Makespace re-opening plans
We’re currently working on preparing Makespace for re-opening and wanted to share our plans – obviously some dates are outside our control, but at least you’ll understand the process…
Makespace is currently closed, and all members are on a payment holiday.
During this period, we had no choice but to close the space to members. However, we knew the space and community was unique, so we worked to get approval to adapt the space to tackle short-term Covid Response Activities under very controlled conditions – see Covid-19 Response Activities page – thank you to everyone who has helped during this time to make such an amazing response possible!
As things are starting to ease, our attention is turning back to allowing access to the space for members under controlled conditions.
What is happening now?
We are currently working through all the planning and risk assessments to allow reopening of the space to members.
Some of this is under our control, some is under the control of government, and some is under the control of the university who own the building we use. Our objective is to be ready to provide controlled access as soon as we are allowed.
How will it work?
To help get a sense of how it will work, these are approximately the different levels of Makespace operation we expect to be able to support, depending on the changing pandemic conditions and government and university restrictions:
Please note, this is subject to change as we get further information, further along in our planning and as things generally play out, but is a good indication of our current expectations.
Our current focus is on moving from CLOSED to EQUIPMENT ACCESS.
This will aim to provide access to our equipment under very controlled conditions to our members – think wearing masks, keeping distance, limiting numbers in the space at any one time.
We’ll also be asking that you really do only use the space to access the equipment to undertake processes you can’t do elsewhere to help limit time in the shared space. Much like the “work from home if you can” guidance from the government. So that means we’d expect things like CAD prep beforehand, assembly afterwards etc. would be done elsewhere.
When will it happen?
We expect to have everything in place within the next couple of weeks to be able to support EQUIPMENT ACCESS in theory, and will be discussing further with the university on when the earliest we may be able to open. The constraints will fundamentally be the government guidelines and university restrictions.
At the moment, we do not have a good estimate for this, so please don’t get your hopes up. It could be as late as September, but ideally sooner. We’ll update our blog and frontpage as we can share more.
What can I do to help?
Great question, thanks for asking!
We know how enthusiastic people are to help – just look at all the Covid-19 work done under very trying conditions – so wanted to highlight a particular way you may be able to help Makespace during this time.
One thing we’ve been discussing for a while among the management and trainers, even ahead of Covid-19, was if it was possible to move some aspects of our training online; to improve the scope of information that can be provided, to help reduce wait times, and to reduce the load on our amazing volunteer trainers!
Covid-19 has changed that discussion. We are now committed to make online training happen, giving all the benefits we were thinking of plus the ability for us to reinstate training earlier (in the LIMITED ACCESS individual phase rather than the GENERAL ACCESS group phase).
The result will enable much more of our training to happen ahead of getting hands on with the equipment, meaning physical training can be much more about practicing and proving what you’ve learned, than the total from-scratch learning in person that limits what can be covered and is a lot of effort.
We’re looking to start working on this now and will primarily involve helping to rethink training content, generating written and video online training materials, and putting together quizzes that help validate some of the learning.
If you are interested in helping to make this happen, especially if you are a current trainer or plan to become one, Curtis, Ward and Chris will be running a kick-off meeting now listed on Meetup – you can sign up here.
One more thing…
When you do get back in to the space, you might even notice a few updates – our lasers, Betsy and Jaws, have had a full refurbishment, and there is a shiny new painted floor. Thanks to all that helped make that happen!