At our annual general meeting this past summer, the directors were asked by the membership to reintroduce social events. Since then, we’ve been hosting Halifax Maker Social Nights regularly, twice per month at coffee shops and pubs, in addition to our other, more irregular topic-driven meetings.
Making is an inherently creative process. One of the easiest ways to bolster creativity is interacting with other makers. While Youtube and online forums are a great way to do this, they don’t have the quick, smooth flow of honest-to-goodness face time with people who are passionate about the same stuff as you. It’s amazing to watch how someone voicing a problem will generate a back-and-forth between half a dozen people, solving some perplexing issue in two minutes flat.
It’s de rigueur to pass around your latest project, material, sample or a phone full of pics or videos. Social nights are the first time many have held a 3D print in their hands or smelled the burnt edges of a piece of laser cut plywood. A recent social night was the first time I ever considered how to 3D model a foot for shoemaking purposes, impregnate porous wood with beeswax, mimic Tron-like lines on clothing with LEDs or provide consistent air pressure for a pipe organ.
It’s also at social nights that the directors keep tabs on what makers want from a makerspace, as we work towards our goal of securing enough membership commitments (monthly fees won’t actually be charged until we’re in a space again) to be confident we can afford rent before we sign another lease. It turns out that what makers want varies a lot from person to person. Some have great ideas, but don’t know how to make them a reality. Others have a desire to make something big, but few ideas as to what – they want to get behind a large group project. Some desperately want to learn, others to teach. Some want a work space where they can make a mess at will, others are looking to be led through classes. But we likely wouldn’t have realized the diverse services people want from a makerspace if we’d only communicated electronically.
So if you’re in Halifax, or any other city, for that matter, check out any local maker groups and see if they have a social night. You have a lot to gain, and only an hour or two to lose.
Halifax Makers Social Nights occur twice per month, usually on the first Wednesday and third Sunday. We want makers, and people interested in making. No need to be a member. Stay informed at Meetup or use the calendar, mailing list or Google Group links on our website.