Kein Aprilscherz – Monatsbericht April 2024

Der April ist nun schon ein paar Wochen vorbei – eventuell berichten wir erst jetzt davon, weil wir erst einmal einen im März erreichten Meilenstein nachholend feiern mussten ;)
Wir zählen bei allen Veranstaltungen (eher konservativ) die Besucher*innen und bereits zum Maker Monday am 18. März haben wir die 1000-Personen-Marke gerissen. Wenn das kein Grund zum Feiern war!

Beim ersten Jugend hackt Lab wurden blinkende und leuchtende Anhänger gelötet, um einen Einstieg in den Umgang mit Elektronik zu finden

Auch ein Grund zum Feiern ist die Wiederbelebung des Jugend hackt Lab, das jetzt Jugend hackt Lab Neu-Ulm heißt. Am 27. April war die Auftaktveranstaltung und wir freuen uns sehr, dieses Nachwuchsprogramm wieder fest in der Doppelstadt verankern zu können. Danke an dieser Stelle an das neu gefundene ehrenamtliche Orgateam, das dieses Programm wiederbelebt hat und nun betreibt!

Ganz neu und selbstgebaut: Ein Leuchtschild mit unserem Logo

Ansonsten standen wir im April wieder mit soliden 17 öffentlichen Veranstaltungen im ganz normalen Schnitt. Beim Nähcafé, zwei offenen Maker Mondays und zwei TTN/LoRaWAN-Abenden mit offenem Elektroniklabor standen unsere Maschinen und Geräte zur Verfügung – natürlich begleitet mit freundlichem Austausch und gemeinsamem An-Dingen-Arbeiten. RAD-ikal technisch kümmert sich weiterhin um interessante Technikinfrastruktur für die Mobilitätswende, beim OpenStreetMap-Stammtisch ging es um Freies Wissen, zweimal traf sich die F.U.C.K.-Gruppe (immer häufiger auch mit weit angereisten Gästen), dreimal ging es bei Live Let’s Plays um Computerspielekultur und zweimal lud die CTF/PPP-Gruppe zum spielerischen Umgang mit IT-Sicherheitsthemen ein. Zum zweiten Mal fand außerdem eine Küche für alle statt.

Vor knapp 15 Jahren fing an der Uni Ulm an, was letztlich in unserem Haus mündete – und wir halten bis heute den Kontakt

Wie immer war auch außerhalb dieser öffentlichen Termine viel los. Eine Gruppe kümmerte sich um eine Wandbemalung als Willkommensnachricht beim Hintereingang, die ihr im Titelbild seht. Nach wie vor beschäftigen uns viele kleine Ausbauarbeiten bei der Beleuchtung und der Hausautomatisierung. Und natürlich war es wieder Ehrensache, zum Uni-Semesterstart den neuen Studierenden unser Haus zu präsentieren – schließlich sind wir ja aus der studentischen datalove-Gruppe hervorgegangen und pflegen bis heute den Kontakt zur Uni Ulm.

Auf zur Sommerzeit – Monatsbericht März 2024

Sonne! Regen! Saharastaub! Wechselhaftes Wetter! Aber immerhin Sommerzeit! Das alles hat uns der März gebracht, neben ganzen 19 öffentlichen Veranstaltungen des temporärhaus. Hervorheben möchten wir davon diesen Monat den Vortrag über The Human Cost of AI, den Workshopabend Wikidata loves Basketball und das über drei Tage gehende LokaliCon-Treffen der deutschlandweiten Lokalen Community-Räume der Wikipedianer*innen (das trotz der drei Tage nur einmal für die Statistik zählt). Außerdem fand erstmals eine Küche für alle im Rahmen des Klimabündnis statt, das auch vom Haus der Nachhaltigkeit unterstützt wird.

Blick auf die Bühne, auf der Mophat Okinyi zugeschaltet ist und berichtet. Im Vordergrund schemenhaft die Zuhörenden.

