[Edit: 15 May 2012: I came to my senses and realized I don’t actually want to be homeless this summer, and am now looking for an apartment next to a makerspace like a normal person.]
this post is a work in progress, last updated 18 April 2012.
well I’m working for fitbit (yay wireless shiny / internet of things)
and they gave me an offset for housing
but then I realized I’d much rather spend that offset on cool classes and project materials than housing
it’s a no-brainer for me ^__^ if your brain is on a different frequency see:
Also, again, I would much rather dump 2k into a makerspace or some worthy cause rather then spend $2000 on something I will rarely use just to “fit in.” I want to live and breathe making things. The second choice would be to find a [free] camp-able place near these spaces (dump the $2k into classes and materials), but I don’t think I’m that hardcore yet.
— email I sent, date: Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM || subject: Re: Live-in makers’ space in SF? Re: SF digs
-1. summary of findings
I am looking for summer accommodations as well. I am able to afford a reasonable flatshare, and Ted and Guilia and I are looking for apartments (possibly not all of us together).
Specifically, I myself would much prefer to pay for
[project storage + knowledge acquisition + tools access + after-work maker community]
Are there “art” or “maker” or “shop” spaces that would be okay with me crashing there for three months? I’m willing to pay as much as for a flatshare (3k or 4k over 12 weeks).
I have ruled out American Steel Studios and the Crucible due to Oakland shootings hotspot research (they are not officially live-in either and thus likely are not lively after work hours). I believe Noisebridge does not welcome this, and have not yet called NIMBY. Obviously the Tech Shop is not an option.
My requirements (“human-livable”)
- bathroom w/ running water within 1 minute walk
- safe after 5pm
- <10 min from BART station (work is @ montgomery BART station)
- approximately zero inertia between waking up and making things (or at least talking to interesting people)
My preferences (“MITERS … in San Francisco”)
- in San Francisco
- has large mill, esp. cnc mill+lathe, welding, other heavy machinery, lasercutter awesome
- community of people making things after 5pm
- also has EE (high voltage community)
I am fine with making my own foldable bed or pile of blankets and paying for daily showers at a 24-hr gym or making a bucket shower garden or whatever if that’s the optimal solution. Obviously, I have no problem falling asleep anywhere.
Now I will go into more detail.
Here is the progression of my summer plans
initial estimated search constraints
- work (625 market street)
- makerspace (unknown)
0. ask future work people & current maker friends about prototyping resources in San Francisco
after checking out the hackerspace listing of course.
I am curious as to the existence and/or extent of use of hardware prototyping equipment (3d printers, small cnc mills for pcbs), or if anyone knows of / goes to places where people build larger things (makerspaces, places with welding equipment, [tesla] coiling meetups).
and got the answer Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 5:02 PM ||
There’s a hackerspace in SF that’s just a short hop away on BART (https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Noisebridge) and a placed called Tech Shop that’s within walking distance of the office (http://techshop.ws/tssf.html). The Tech Shop is equipped with programmable mills, 3D printers, welding gear, soldering stations, etc. I think the Berkeley public library has a pretty good power tool library that you can check out things like drills from. UC Berkeley and Stanford might have some sort of educational workspace that as a student you could get access to (though that’s just a guess
Further, I emailed out to the general MITERS mailing list.
Pranjal Vachaspati had this to say Date: Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 9:18 PM
Check out Noisebridge, they certainly are one of the biggest
hackerspaces, and they have a reasonable selection of equipment, as
well as people working on pretty much any DIY project you can think of
(not just electronics/meche, they have a lot of people hacking food
stuff as well, for example).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noisebridge. The community there is
certainly very… interesting, they have a somewhat anarchist ethic of
radical inclusion that has both positive and negative consequences
(e.g. can you kick someone out if they seem to be homeless and just
using the space as a place to sleep?).
If you’re working somewhere and planning to use their equipment, you
should be aware of intellectual property considerations; you probably
have to sign an IP agreement that states that stuff you make on their
time and with their equipment belongs to them. So this might be a
problem unless you have explicit permission to open-source it or
Furthermore, From: Dane Kouttron Date: Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM
Techshop has a boatload of stuff. I’ve heard good things from comrades
who used the workshops. […] the cost for a month or two of membership
I was also recommended to check out allpowerlabs, NIMBY, Cataclysmic Megashear Ranch by Bilal Ghalib.
