Great DIY projects are often easy to do at home, but many require tools and space that you may not have. Put simply, a hackerspace (or hackspace) is a shared workspace where you can tackle DIY projects you wouldn't normally be able to because you don't have the space or materials.
For example, among all of the other cool things at this year's Maker Faire in San Francisco, educator and Mythbusters host Adam Savage delivered an eloquent argument in support of the DIY community (embedded at the top of this post), not only because it offers a creative outlet, but because DIY projects encourage critical thinking. To find a local hackerspace, head over to, a community-maintained wiki with an always up-to-date list of locations around the globe you can join.
Finding a space is easy, but finding out whether it's the right space for you is a different issue.
Whether you want to sell your work on Etsy or you just want to build your own desk, or maybe make it height adjustable, most hackerspaces will have the tools to help you customize your gear to your needs, or build something from scratch that's better than anything you could get at a store.
Just because you don't have a basement workshop doesn't mean you don't get to scratch your DIY itch.

Very often, those spaces are loaded with tools, training classes, and other experienced members willing to help you get your projects off the ground.
People who are just getting started will benefit from various educational opportunities like classes and workshops, and the act of designing, building and creating are incredible ways of building confidence. If you've been looking for a way to do just that, or you just wish you had a place to go to work on your pet project, a hackerspace is for you. Check out the events list to see if the hackerspaces near you are hosting anything you'd be interested in. Normally we have to suck it up and live with what we have, but being a member at a hackerspace means you don't have to settle for the things you buy or see on store shelves as they are. Odds are there's a hackerspace in your community, stocked with tools, plenty of space, safety gear, and knowledgeable people willing to help you.
Whether you're hacking IKEA furniture or making your own electronics, a hackerspace can provide you with everything you need to get started, as long as you bring the materials, the idea, and the motivation to make it happen.

Make sure to visit your local space's web site to find out what type of space they are, how to become a member, and what dues they may charge. Reach out to the space's management and find out how you can get involved.See if you can visit before you sign up so you can get a feel for the location. You can tweak to your heart's content, experiment with new projects, and let the DIY enthusiast in you bloom. Best of all, if you don't know how to make your idea real, there's probably someone there who can help you learn.
Photo by Nottingham Hackspace.Let them know what types of projects you're interested in working on, and ask if the hackerspace is well suited to those types of projects.

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