available once we are ready to open, so don’t worry if this option doesn’t appeal!)

We’re also talking to organisations and small businesses who would like to use Makespace; these are really helpful discussions where we can learn more about what sort of setup such groups might want, and can work out what’s the right thing to offer for Makespace. Drop us a line if this is of interest to you.

From Cambridge Science Centre:

The Cambridge Modular Exhibit System, from the Cambridge Science Centre might be of interest to the MakeSpace maker community.

We’re looking to standardise table top and wall-mounted science exhibit modules to help with the following aspects of science centre exhibits:

Enable exhibit content on an exhibition floor to be more quickly exchanged, enhancing repeat visits to a centre and deepening the learning opportunity

  • Engage the maker community to develop exhibit ideas and get them onto an exhibition floor while adhering to public accessibility and safety requirements
  • Ensure exhibits developed for specific themed exhibitions are developed with transportability in mind for outreach to schools, fairs and non science-centre locations
  • Easy switch out of broken exhibits on an exhibition floor for repair, removing the “Out of Order” frustration from the visitor experience

This system is in development by our lead exhibit developer, Dave Ansell (dave@cambridgesciencecentre.org). The more detailed description and spec for the system can be found on our Cambridge Science Centre development site here. We’re interested in any feedback on the v1 ALPHA spec, or in anyone who may be interested in helping suggest and develop exhibit ideas. The first public demo of the prototype will be at the Cambridge Science Festival in March 2012, and we have a commitment from the Cambridgeshire District libraries to support placement of the exhibits around Cambridge in the second half of 2012. This will be to field-test the standardised exhibit concept as well as innovative ways of measuring use and impact.
Any feedback on the system can be sent direct to Dave or to: info@cambridgesciencecentre.org.
All the best for making in 2012,


Makespace in 2012

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