by Wen-Pei Wang
Makers refer to people who like to make their dreams come true through hands-on practices, and Maker Spacesare the birthplace of these talented people. A Maker Space allows Makers to exchange ideas and create projects using all kinds of tools. The following are three famous Maker Spaces in Taipei that have attracted countless users.
Fablab Taipei is the Taipei branch of FabLab, a global non-profit community. It is located in the Taipei Expo Park and is a physical community that features producing tools using digital technology in open spaces and encourages hands-on practices and idea exchange.
In the Lab are all kinds of hand tools, electrical equipment, and small machines. There is also equipment that features digital technology such as laser-cutters, vacuum forming machines, 3D-printers, etc. Users must take lessons related to the intended equipment and be certified before they gain access to these resources.
In addition to physical activities, Fablab Taipei has recently worked together with New Taipei City Tool Library to launch online courses, as many people have health concerns for physical courses due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The purpose is to provide people who want to keep learning with another channel to more resources.
Songyan Creative HUB
To support creators with original ideas and transform innovation into a market model, the Songyan Creative HUB has been established on the second floor of the South Tobacco Factory at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, providing a working space for creators such as include individuals, studios, and brand designers.
The HUB features a fully open floor where there are one open square and coworking spaces. Creators can use the space for press conferences, lectures on innovations, workshops, or business negotiations. Users can also find equipment and devices that help them work on their projects from design to proofing. The equipment can provide work functions ranging from woodworking, metalworking, ceramics, weaving, and even multiple functions put in one device. It is hoped that with the help of these resources, creators could let their imagination run free and turn ideas into projects.
IoT Maker Space
In addition to the privately-owned Maker Spaces, the Workforce Development Agency under the Ministry of Labor has chosen 6 branch offices across Taiwan and set up Maker Spaces that each has its own feature. The goal is to encourage the public to show innovation and take up hands-on practices. The branch in northern Taiwan is located in the Wugu Industrial Park, which grants Makers access to the venue, instructors, and equipment at a vocational institute just nearby. This Maker Space features the application of smart IoT, focusing on developing robotic arms and service robots. There are also workshops and activities to introduce Maker spirit to the public.
As Maker spirit becomes prevalent in Taiwan, both the private and public sectors have invested resources into establishing Maker Spaces so that the public could have an environment conducive to self-learning, idea exchange, and practices. It is hoped that there can be more Makers to pass on such spirit in the future.