Da der Input zu den menschlichen Kosten des aktuellen KI-Hypes so perfekt zu den eine Woche später startenden Ulmer Denkanstößen passte, konnten wir Prof. Rebekka Hufendiek für die Moderation gewinnen. Mophat Okinyi führte eindrucksvoll die Arbeitsbedingungen von Clickworkern beispielsweise in seinem Heimatland Kenia aus, die nicht nur das Training von „KI“ erst ermöglichen, sondern sich jeden Tag als erste Moderationsinstanz durch Hass- und Gewaltdarstellungen auf den Social Networks der einschlägigen Tech-Konzerne kämpfen müssen. Danke an den CCC Ulm und Guido Sondern für die Vermittlung und Zusammenarbeit zu diesem Programmpunkt!

Daneben liefen wie gewohnt 15 Mal die regelmäßigen Termine, vom OpenStreetMap-Stammtisch über das Nähcafé, RAD-ikal technisch, vier Live Let’s Plays und je zwei Ausgaben von F.U.C.K., des Maker Monday, von CTF/PPP und dem TTN/LoRaWAN-Abend, der wie berichtet nun auch ein offener Abend für alle Dinge rund um das Elektroniklabor ist.

Karo steht auf der Bühne und erklärt den Zusammenhang zwischen Verschlusszeit und ASA/ISO bei der Fotografie.

Bei einem der F.U.C.K.-Termine ging es um Fotografie und wie ASA/ISO, Blende und Verschlusszeit zusammenspielen. Fast schon trivial für Karo, die sich sonst tagsüber mit Quantenoptik beschäftigt. Wir haben derweil auch allgemein mit Fotografie gespielt, um Aufnahmen von Objekten unter Freier Lizenz auf Wikimedia Commons hochzuladen. Und wie beschrieben möchten wir unseren Fotocopter einsetzen, um auch Aufnahmen aus der Luft als Freies Wissen der Welt zur Verfügung stellen zu können.

Hausbauarbeiten, Hausputzwochenende, Werkstatt und Atelier

Nach getaner Aufräum- und Putzarbeit sitzen 13 der am Wochenende Aktiven beim gemeinsamen Essen.

Wir zählen bei den Monatsberichten traditionell nur die Termine, die sich an die allgemeine Öffentlichkeit oder an Gruppen aus dem selbstlos aktiven Digitalen Ehrenamt richten. Wie schon seit Beginn der Communityarbeit am Weinhof und auch seit der Wiedereröffnung in Neu-Ulm steht diesen öffentlichen Terminen stets mindestens eine ebenso große, wenn nicht mehrfache Zahl inoffizieller, interner und rein ehrenamtlich bestrittener Arbeitstreffen gegenüber. Praktisch alles an der Infrastruktur vom schnellen WLAN über das Zugangssystem bis zum Getränkeautomaten hängt bei uns an ehrenamtlichem Engagement – und das bedarf regelmäßiger Arbeitseinsätze, die gemeinsam natürlich mehr Spaß machen als alleine.

Dazu gehört im März ein Frühjahrsputz-Wochenende zu Beginn des Monats, wo wir gemeinsam mit den Aktiven des Haus der Nachhaltigkeit unsere gemeinsamen Räume aufgeräumt und umorganisiert haben, plus Reinigung von Fensterflächen, Böden und weiteren Orten. Wir haben dabei unter Anderem das Elektroniklabor umorganisiert, Staub gewischt, Fenster geputzt und nicht zuletzt gemeinsam gebruncht.

Felix, Max und Jana verfrachten einen Parkscheinautomaten auf zwei Bürostühlen durchs Haus

Wir haben Dinge und Geräte an neue Orte verfrachtet und vor allem auch die Werkstatt aufgeräumt. Denn aufgrund einer Umorganisation der Flächen gemeinsam mit dem HdN können wir nun direkt auf der anderen Seite der Elektronikwerkstatt eine Atelierfläche für Sticken, Nähen, Siebdruck, Linoldruck, Cyanotypie und alle möglichen weiteren künstlerischen Dinge einrichten \o/

Wir haben ein Feld des Schwerlastregals in der Holzwerkstatt abgebaut und aus Vereinsmitteln die notwendigen Regalständer beschafft, um ein zweifeldiges Schwerlastregal beim Atelierbereich für die Unterbringung aller Kunstutensilien zu schaffen. Dort liegt nun alles, was wir für all unsere künstlerischen Angebote benötigen.

Gemeinsam wird eines der Regalfelder in der Werkstatt abgebaut, um es ins Atelier bringen zu können.

