They’re called hackerspaces—community tech workshops targeted towards closeted innovators and do-it-yourselfers—a clubhouse for grown-ups. From Vienna’s cocktail mixing robot to San Francisco’s space balloon, projects taken on by these clubs are acts of creativity and invention. With nearly 500 groups established around the world, hackerspaces continue to arise, including Boulder’s own recently formed Solid State Depot. Founded in 2010 by Dan Davis-Boxleitner and John English, Solid State Depot is “like a gym for innovators,” says English.
Located near 55th and Arapahoe, Solid State Depot is a local and active participant in what is known as the hackerspace movement. They provide classes open to the public, varying in topics like Android development and lock picking. In addition, monthly dues-paying members have 24-hour access to the workspace and are able to participate in large scale projects undertaken by other members. While the folks at Solid State are currently working on a solar engine, wearable technology (integrating electronics into clothing), and a hydronic system (an indoor, fully automatic vertical farming system), projects are ongoing and progressive. The space invites community members of all fields and interests to participate and collaborate.
While it is easy to assume hackerspaces are merely collaboratives of nerds, there is undoubtedly an element of revolution involved. “To join a hackerspace,” says co-founder Davis-Boxleitner, “is to become a member of a community where you can participate in bending the rules.” He goes on to say that “the things you choose to buy, we [hackerpsace members] choose to build.” Whether the spaces are a statement of anti-c
For those wanting to learn more about the local hackerspace scene, weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at 7:30 pm at the Solid State Depot space. Those with an interest in computers, engineering, and design are encouraged to check it out.
apitalism or pure hobby, it is without question that it is a rising trend and lure to minds of all types.