gzipped FabLocker

By David on Jan. 25, 2012 Comments
With a 50% compression ratio. In layman's terms, we are going back to using half the space we use currently by the end of January. This required a bit of planning and a lot of considerations on how to best optimize the available room if we are going from 4 rooms to 2. Any repeat visitors who haven't been by in a while may be surprised to see the new look, but so far the general reaction has been positive.

Originally, when we expanded we thought going to 4 rooms would give us more space, but in many ways we weren't really gaining much other then extra storage space. That is one good thing about having 4 rooms is we learned how we actually would use the space if we had it, which meant we learned what we did and did not need. We learned that we really only use one to two rooms at any given time and that we may be better off in the end with two rooms, given how we currently use the space. It sort of took having more space to realize we actually needed less, or a the very least we can't use 4 small rooms any better then 2 small rooms and can make do, especially if we make good use of the vertical space like many other hackerspaces do (lots of shelves). If we expand in the future, we will look for larger rooms then can hold more people and equipment in one area rather then more rooms.

We mainly determined two things about how we use the current space:
  1. A general purpose room devoid of equipment with a table or two and chairs w/projector that can be used for teaching classes or as a breakout room is more important then a lounge area as people tend to hang out where people are working or activity is going on. No one hanged out in the lounge room with the arcade cabinet for very long, as soon as we turned it into a breakout room, we had trouble fitting everyone in it.
  2. We don't use that much space at any given time, the problem isn't there wasn't enough work space, but that clutter kept them from having an ideal work space, more work spaces just led to more clutter. So as long as work areas are cleaned up and left in the condition they were found in, equipment or supplies stowed or taken home when not in use, we actually didn't need more then a couple of work spaces.
So this past Saturday, several members got together and worked on rearranging the space using this diagram I made in Google SketchUp as a guideline. Naturally, it came out looking a bit different, in fact we managed to make a few impromptu improvements to the layout, but the same general concept is the same. We still have some final rearranging to do and deal with several items that are not needed any longer. Once we do, we'll be sure to have photos up, or you could just come by and see it for yourself during one of our meetings.
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