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A hacklab, or media hacklab, is an autonomous technology zone used for the promotion, use and development of emancipatory technologies such as free software and alternative media. Hacklabs promote active participation and creative use of technology, in contrast to the alienation and passive consumption that is usually associated with computer technology. These spaces are often found in infoshops.

A hackerspace or hackspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or creative space) is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, science or digital or electronic art can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. A hackerspace can be viewed as an open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.[1]

Many hackerspaces participate in the use and development of free software and alternative media and can be found in infoshops or social centers.


The specific activities that take place at hackerspaces vary from place to place. In general, hackerspaces function as centers for peer learning and knowledge sharing, in the form of workshops, presentations, and lectures. They also offer social activities for their members, including game nights and parties. They also provide space for members to work on their individual projects, or collaborate on group projects with other members. Hackerspaces may also operate computer tool lending libraries.[2]

The building the hackerspace occupies is important, because it provides infrastructure that members need to complete their projects. In addition to space, many hackerspaces provide power, servers and networking with Internet-connectivity, audio equipment, video projectors, game consoles, electronics for hacking, and various tools for electronics fabrication and building things.[3]


The individual character of a hackerspace is determined by its members. Many hackerspaces are governed by elected boards selected by their paying members. Elected officers may serve predetermined terms, and help direct decisionmaking with regards to purchasing new equipment, recruiting new members, and other administrative issues.

Membership fees are usually the main income of a hackerspace, but some also accept external sponsors. Some hackerspaces in the USA have 501(c)3 status (or the equivalent in their jurisdiction), while others have chosen to forgo tax exempt status.[4]


In 2009 there was a short debate about inclusionism and exclusionism within the hackerspaces community, Johannes Grenzfurthner and Frank Apunkt Schneider released a critical pamphlet about this struggle[5]. The conclusion of the debate was that hackerspaces were generally inclusive of all who were interested.

Notable hackerspaces[edit]

A workshop at HackerspaceSG in Singapore maintains a comprehensive list. Some notable examples of hackerspaces are:

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

This article contains content from Wikipedia. Current versions of the GNU FDL article Hackerspace on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article WP

External links[edit]


  1. Saini, Angela. DIY Gadgetry. BBC News. June 19, 2009.
  2. Williams, Wyatt. Freeside Atlanta makes space for local hackers. Creative Loafing. November 30, 2009.
  3. Roush, Wade. People Doing Strange Things With Soldering Irons: A Visit to Hackerspace. Xconomy. May 22, 2009.
  4. Pumping Station: One about (accessed 19 February 2010)
  5. , {{{first}}} ({{{date}}}). Hacking the Spaces, . Monochrom. .
  6. Musgrove, Mike. Where tinkerers take control of technology. Wikipedia:The Washington Post. April 19, 2009.
  7. Tweney, Dylan. DIY Freaks Flock to ‘Hacker Spaces’ Worldwide. Wikipedia:Wired Magazine. March 29, 2009.
  8. Antonelli, Lenny and Walsh, Jason. Hackers seek physical space outside the virtual world. Wikipedia:The Irish Times Fri 04 Apr 2009.