Let's build a makerspace in the South Bay!

What is a makerspace?

  • Makerspaces are community centers where people go to meet up, take workshops and give classes on all sorts of practical DIY (do it yourself) topics. Topics can range from programming and electronics to sewing, woodworking, and even DIY biology projects such as water quality testing. Think of it as a 21st century mix of shop class and home economics
  • Makerspaces are a great way to share resources. Why buy your own 3D printer, when we could own one together as a community?
  • Makerspaces are a great way to share knowledge. There are already many makers in our community. Let's share our knowledge and see what we can discover!
  • They are also a great way to meet like-minded people. Find a cool project to join, get help on your experiments, or even start your own business!

Why a makerspace here?

  • It would be the first and only makerspace serving residents of the South Bay.
  • It would be a supplemental STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) center for local schools.
  • It would provide modern, DIY educational and teaching opportunities for the community.
  • It would encourage environmental stewardship at the individual level.
  • It would be a job skills training center.

What would happen at the makerspace?

  • Access to a wide array of equipment + shop space + open high speed Internet + library
    • 3D printer; laser cutter; wood-working tools; soldering equipment; welding equipment; sewing machines; art supplies; DIY Bio lab equipment; computers with cool open source software; etc. etc.
    • Library + resource center for connection with local groups
  • Lots of workshops and classes! Here are some ideas (please add your own):
    • Science and environment:
    • Programming/shop/electronics:
      • Intro to surfboard-making
      • Bike repair clinic
      • NodeSchool (a free Node JS programming school)
      • Robotics
      • Arduino
      • Intro to mapping with MapBox and OpenStreetMap.
    • Art:
      • Graphic design
      • Crochet workshop with Ms. Tawnya
      • Industrial arts workshop for making public art
    • Other:
      • Cooking with Chef Alex
  • Professional and hobbyist networking opportunities (meetups, showcases, etc.)

What are our values?

  • Environmentalism (upcycling of resources, connection to marine ecosystem, environmental stewardship)
  • Economic accessibility (sliding-scale, no one turned away for lack of funds)
  • Youth empowerment
  • Honoring our veterans
  • Community education

Inspirational makerspaces

  • San Diego Public Library Maker Lab. The makerspace is volunteer run, is open to all ages, and allows people to 3D print for free. They currently have 3D printers, 3D scanners, vinyl cutters and equipment for sewing and embroidery. The Maker Lab was so successful that it is now expanding to 4X the size. It will be renamed the "Innovation Lab", and will acquire new equipment, such as CNC machines and a laser cutter.
  • Mt. Elliot Makerspace (Detroit) - a great example of a makerspace dedicated to economic accessibility, educational opportunity, and upcycling.
  • FabLab (San Diego) - a full-service makerspace in the East Village in downtown.
  • Counter Culture Labs (Oakland) - a popular DIY Bio community that is famous for its Real Vegan Cheese project.

Now let's get down to business...

Where would it be? 

  • Somewhere accessible to public transportation. The further east the better, for great accessibility for south SD people.
  • IB Adult Education Center building? The last I heard, the space had declining enrollment (is it officially closed?), and the city wanted to do something with it. There was a suggestion by Lorie Bragg in 2013 to turn it into a microbrewery, but last I heard it was an unpopular idea. -vk
  • City of IB property?
  • SDCOE property?
  • Bayside hangars?
  • Satellite locations? The people who started talking about this concept are based in IB, but there is interest from other people in the South Bay to create a South Bay makerspace. The South Bay is really big, and one idea to serve more people was to have one main space, and to organize a federation of existing spaces (for example, auto shops or woodworking spaces) who would offer workshops and be included in our global calendar and publicity. Prob: This may get complicated insurance-wise.

How would it be funded? Where would we get our equipment?

  • Seed grant + intermittent grants + membership dues
    • Seed grants: Knight Foundation, HP, Wells Fargo, ArtPlace...
    • Community grants: IB Beautiful, etc.
  • Equipment donations to our 501c3.
    • Bio/tech companies who would like to donate old equipment as part of their tax write-off? This is how Vicky's makerspace earned some of its equipment.
    • Community tool donation drive.

What else?

  • Let's have free membership for youth
  • Sliding scale-membership? We want people to access the space regardless of income. :]
  • Special deals for veterans
  • Who are our potential local partners?
    • Tijuana Estuary center; IB Collaborative (Boys and Girls Club, local churches such as IB United Methodist, etc.); MVHS (Poseidon Academy); Wildcoast; IB Beautiful; Surfrider; San Diego Coastkeeper; IB Library; Wild Willow Farm; etc.


  1. Find community stakeholders. (doing)
  2. Identify potential spaces. (doing)
  3. Website
  4. Join the School Factory Space Federation and get their fiscal sponsorship
  5. 501c3