Space for makers to work their do-it-yourself magic

Space for makers to work their do-it-yourself magic
Mr Till Oliver Kautz (right), a German carpenter, and his girlfriend, Ms Fiona Wong, at Home-Fix DIY’s “maker space”, known as the Experience Centre on 6 June 2014.

SINGAPORE - Those who like to make their own furniture or toys now have a new place to get their fix.

Hardware retailer Home-Fix DIY is converting two floors of its Tai Seng headquarters into a workshop and co-working space with specialised equipment for hobbyists and professionals to put things together.

It is the newest "maker space" here, a term said to have originated in the United States in the mid-2000s. It refers to shared spaces, often furnished with things such as specialised tools and equipment, that people can use for a fee to design and create objects.

It adds to at least two other maker spaces here: Social enterprise Sustainable Living Lab, which opened in Yishun in 2011, and Mettle Work, which opened in Geylang last October.

Besides providing infrastructure, they are also where hobbyists gather to exchange ideas. The concept stems from the maker movement in the US, which encourages the do-it-yourself, or DIY, culture and innovation.

More people here are becoming interested in making their own things, said Mr William Hooi, 41, an event and creative consultant who organises "maker gatherings". About 300 people showed up for a meet-up two months ago, up from about 20 at the first one in January last year.

"We usually invite speakers - from scientists, to designers and educators - to talk about projects which show inventiveness and resourcefulness. After that, people tend to stay late to talk, discuss and 'geek out'," he said.

At the Home-Fix maker space, a day pass costs $20, while a monthly one costs $120.

It can accommodate only about 12 people now, but is being expanded to fit 40 to 50 people.

Since its soft launch two weeks ago, about eight people, including German carpenter Till Oliver Kautz, 30, have signed up.

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