Hack the Evening in Lockdown is missing one very important thing
Hack the Evening is one of my favourite things about my job at the library. It’s one of the State Library’s continuously running programs week-to-week and the pandemic lockdown really hasn’t changed that for me. Sure, the virtual version we’ve been running is different… but all the important things are mostly there; like-minded, inquisitive people coming together to make a welcoming space, hang out, talk about their projects, spit-ball ideas or show off new toys and help each other with solutions to problems in their projects.
We even have a couple of classic Hack the Evening projects for people to collaborate on.
The first project is making a Virtual Lab (in Mozilla Hubs) for everyone to meet in during the pandemic measures. This virtual lab from 6- 8 pm Thursday nights and is just like the pre-COVID-19 Hack the Evening. The pre-COVID-19 Hack the Evening has always been instrumental in helping to establish our physical makerspace over the years; building 3D printers, the X-Carve and arcade cabinets, prototyping vending machines, installing furniture and testing equipment. Most of all helping to establish a welcoming community in the space.
The second project is something new; and that’s collaboratively design and make a Hack the Evening Clock; a proper clock for the Clean Lab. We’ve been in our new Clean Lab for over 12 months now and we’ve talked about needing a clock, we’ve just never gotten around to it, even joked about what it could be. If you’ve ever been to Hack the Evening you’ll probably be familiar with the banter around pack up and go home time. All good things must come to an end.
Maybe the clock could even announce the end of the night… maybe it could be a count down. Maybe it’ll tells everyone they don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here. Daniel says we’re not allowed to connect it to a taser 😉, but other than that, the design brief is fairly open ended.
The only thing that is really missing from this project and from the virtual Hack the Evening is new people.
New people has been a key component of Hack the Evening over the years. New people coming along and finding out about the free publicly accessible resources in the Fab Lab and the Brains trust that is our community.
New people contributing new ideas and sharing their skills and expertise.
And we need new people now too, to help us build this virtual lab and to contribute to the design of a clock. So the clock will be ready for the space once we can all get back in the building and start sharing a physical space again.