Das Aufräumen in der Werkstatt galt aber nicht nur der Einrichtung der Atelierflächen. Einerseits haben wir eine der Werkbänke ins Atelier umgezogen, auf der künftig dort gearbeitet werden kann. Und die durch den Regalabbau freigewordene Fläche dient nun einer anderen mobilen Werkbank als Ort.

Andererseits haben wir in der Mitte der Holzwerkstatt nun Platz für die weiteren, aus der DSEE-Förderung beschafften Holzverarbeitungswerkzeuge, die nun an ihrem Platz stehen. Wir haben in den nun über sieben Jahren viele Erfahrungen mit dem Betrieb einer offenen Werkstatt sammeln können – was möchten Menschen bei uns bauen, welche Geräte braucht es dafür und vor allem: Mit welchen Geräten bekommt man auch dann gute Ergebnisse, wenn man nicht jeden Tag professionell mit ihnen arbeitet. Wir möchten hier noch gar nicht zu viel verraten und viel lieber ausführlich in einem separaten Post beschreiben. Wer zu den Maker Mondays kommt, kann die Maschinen aber schon jetzt bewundern – und nach dokumentierter Unterweisung auch damit arbeiten!

Der Ausblick

Auf den März folgt der April – und einerseits geht dann schon wieder ein regelmäßiger neuer Programmpunkt aus dem Ehrenamt für die Allgemeinheit an den Start, über den wir bald berichten werden.

Andererseits sind wir ja nicht die einzigen, die unser gemeinsames Haus bespielen und deswegen möchten wir auch ausdrücklich auf das Monatsprogramm unserer Haus-WG-Partner*innen des Haus der Nachhaltigkeit verweisen. Im April läuft noch die Fotoausstellung, die zu den allgemeinen Öffnungszeiten (siehe unserer beider Kalender) zugänglich ist. Und im April-Programm des HdN finden sich Perlen wie ein Workshop gegen rechte und diskriminierende Stammtischparolen des VVN Ulm und des FCLR Ulm am 15.4. sowie die Eröffnung der Leihbar am 18.4., wo ihr künftig praktische Gebrauchsgegenstände aus einer Bibliothek der Dinge entleihen können werdet.

Es lohnt sich also, beide Terminkalender im Auge zu behalten. Und wir würden uns freuen, euch bei uns begrüßen zu können – egal ob bei Angeboten des HdN oder bei uns und egal ob ihr zum ersten Mal da seid oder ob ihr wiederkommt!

End of Winter countdown – Monthly Review February 2024

Although February is the shortest month of the year, we still managed to fit in 16 of our own public appointments in the 29 days – plus an external visit to Backnang, an F.U.C.K. networking workshop in our premises and, of course, lots of internal work assignments.

Photo from the workshop: Seppi and bastelbot drilling things with the drill press

The Maker Mondays continue to be very popular: around 30 and 40 people respectively came to both events and we are delighted that we are able to help so many ideas to become reality every other week. On February 5, Maker Monday once again coincided with the Sewing Café, so we were able to welcome over 50 people to the house on this day. The group around The Things Network and LoRaWAN met twice. This group now also offers a general opening time for anyone who would like to get involved with our excellent electronics laboratory equipment outside of IoT technology.

In the electronics laboratory, three people are inspecting a circuit board that is under the stereo microscope on the right. The video image of the circuit board under the microscope can be seen on a screen in the middle.

With the RAD-ikal technisch group, we have a new monthly offer in cooperation with the ADFC since February. The focus here is on innovation and experiments relating to bicycles and the mobility transition – for example the OpenBikeSensors, which can be used to measure and evaluate the overtaking distance of passing cars while riding a bicycle.

Photo from the F.U.C.K. networking meeting: People sit on sofas arranged in a semicircle while a person on stage explains something on the flipchart.

As usual, the weekly Live Let’s Plays focused on computer game culture, while the three Capture the Flag meetings dealt with a playful approach to IT security. In addition to the regional networking workshop organized by FLINTA* and Computerkram, there were also two F.U.C.K. evenings in February, including a soldering workshop where solar lights were built. Last but not least, as in every month, the OpenStreetMap regulars’ table met in our rooms.

Soldering workshop: Two participants bend over their workpieces with soldering irons in their hands

Since the Chaos Communication Camp 2023 at the latest, networking with other self-governed spaces in the region has become much tighter. On February 3 and 4, a group of activists from Neu-Ulm visited Backnang for a networking meeting. Many thanks for the hospitality and the exchange!

