Hackerspace tour part 2: Double Union

5/14/2014: Day two of our Bay Area Hackerspace tour brought us to Double Union, a hacker/maker space for women in San Francisco's Mission District. Their mission is to "create a community workshop where women can work on projects in a comfortable, welcoming environment." You can read a great article written by founding member Liz Henry on why they do what they do and how to make your own Feminist hackerspace here

This hackerspace was my personal favorite of the tour. The community had obviously take great care in setting up and organizing their space, and it felt very warm and inviting. The work spaces were laid out very well and there were separate areas for quiet working or studying and large-scale making. Hackerspaces can take on a lot of different forms, and this one was obviously a very tight-knit community that was proud of their space and supportive of their members in a very personal way.

Zach and I got the machine set up and gave a quick crash course on how to use a 3D Carving machine, strategies for design, maintenance of the machine, and an intro to Easel. Everyone had a lot of questions, but they took a lot of notes and I felt that all the questions were directed at getting the most out of the machine and keeping it maintained and functioning well.

Everyone (I think) got a chance to get hands-on with the machine and Easel and while the machine was chugging away on everyone's projects, we got to talk to the awesome members and hear about what they do and make. I was seriously impressed with the level of technical skill in the room, and even though many of them had not used this type of machine before they drilled down to the tiniest details very quickly. Definitely a sharper, more focused crowd than the average smattering of knowledge-seekers at a hackerspace, and that's saying a lot. I won't name names, but one member was so modest she only casually mentioned that she does animation for Lucasfilm and has had her work in several major motion pictures. No biggie.

We're all really excited to see what this crowd ends up making on the Shapeoko!


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