Open Workshops in London
When the London Hackspace started in early 2009 there were virtually no comparable community workshop spaces in London. In recent years we've seen many more of these organisations appear: communal workshop spaces where people come together to make things, share tools, knowledge, and skills. Here's a list of some of the ones we've seen since, feel free to expand/amend. Some are old, but most are new.
It's sometimes hard to delineate which orgs to include. I'd like to focus on non-profit maker-type communal workspaces, and *not* on orgs in more well-developed domains such as open source, computer security, the arts, commercial co-working spaces, incubators, etc; however sometimes those boundaries aren't very clear. Jonty defines hackerspaces more narrowly as "community owned and governed communal workshops with a focus on recreational use", but this list is not just limited to hackerspaces. See also: Other Hackspaces.
This page is maintained by Martin Dittus. In October 2014 Liz Corbin published her own list: Open WorkshopNetwork. The Public Works team published one in April 2014: open workshops. In December 2014 Nesta announced they're mapping UK makerspaces, this is likely going to be the most thorough effort so far. For a somewhat related narrative, see "Media Lab Culture in the UK" from 2012 (before most of the organisations on this page were founded.)
- TechShop London announced in early 2014, in north Westminster. Franchise of the US TechShop chain commissioned by the City of Westminster's Civic Enterprise Fund.
- London Bubble Theatre Company is considering "turning our workshop (which is pretty well equipped) into either a Mens Shed, or a Community Workshop or even a Hackspace" (early 2014)
- Make Work Space is currently renovating a community workshop in Leyton, including five studio spaces. Funded with a successful Kickstarter campaign. The starting point is a large amount of inherited workshop equipment for "screen printing, photography, digital design, sculpture, wood and metalworking equipment."
- Glen writes: "I've been talking with Wandsworth council and Wandsworth, Bromley and Croydon library about turning a disused power station in Crystal Palace into a hackspace."
- Bring Your Own Bike in Peckham
- Kingston Makerlabs, a new group in Kingston upon Thames. They have small space provided by a local community group, helping neighbours with their tech and doing project work.
- N18 Hackspace (name tbd) in 21 Riverside House, Towpath Road, Edmonton N18 3QX
- East London Inventor's Club (long-running event series, now also looking for a physical space)
- Croydon Round Table of Inventors (Long-running event series, now also starting an "Invention Centre" in South Norwood; likely commercial.)
- Repair & Reuse parties (Billy mentioned these; can't find them online. Maybe he meant Repair Cafés? Or maybe the Restart Project?)
- Metropolitan Works at CASS, the digital manufacturing centre of the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design. A workshop with CNC router, water-jet cutting, and more. Not entirely sure about access modalities. (Their own homepage is offline.)
- Fab Lab London (.org) opened in September 2014, together with the RSA Innovation Hub. City of London, near Bank tube station. "We’re a 4000 sq.ft. creative space that provides open and membership based access to digital fabrication tools, education workshops, making events and a vibrant community. Our mission is to provide a stimulating environment for individuals to learn about the application of digital fabrication, hardware design, rapid prototyping and sustainable design practices."
- MakersCAFE at Old Shoreditch Station (via Soner at Razorlab.)
- Beyond Fabrics Creative Workspace in Bethnal Green. Just moved to a new larger location: "use our sewing machines, workshop space, sewing and craft materials, workshops, get advice from our knowledgeble staff, meet friends and make new ones or even hire the space for your own events, and best of all, between Beyond Fabrics' beautiful collections of materials, quilts and haberdashery."
- Machines Room at Lime Wharf in Vyner St (just around the corner from the Hackspace), opened in mid June 2014. Laser Cutting, CNC Milling, Vinyl Cutting, CAD Embroidery, PCB Design, Prototyping, 3D Printing, Electronics, Workshops, Maker Tech.
- Swan Wharf Workshop "a community workshop in the heart of Hackney Wick. We offer bench space for hire on a weekly and monthly basis."
