Friday, March 07, 2014

Maker Space - Fab Labs - Darla Introduces The Innovation Lab At Loussac

I'd heard of Maker Space, but hadn't been to one.  The closest, conceptually, I think, was at Off The Chain and Bikerowave, do it yourself bike repair shops with all the tools you need, most of the parts, and someone telling you how to use them.  But those are aimed pretty much making an existing technology work.

Maker Space, as I understand it, aims at creating things that don't exist yet.  It brings together creative people in a lab space with tools and equipment to make what you can imagine with folks willing to help.  Fab labs I'd never heard of, but Darla, on the video, explains they are MIT related.

Darla's an Americorps volunteer in Anchorage for three months so far, whose job it is to create a maker-like-space at Loussac's old audio/visual room on the fourth floor.

Is this a Maker Space?  Not exactly.  It can't handle some of the tools you'd find in other maker spaces - like blow torches.  And it's not a fab lab.   So what is the Innovation Lab then?

After talking to Darla, I'd say it's an idea that is evolving and that she wants as many folks as possible to help make this a space that will help connect people and ideas that go beyond the mundane.  Given all one can find online, I'd say this space has to take advantage of what you can't do online - have people getting together in person.  It's a great space - the old audio visual room of the library.  And Darla's got a 3-D printer on order.

In the back, there are different projects like this TEDx sign for the Anchorage TEDx day in the Marston Theater at Loussac on March 30.  [29 - noon to 7pm]  [I didn't notice that the Anchorage TEDx page is for 2013.]

When I was there, some local graffiti artists were bringing in work that will be on display in the lab for the next month or two.  I'll do another post on that. 

If you have ideas on how to use the lab, give Darla a call.  The basic requirement is that what you do is open to the public.  And, I assume, priority goes to people promoting the exchange of innovative ideas.

When you're at Loussac, go up to the fourth floor and check out the space.  And say hi to whoever is there and talk to them about how they use the space and what they would like it to be.

Think of this as a piece of social community art that we are all going to create. 

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