Robert Han said about Noisebridge Sun, Mar 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Nice place with a lot of basic EE tools and some makerbots (not for public use). They recently amended their policy to kick-out homeless people (but still have some less sane elements of society through)
and about techshop
Seconded TechShop, there is one in SF in Soma. Based on what I have heard, it might be more like edgerton machine shop than miters, well equipped machine shop but less of a hangout place. They do host meetups, when everyone is welcome without paying an entry fee. Note; they are for profit, hence actually care about sneaking in
Couple other places are
Ace Monster Toys in Oakland – http://acemonstertoys.org/ : sort of a good balance between noisebridge and techshop, with a nicer guest policy(free visits but eventual membership) and more sociable. they have as much tools as miters does plus a laser cutter
Hacker Dojo, http://www.hackerdojo.com/, never been there but heard it’s more like noisebridge but in Mountain view
Chris chimed in Chris Merrill Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Techshop (all of their locations) has a large area with tables and a lounge-ish area for hanging out. Generally people are pretty cool if you want to talk about what they are working on, but the density of people is pretty small because the entire shop is huge. They have limited hours (close at about ~11:30). SF and SJ tend to have nicer and cooler tools, but the Menlo Park staff are friendlier :). The Menlo Park location also has lots of random junk you can grab lined up on a wall. Got myself a few nice pieces of scrap from there.
TechShop also tends to require paid training for using most of their interesting tools, which really frustrated me a lot of the time.
Hacker Dojo has a much smaller selection of tools — they’re primarily focused on having space and meeting rooms to let people hack on startups and software projects. They have a bunch of the basic electronics tools, a cnc mini-mill, a 3d-printer that sometimes works, etc. They have a pretty flexible stop-by-and-hang-out-and-pay-if-you-actually-want-to-use-it policy. If you decide to become a member, after a month (or two, I forget) they give you an RFID card that gives you 24-hour access. The environment here is much more active during the normal work day, and dies down later except when events are running.
Okayyyyy so there’s like a million possibilities all not quite what I want.
1. stay in a hostel
(because it might be fun) I said in an email on Date: Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 1:02 PM
Has anyone investigated staying at a hostel during their summer internship? It seems like hostels tend to be conveniently located and offer a good fuss:cost ratio, and have the perk of meeting random people I probably wouldn’t meet otherwise. |
[… later on zephyr] It’s much lesshassle to get the same f(price, nearness to BART, nearness to powertools) result
people on zephyr said
seph Thu Mar 29 13:11:25 2012
hostels don’t usually feel like good places to leave stuffunattended. Which is fine for lightweight travel, but Iwouldn’t want to live in one for a month
erinp Time: Thu Mar 29 13:20:31 2012
I really love hostels. That said, it’s not muchcheaper than a shared apartment, and you have a rotating group ofroommates who are completely unknown to you. And noise levels can behigh (especially for hostels with good locations), which can be aproblem if you’re trying to work full time. […] Some hostels have safes, and you can keep a backpack of valuableswith you. (computer, camera, phone…) But yes, for long-term, itgets annoying.
oh yea also Marie McGraw Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM
I’m not super familiar with this but based on my summer experiences, I think that for the long term, the privacy and amenities of an actual apartment are worth it–private bathrooms, less worries about your stuff getting stolen, more space, (probably) a kitchen…also, living out of a suitcase is pretty depressing, at least to me.
oh then Stanislav Nikolov Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Occasionally, there are posts on craigslist about rooms in warehouse-type makerspaces, so keep an eye out for that. Or perhaps googling around will uncover some of them and you can contact them directly. Good luck!