- South London Makerspace in Brixton, "a social community workshop. It's for knitting, welding, woodwork, sculpture, programming, photography, 3D printing etc. etc". Signed a 3-year lease for a new space in late 2014.
- Buildin BloQs in Enfield, "an affordable solution for all those who don’t have the money or the time to have their own studio or workshop"
- The Remakery (Brixton), "a new co-operative workshop space for making things from materials that were destined for landfill."
- Create Space London offer shared workshop facilities for wood, metal, plastics, ceramics and printmaking, desk hire and room hire. Access to the workshop is available on the basis of a)tenner a month membership giving access for no extra charge on members nights or £20 a session at other times b)a rent-a-bench scheme if you want to work on a project for a week or two c)24hour access included with desk or room hire. An induction on the equipment is required. LHS members who are impatient for lathe training might be able to pay to get basic training at CreativeSpace. They are now expanding with the addition of a new space on Wembley high street, details tba.
- Blackhorse workshop, "a new public resource workshop providing space for the creative community, tools and technical support for local making, mending and DIY, and space for artists" (initiated by a Waltham Forest Council tender, but fully independently operated by Assemble.)
- London Sculpture Workshop, "London's first open access sculpture workshop. We are a not-for-profit, community interest based company with exceptional facilities for artists/makers and those interested in making work in 3D. LSW offers a superbly equipped metal and wood workshop and additional mould-making and ceramic areas and over 1,500 sq ft of flexible working areas."
- Makerversity at Somerset House. "A shared making and learning space in the heart of London, providing affordable and accessible space for experimentation, production, employability and enterprise. Opening Summer 2013."
- Includes Maklab London, "a successful Open Access Digital Fabrication studio based in Glasgow, we want to expand what we already do successfully to London"
- UCL Institute of Making (formerly UCL MakeSpace), atm only for UCL students, but already with several thousand members
- Tower 47 in Camden, coffee shop and music centre, with a "full repair workshop for musicians' gear" which is getting set up by paddyd (short writeup)
- Model Railway Club in N1 9DA (Kings Cross).
- Camden Town Shed, a club offering a workspace where older people can work on practical projects with others.
- 56a Bikeroom South London's D-I-T (Do-It-Together) bikespace
- Assemble & Join (Waterloo, inspired by hackerspaces; they have a CNC router! Not sure if they're commercial or non-profit.)
- Workshop East at Sugar House Studios, a commercial shared workspace in E15. Set up by by Assemble.
- RARA (Clapton, non-profit member-run co-working-ish workshop)
- Micycle, in Islington. A bike shop with an open-access workshop. Use their tools and stands to fix your bike. It's obviously good etiquette to buy your spare parts from them, if required.
- The Goodlife Centre in Waterloo ("practical boutique workshops in DIY, Home Maintenance, Decorating, Upholstery, Woodwork & Carpentry, Furniture Upcycling & Restoration and various traditional hand Crafts")
- Mak3d (commercial 3D-printing studio)
- Print Club London (monthly membership fees, must be familiar with printing processes)
- transition heathrow: an occupied green house with community garden, bike library and workshop, and regular events.
- Fab Lab London (.com) looks like they folded before launching/ -- it's a parked domain now. No details were public at all, atm mostly hearsay, but I'm told by a good source that they existed and were indeed separate from the .org team :)
- Fab Lab at SPACE studios, didn't reach their Kickstarter goal. Tbd what that now means.
- Brixton TinkerSpace (an early effort which turned into South London Makerspace)
- East London Hackers
- Sphinx House in Grays Inn Road (squat)
Main page: Other_Events#Recurring
- dorkbot london
- London MakerFaire
- Technology will Save Us (mostly a store-in-store, but they also do organise workshops)
- codasign (creative technology workshops)
- openlab (Making art and music with open source/free software)
- The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers have a monthly meetup in Brixton