In addition to all our events, there was of course an equally impressive collection of events organized by the House of Sustainability in the shared rooms. We would like to highlight the Method Lab Liberating Structures, which we also promoted via our calendar. Away from the public eye, there was also plenty to do behind the scenes:

Sophie leans on two wooden LED matrices

Not only are we still gradually putting the procurements from the DSEE funding into operation, we are still receiving exciting things :) In February, we received a fun addition from the team at Widerstand und Söhne, who left us two large LED matrices that they no longer had any use for. We don’t yet know exactly where to put them, but the first test showed that they look pretty!

Henning looks very pleased at the camera. He rests his hand on the freshly assembled milling table in the wood workshop.

Also looking pretty is our new milling table, which Henning is visibly happy about in this picture. And we already know where we want to put it (the milling table, that is, not Henning). After Seppi had adapted and rebuilt the table, it now expands our skills in the wood workshop even further. This is another great new piece of hardware that we were able to get through the DSEE grant – but due to the many new acquisitions, the wood workshop will soon receive its own report. And something else changed in the workshop in February: The temporary dust curtain was replaced with a not-quite-so-temporary molleton curtain.

Our housemates from the House of Sustainability were also busy in front of and behind the scenes in February. As far as shared infrastructure is concerned, the kitchen has enjoyed a proper upgrade and is now better equipped than ever before. Last but not least, to coincide with the Weeks Against Racism in March, the HdN team replaced the “Better Images of AI” photo exhibition in the salon with photographs from the Photovoice project by young people from Germany and South Africa.

The final spurt through the last weeks of winter can begin!

The Soda Factor – Monthly Review January 2024

Another month has passed, time to look back on January! With 18 public events, one official visit to us and at least one away mission, we set a new record at the start of the year.

The bi-weekly Maker Mondays continue to take place regularly, and on both dates in January they once again pulled crowds with 30 to 40 people working in the wood workshop, on the 3D printers or on the laser cutter. On January 8, Maker Monday also coincided with the Sewing Café, so that cutting and sewing took place at the front, while people milled and glued in the workshop at the back. The working group for The Things Network/LoRaWAN met three times for their open evenings. A playful approach to the principles of IT security was twice the topic for Capture The Flag/PPP, and five times we dealt with topics revolving around current computer game culture at Live Let’s Plays

Of course, Free Knowledge was also on the agenda in January: we took an Introduction to Wikifunctions with several interested parties to explore this powerful tool, which works almost like magic in combination with Knowledge Graph. One such knowledge graph is the Free knowledge database Wikidata, and at Wikidata loves Basketball, several active people were grappling with the question of how they could use the Basketball Bundesliga player ID to automatically import properties such as height or weight of thousands of basketball players into Wikidata. And last but not least, the OpenStreetMap Stammtisch met again in our rooms.

On January 10th, 2020, the first F.U.C.K. first took place for the region. And as well attended as FLINTA* Und Computer Kram (that’s how it’s spelled out) had been right from the start, only a few weeks of normality remained back then before… you know. So it’s all the more amazing that almost exactly four years later, on January 7th, 2024, F.U.C.K. started up again at our new location. Two dates took place in January, and this meeting now takes place every two weeks at our place - and we are very happy about that!

A visit from Offenbach

Gruppenbild mit anwesenden Aktiven und der BesucherInnengruppe aus Offenbach unter dem Flipdot-Anzeiger

In January, we also continued the long-standing tradition already established at Weinhof of showing what we do and what we stand for: A delegation from Offenbach from the Stabsstelle Digitalisierung, the city library and the Digital Retro Park came to visit us and let us tell them why we do what we do, how we worked together with the city of Ulm from the early 2010s and how we now want to support and promote digitization in the twin city. Thank you very much for the open exchange and the gifts! Anyone who would like to find out first-hand what we do and how we do it: We are happy to receive visits, as we have been from the very beginning! :)

Away mission in Fürth

Gruppenbil der Teilnehmerinnen beim Workshop in Fürth. CC BY 4.0 Kaethe17

Photo, by Kaethe17, CC BY 4.0

Not only did people visit us, but activists from our space were also elsewhere. Eli was at the workshop on dealing with antifeminism in the FürthWiki-Laden, another local community space supported by Wikimedia Deutschland. The FürthWiki, as one of the still active and very busy city wikis, is a totally exciting project that is mainly about preserving the city’s history (for example streets and their history and historical naming) – but also about digitizing artefacts and historical documents so that they can become part of the collective Free Knowledge.

