I am just coming to the end of my visit to Zakład Makerspace, which is a giant makerspace in Poznań, Poland. I have been attending a conference there called Poznań Seminar which has been set up by the Vulca Project. I will break documenting this event into a couple of posts. Here, I just wanted to share some pictures and information about this amazing site!
Zakład Makerspace was founded in a disused chocolate factory. When the space was initially set up the factory was derelict, many rooms were in very poor condition and water and electricity supplies needed repairing and installing. On the 1st floor, some machines and ovens from the factory are still present. One of the volunteers described how there was an inch of ancient chocolate caked on the floor which needed to be cleaned!
Zakład Makerspace is a non-for profit space which is largely run by just a handful of volunteers, and is supported by membership fees. Income is also generated through a co-working space, rental of facilities, events and occasional contracting jobs. Makers who make a profit from their practice make a small contribution to the space.
The Metal Workshop
The metal workshop is a large and impressive room which has two large lathes amongst an array of other machines, apparently people come from all over Poland to learn how to weld in Zakład. The machines have come from a variety of sources, some sponsored, some donated and some acquired by the space. Some of this machinery had only just arrived at the space when I visited.
Each of the workshops hosts monthly inductions for new members and from a conversation I had with one of the volunteers there are some further inductions and rules of use around some machines. The space as an organisation is in need of some individuals to come in with skills as not all the equipment can be utilised at present.
The Wood Workshop
Next door to the metal workshop is the wood workshop. This also has a host of machines including a large flatbed CNC – a good range and well maintained set of handtools and a couple of machines I didn’t recognise. One focus of activity in this space is the upcycling and reuse of discarded furniture. I also saw some amazing traditional acoustic instruments made by local maker Anton, who was also and expert at playing them (I will save this for another post).
Textiles / Sewing
Upstairs can be found a large textiles space which is host to a number of domestic and industrial sewing machines in different conditions, an over-locker and a wide range of hand tools and sewing materials. There is plenty of tabletop space and materials for making here, and the space is clearly well maintained.
Electronics and Tech
Distributed around the first floor are some electronics workbenches with soldering irons and bench test gear – a lot of this stuff is pretty old, but pretty cool looking – I found a ‘digital’ volt meter that has a Nixie tube display (pictured), these are old Russian vacuum tubes – in their natural environment for once! There were also large printers, 3D printers and a miniature CNC and lathe scattered around.
Other than the 50 or so members that use the makerspace, there is also a co-working / shared space on the 1st floor – without sharing too much as I don’t have anyone to ask permission, it looks like people could be working in software or design here, and there are also some ceramics and textiles projects set up.
Finally, and integral to a large space like this – Zakład has a huge storage area on the ground floor. I think members can rent storage by individual pallet.
So – I hope you enjoyed this post. It is an amazing and expansive space, imagine what you could make here! The volunteers I have met are lovely – if you are a maker you should consider a small excursion. I stayed in a hostel about 10-15 mins away from the space, and it was about £68 to stay for 4 nights, which is very agreeable. Let me know what you think in the comments below.