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  • Writer's pictureVicki O'Neill

Incubator and Makerspace for Corner Brook!!

Updated: Jan 23, 2018

Today we received an announcement I’ve been hoping for since moving back to Corner Brook in 2015, we are getting a makerspace!! AND an incubator (bonus!). I attended the announcement today at Grenfell, the Memorial University Campus here in Corner Brook.

Photo credit: ME

Before I move on, can I draw your attention to the interesting architecture and beautiful paint colors in the atrium? It had a Greek feeling and warmed my soul on this cold winter day. Buildings around these parts are usually lacking on the architectural detailing, I love that the fine arts building takes advantage of its atrium.

Shameless plug – I can help design and plan architectural details and molding layouts, etc. contact me for more information. =)

Photo credit: ME

Back to the main story…

I won’t go on about the specifics of this particular project, mainly because I don’t know, haha. But I’d like to talk a bit about maker spaces in general and why they are important additions to any city.

Photo credit: Lindy Wilkins - Instagram

My introduction to maker spaces started on facebook a few years ago, a person I met at a BBQ in Montreal years prior started posting about one they attended. (Check out their webpage and I’d recommend following them on Instagram, they posts some fun, inspiring stuff).

Photo credit: Lindy Wilkins - Instagram

Photo credit: Lindy Wilkins - Instagram

Photo credit: Lindy Wilkins - webpage - and yes that is a drone following/helping the model with the ensemble!! How cool is that!?!

I was curious, what is this magical place people come together to create? Is there one where I am? How do you join?

Since graduating from design school I missed the communal creative space a school provides, and all the tools we had access too. I used to love checking out other peoples projects, there process. Brainstorming, sometimes with people who don’t know what your doing can trigger thoughts or ways to do things you may not have thought of alone. Once word or comment can derail your process and send you down a new track. I tend to feed off the energy of others, when I surround myself with creatives, my brain explodes with ideas.

Makerspaces are self-explanatory; they provide a space for people to make. They can be a clubhouse, a place to explore an idea, to connect with someone with complementary skills who can help you take an idea and create a prototype, a place to learn more about something you’re interested in, a place to meet like minded individuals, etc. In short - many things to many people. They usually have a variety of tools from technical to traditional - a few possibility's listed below...

3D printers

laser cutters

CNC routers

3D scanners

woodworking tools

computer and tech equipment/tools

lighting equipment (LEDS, EL wire, etc.)

welding equipment

injection molders

sewing machines


etc. etc. etc.

If it can be used to make something, it can be added to a makerspaces tool library. They are usually open to people of all ages (sometimes under a certain age has to be accompanied by a guardian) and sometimes require a membership fee and safety training. I'm excited to see a more detailed plan for whats happening here.

Our world is more connected than ever before, we all spend hours behind our screens (fun triva - did you know the show “black mirror”s name came from the black screen of monitors, ipads and phones, a literal black mirror), but being so connected virtually means we are losing a lot of the face to face, tactile connection. Makerspaces allow us to take advantage of technology and still keep that face to face connection. Sometimes even connecting us with more traditional ways of doing things, the merging of ideas and people can create some wonderful innovation. They also create opportunity for people who may not have the space, budget or desire to have the tools needed to create at home. Plus, the bonus of the environmental benefits of sharing vs owning.

Below I’ve linked to an article about an innovation center in my old neighbourhood in Ottawa, I was hearing rumblings about it before we left. I was happy the pigeon infested, run down building we passed on our way to the dog park was going to be getting new life. As a designer I love seeing old buildings revitalized, the challenge of updating while respecting whats there is a fun one. The design is spectacular, even if you just click the link to browse the photos, its worth checking out.

For fear of leaving someone out, I’m not linking to any local groups. Except the DIY society since I'm one of the admins for the Facebook page

Shout out to Pierre for all his hard work with this group!! and for introducing me to EL wire, a fun product I hope to incorporate into some lighting designs.

Feel free to add to the comment section if there is a page or group you think people should check out.

Updated to include official announcement:

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