Hello, I’m Darin White, a maker and a director of kwartzlab, KW’s local hacker space.
Kwartzlab is a group of creative makers from a variety of disciplines who have come together to create a shared working space, and, more importantly, a local collaborative community of people who make everything from robots to elaborate costumes to experimental musical instruments. Our common thread is the love of making and we thrive at the intersection of art and technology.
Back in September of this year, I presented to Waterloo City Council, just to let them know who we were and what were up to. Serendipitously, our soon-to-be-good-friend, John Jung of CTT, presented at the same council meeting, giving both of us an opportunity to discover that we had a lot in common with respect to our missions. We ended up having a half-hour stand-up meeting in the hallway along with Anne Lukin of CTT and Eric Gerlach and James Bastow of kwartzlab. John was very interested in helping us, and, as a newly-formed group, we sure needed the help. A lot of the attributes of this region that make kwartzlab possible and quickly successful are the same attributes that John and CTT promote both within our community and outside of it. We have a lot of creative, smart, motivated people under one roof coming together to make things that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere. John and Anne were keen to connect us to community resources and like-minded groups and suggested the best start would be to have a CTT Ambassador Event for kwartzlab.
Just a few weeks back, on November 3, we packed up our projects in the lab and headed over to the beautiful Seagram Room in the CIGI building for the big “Meet kwartzlab” event. Waterloo City Councillor, Karen Scian graciously agreed to co-host the meeting. We had a great turnout of both CTT members and kwartzlab makers. After I gave a kwartzlab overview talk, we had our makers give 5-minute lightening talks on their various projects. I could tell from the great questions from the audience that we had a very engaged group and were putting on a pretty compelling show.
Following the Ambassador Event, we have had several meetings with attendees and others who are interested in helping kwartzlab. I credit John and Anne and CTT for making those connections possible. We are very much looking forward to future collaborations with this terrific group. A big kwartzlab thank you from all of us.
Check out our web site (http://kwartzlab.ca) to learn more about kwartzlab and take special note of our blogs (http://kwartzlab.ca/blog) where all the latest action is documented. We are actively seeking members, so feel free to drop by our open lab night on Tuesday evenings. As a self-funded, not-for-profit corporation, we are happy to have donations of tools and materials to accelerate the build out of our capabilities. End cuts of plastic, aluminum, and fabric are all useful to us as is second-hand gear such as electronic test equipment, power tools, and sewing machines. If you would like to help, please drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org).