Anyone interested in such events: The WikiMUC in Munich will be hosting an editathon on female artists of the Villa Stuck in May!

We also continued to network with hackspaces from our region at the Chaos Communication Congress, including Heilbronn, Tübingen, Backnang, Aalen and, of course, freiraum in Ulm. There have already been reciprocal visits here, which we will continue to expand in the coming months.

Even more construction work at SpoSo

Blick auf die Eingangstür. Dani montiert auf dem Boden das Schienensystem für die Molton-Montage.

In addition to all the public events, there were, as always, a whole series of internal work meetings, time for experiments and rebuilding efforts. We are still working on the building infrastructure, and in January we added a heavy molleton stage curtain on a rail system to the glass entrance door, among other things. The glass doors have impressive gaps, through which the wind literally blows in winter. The curtain will hopefully ensure that not too much heat is lost unnecessarily through the door when the rooms are closed.

Vor der Montage standen die Tischbeine mit Wackelaugen ausgestattet bereit

We also assembled and installed some other arrivals from the DSEE funding: We assembled ready-to-use tables from the collection of table legs and table tops. Several mobile tables and chairs now complement the existing seating and work areas in the Hackcenter.

Der Trinkwasserspender in all seiner Pracht. Sein Display und die Zapfnase leuchten blau, Karaffen für das Wasser stehen daneben bereit.

And there is now a drinking water dispenser in the kitchen by the entrance area which had been built by the Haus der Nachhaltigkeit crew during the past months. Anyone who simply wants to drink chilled, filtered and, if desired, sparkling water can now get it for free from the water dispenser - this was a long-cherished wish that we were finally able to realize thanks to the funding.

Bring order to Chaos - New shelves and boxes

This post is part of a series in which we want to present some of our new and valuable material that we were able to procure due to a grant by Deutsche Stiftung für Engagement und Ehrenamt.

Since our move to Neu-Ulm, we are still partly living out of the moving boxes in which our materials had been stored for almost a year. At Weinhof, we were able to use the many built-in cabinets from the Sparkasse era to store our material. We had already procured some heavy-duty shelving and storage boxes at the end of 2021, which made it much easier for us to re-start operations, especially in the workshop, since September. Thanks to the DSEE funding, we have now been able to purchase additional industrial shelving, open-fronted storage boxes and storage crates, which we are using to gradually clear out the remaining moving boxes and organize our diverse material in a more accessible and clearer way.

We can now also sort things out in the backstage area: Where are the DI boxes, where are the XLR adapters and where are the things that do terrible things to HDMI?

Whether power supplies with different voltages for hardware projects, parts assortments for workshops or the event-related material backstage, everything can now have a defined and labeled place so that it can be found quickly when needed and returned to the right place after use.

Additionally, we were able to procure an extensive stock of personal storage boxes. This means that every active member can have a box in which they can temporarily store their own materials. Be it to put away current projects when not working on them, personal items, a pack of tea or even the cozy slippers one might like to wear around the house.

Order for personal items and projects!

For the personal storage boxes, we opted for classic gray Euronorm containers measuring 40cm × 30cm × 22cm. This is a good compromise between enough space and not too much space. After all, the current 64 crates also need to be stored somewhere. Even on over 1000 square meters, space can get tight. And, let’s be honest, a big box quickly means a big mess.

Fluepdot seems happy, too

At the moment, each person is designing their own label, but maybe in the near future there will also be a common, chic, yet customizable label design. The main thing right now is that we are organized chaotically, as we have been from the beginning, but we organize our chaos wherever we can.

Silvesterglück – Monthly Review for December 2023

We just celebreated our first new year’s eve in the new space, December and the year-end sprint that came with it are over. Time for a look back!

The Flipdot display is now mounted to the wall and displays stuff – e.g. here the regular LoRa Meetup.

