Anyone who knows Steven (our founder) will know that he’s always out and about in the community doing or making something. However, we managed to lure him to a place (with a promise of some new firstname.lastname@example.org) for long enough for him to answer some questions. So, here is the story of Tinkd.
Hey Steven, what IS a makerspace?
Makerspaces can mean different things to different people and they have been called everything from FabLab to Techshop to hackerspaces. Is there a difference between these names? Yes and no. Simply put, they are all places for making, collaborating, learning and sharing. Although these spaces have many things in common, they can also be different in a several ways. At the core of it, their meaning and way they are used should be driven by the users and the community they serve.
When did you first come up with the idea of opening a makerspace?
From a young age I have always been drawn to making and experimentation. I enjoy using my hands and making and creating things. This has not changed. Fast forward to May 2014 and during the building of Basestation, an idea started forming for a “space for making” to complement the coworking space.
Why did you set up Tinkd?
As I began to share my vision and concept with others in the entrepreneurial community, it became apparent that there was a gap in the market and a real demand from the “makers” who were already in our community. Why wasn’t there a maker movement in the Bay of Plenty?
When I was invited (or coerced depending on who you ask) to the Board of STEM Wana Trust back in 2019, I saw an opportunity to develop my long-standing vision for a community driven makerspace project under the banner of STEM. It was just a matter of translating what had existed in my head for many years into reality. At the start of 2020, with the help of our underground “makers” we had the extra push that we needed to bring the vision to life – and then a pandemic happened.
This year we’ve connected with other makerspaces in New Zealand with ideas for collaboration and sharing of knowledge. So begins our own modest contribution to the global maker movement and I’m excited to be a part of something much bigger.
What’s with the weird name?
Tinkering has always been something that resonates with me. It is a transitive verb. : to repair, adjust, or experiment with. Tinker. So when we were looking for a name that was short, memorable and conveyed the purpose the team naturally gravitated towards “Tinkd”. Yes, it’s totally a made up word, but we like it for being different and unique, just like our makers.
What’s your ultimate goal for Tinkd?
A Makerspace can be used for learning new tools and programmes; providing equipment for an individual’s project that cannot be done at home; providing a place for people who share the same passion to meet and work on community projects and to practice and learn technology. Spaces like this exist all over the world, yet are lacking in the Bay of Plenty. We want our immediate community to have the same opportunities regardless of age, ability, experience, or social economic status. Our makerspace will (eventually) run 24/7 and have all the latest tools and equipment to enable and encourage life-long learning.
If I want to get involved, how can I contact you?
I can normally be found at Basestation. If I’m not there then send a search party! just kidding, you can reach me or a member of the team via the contact form. We would be happy to show potential makers around and introduce you to our fantastic making community.