2. find a flat to share with friends near a makerspace and the BART station (for work commute), or within biking distance of work (625 market st)
don’t care about privacy (roommates fine)
prefer <30 min commute if I can’t nap (biking, standing on a bus)
prefer <1 hr commute if I can (train, sitting on a bus)
bonus: situated close to cheap eats or community of makers
I don’t know about hostels in SF, but as a side note, you should check padmapper’s crime feature to avoid living in some of the more crime-ridden areas. The Tenderloin (near 400 Market St), for example, is an area to avoid. […] Point is, if you’re willing to live a bit farther from the heart of SF, it’s possible to pay well under $1000.
padmapper.com > Show Super-Secret Advanced Features > Mass Transit Overlay: (in select cities), SpotCrime Crime Overlay: (in select cities)
Eventually I decided Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM
Nevermind guys! New plan, convince either thecrucible, american steel studios, or nimby that I’m an artist and they should make an exception to “work-only” studio policy ^__^ Seriously, if they’re willing to give me space, there is zero reason why I should be going back and forth from a third space (apartment). Collapse apartment into makerspace = win.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-american-steel-warehouse-oaklandthe building is a buffet of larceny and even armed robbery of an artists while in his very own studio within the building.
If you are a single female, work late at night, or have anything of value in your studio you are INSANE to rent there unless you are just as dangerous as the armed addicts that scale studio walls for your possessions or install barbed wire around your space (as some have done). Unless you create giant art that two dudes can’t hump to recycling, you could be next.
Maybeee not American Steel Studios. idk
Then find a swimming pool / fitness thing close to work and go swimming every day before work, wheee! What is it, lifetime fitness? ?__?
Thus, I decided to investigate the option of…
3. accidentally fall asleep at an amenable makerspace everyday
Class: help Instance: housing Time: Fri Mar 30 06:29:20 2012 From:
So, new plan.
Any thoughts on just living in some art studio ala thecrucible (http://thecrucible.org/studio-access/studio-rental, pics at bottom),and finding some swimming pool near work for daily pre-work swims?
Possibly with my name nominally on some friends’ aptmt or something, but based on last summer half the time I’ll fall asleep at the shopanyway u.u so my rent would be a waste of money that could be going toward projects. And if I really need a break I can visit some friend in the area for a night or two.
cue extensive research into every space I can find.
The Crucible is soooo awesome. Just look at this:
The definitely not living spaces look like this:
The space inside looks like this:
and the Fire and Arts Festival / Fundraiser looks like this:
I WAS SO EXCITED. but I think they rented the the tesla coil :'(
But uh, it turns out there’s a lot of shootings there.
I eventually decided it was not an acceptable level of risk / I did not rank experiencing getting shot high on my life priorities list (mostly due slim risk yet absolutely unacceptable death/maiming outcome).
[below sections are a WIP as of 16 April 2012]
american steel studios
Bathrooms: 3 non-gendered rooms with toilets and various other random things. No guarantee that one or any of them will have toilet paper. No shower facilities (to discourage people from living here).
My studio has been broken into three times in just over a year. Every time, I get the same response: “Sorry about that, but we are not responsible, protect yourself”.
Try some of the warehouse living spaces like Langton Labs: langtonlabs.org
Waahh that would be very awesome because it would actually be legit.
However, someone emailed them for me and they do not have open spaces :'(
ace monster toys
have lasercutter, cnc mill (also see Dane’s comments above). about membership
Start giving us membership dues: standard rate is $80/month. In addition, there is the “Desk Membership”, for $250/month you can have a dedicated personal desk that will always be available for just you to use.You are now a “provisional member”, with access to the space, including an RFID key so you can work/play whenever you want. http://wiki.acemonstertoys.org/Becoming_a_Member
eee! There’s a Desk Membership… hmm… *plots*
Otherlab, allpowerlab, makanipower,instructables resemble miters
Boxshop in sf may Suit you, place for sustainable living inOakland, Peter Childs incubator in the old prototype thiswarehouse on treasure island
okay, this is getting frustrating / annoying.
4. build a mobile home
SF City won’t care about vehicle dwelling, but the metermaids will want your shack to have a license plate.
1662870/ chinese-architect-builds-egg-ho use-on-sidewalk-to-escape-insa ne-rents eeee new plan parking lot next to makerspace. and have hexapod legs under it so I can move it in case anyone complains (this house was eventually evicted by beijing police)
5. live on a yacht
- boat: $210 for 6 months captains’ share
- gym: $50 per month
- Subtotal: $260
- possibly ace monster toys desk membership: $250 per month
- Total: $1010
the crucible classes to take
glass flameworking 360
fusing and slumping 225
jewelry and metals 320
welded sculpture 355
tig welding 385
3d enameling 145
$45 for one month all-club access, $44 for one-month single-club access (to gym right next to work), $349 for one year.