About Chatt*Lab

Chatt*Lab is Chattanooga's first and only “hackerspace” style makerspace. We're a collection of makers, tinkerers, artists, technicians and dreamers that like to share a space with access to many different tools and systems that help us build some really cool crap. If it's a tool we can't afford, we may borrow one from a Member, or in some cases, just build our own.

We are open community workshop democratically operated by our Membership. Anyone who is, aspires to be, or just wants to hang around smart, creative, friendly mad scientist maker/hacker nerds is welcome at Chatt*Lab! We've got lots of cool tools and equipment. We've got a lot of really bright and creative people. We like to work on, and show off, fun and challenging technical projects.

What is a Makerspace?

There are many types of makerspaces:

  • Library - An area in a library open to the public with supervised instruction on using the equipment.
  • School - Similar to the library but for the students of the school hosting the makerspace.
  • Corporate - A corporate sponsored makerspace for their employees and/or public (like First Build).
  • Workshop Service - A for-profit or grant style space that specializes in camps and programs for teenagers or equipment rental for individuals working on complex projects.
  • Hackerspace - A space where members own the “club”, run it in a democratic fassion where people with an interest in computing or technology can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.

Chatt*Lab is a “hackerspace” variety of makerspace. Unlike the other kinds of makerspaces, “we” are the owners of our space. If we want to get a forge, and it doesn't violate our lease, we can do it. If it does violate the lease, we may just do it offsite! We like to use the term “free-range makers”. Our doors are open 24 hours, 7 days a week for our Members and they don't need supervision. We do put a high priority on safety however. We're not anarchists after all, though, we may have a few of those…

Our History

Our Organization

Chatt*Lab is a 501(c)(3) Educational Non-Profit. We collect dues from our Members to pay rent, utilities, insurance and maintenance of the space. Any funds left over are used for tools and consumables.

We have a 7 Member Board of Directors. This includes five elected Members and up to 2 external Board Members from outside Chatt*Lab that can be nominated by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors fulfill the roles required by Tennessee law and oversee the operation of Chatt*Lab. All of the Directors are volunteers and are not compensated financially.

Our Culture

Our primary policy is to “Be Excellent to Each Other.” If you're not being excellent to your other Members, expect to get called out for it. If you don't know whether or not something you're doing is excellent, odds are, it isn't.

We strive to promote an open and welcoming culture. We like the fact that we're a public resource for the community. To keep this kind of openness in our community, it takes a little more effort in a social sense to keep things running smoothly. Being part of an open community can be a challenge sometimes. Try to display a little extra politeness, a little extra patience, a little extra cleanliness and a little extra friendliness.

Our Members

Our current Membership represents many different fields including networking, engineering, arts, teaching, web development, business owners and inventors. Our Membership also includes employees of many well known companies/organizations including: