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 Chattlab! 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.
There are many types of makerspaces:
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…).
We strivs 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 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.
Chattlab is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit. We collect dues from our membership 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 Chattlab 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 Chattlab. All of the directors are volunteers and are not compensated financially.
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:
The quick and dirty:
we've been around since 2012 but have really grown since we moved into the Business Development Center in the North Shore area. We have 3,000 square feet with lots of different equipment. You can see our equipment list here.