December is always a special month, what with all the holidays, christmas and new year’s celebrations and of course due to Chaos Communication Congress. Accordingly, we “only” had eleven public events. Maker Monday alone managed to pull 25 recurring and new participants into our venue. The monthly Nähcafé (Sewing Cafe) together with Hochschulgruppe für Nachhaltigkeit has also become a fixture of our programming. Four Live Let’s Plays invited to dive into gaming culture, The Things Network/LoRaWAN met twice publicly, and anybody interested in ITSec could participate twice at the Capture the Flag get-togethers. Last, but not least, the local OpenStreetMap-Community met for their Stammtisch in our rooms.

Remodeling and final Grant preparations

All these public events were surrounded by a lot of work that already began in November and entered into an even busier phase in December. As already mentioned, we managed to get a grant from DSEE that allows us to procure materials and appliances that we’re still missing. And while November saw us listing all the requirements and comparing vendors, literally every day in December somebody from our procuring team was present to accept deliveries, unpack them and enter the new things into our inventory system.

Fixed installation instead of the prototype: Three upcycled monitors became an info screen that is mounted into the wall. At a glance, anybody can see what is going to happen today where in the building.

Some of the procurements are meant for the building infrastructure itself that we use together with Haus der Nachhaltigkeit. While we prototyped an infoscreen near the main entrance in October, this has been turned into a fixed installation in the mean time. The screen shows the floor plan and any upcoming events, making it easy to see where to go. And another “status monitor” has been installed: A former pedestrian traffic light and a DIY LED indicator make it easy to see from afar whether the accessible toilet at the ground floor level is available or occupied.

At a glance: Is the accessible toilet available or occupied? Due to the traffic light, this can even be seen around the corner.

The lighting within the building has been a challenge from the get-go. The building used to be a sporting-goods shop, where all the available lighting was simply switched on from two central points in the morning, and then switched off again at night. That is perfect for a store – but selectively switching individual groups of lights on or off from rows of deceptively labeled switches with no visual connection to the fixtures proved to be difficult. Because, of course, we would like to only use electricity for lighting where light is actually needed. Literally overnight Seppi took up the task (again) and laser cut pendant labels for each fixture group to make clear which switch belongs to which lights.

The pendants make it a bit more clear which group of light fixtures gets switched by which switch.

Just like the former rooms at Weinhof in Ulm, the former SpoSo-building is filled to the brim with fluorescent lighting: The initial count in May 2023 ended up with over 250 individual fluorescent tubes. And just like at Weinhof, this meant quite the headache for us. After all, the EU implementing their European Ecodesign Initiative meant a total sales ban of the typical T8 tubes by August 2023. Sooner or later, defective tubes would have had to be replaced with LED replacements anyway.

Therefore, we and HdN had already decided in May to not only replace and upgrade already defective lights or those that looked to be near the end of their life, but to modernize whole groups of fixtures that are regularly used. This had a real impact on energy consumption: Before, even the “small” (and heavily used) passage lighting in the woodworking workshop used around 200 watts of power. After modernizing the workshop, even the full lighting for the whole room needs only 220 watts – and at the same time, the lighting is much brighter than before.

The grant from DSEE allowed us to expedite modernizing the rest of the fixtures that still remained. About 100 linear fluorescent lights were still on the to-do list. We now have the neccessary parts to modernize them and will continue upgrading the remaining lights in the coming weeks. This will save us significant energy costs in the future!

Meanwhile, this is just the “boring” infrastructure part. Much more interesting are all the new machines and extensions of our capabilities – but we want to reserve them the place and space in their own posts in the future :)

We want to continue our youth work!

Events for up-and-coming hackers and the “Jugend hackt” programming are tightly woven into our community. The student volunteer group that brought Jugend hackt as one of the (back then) four regional events to Ulm in 2015 was the initial seed for the idea to establish a hack- and makespace downtown for all of our activities. Due to our forced moving out of Weinhof and the cancellation of the funds for Jugend hackt lab at the request of Ulm’s CDU faction, we had not been able to offer programming for young people for a while. Since we restarted our activities at the new space, however, re-invigorating this programming has been high on our list of priorities. Therefore, Eli participated at the networking event for all Jugend hackt organizing teams in December in Leipzig.

Entrance to dezentrale in Leipzig during the Jugend hackt networking weekend

Besides the mandatory visit at dezentrale, one of Leipzig’s hackspaces, the regional organizing teams spent the weekend exchanging their experiences at “Urban Jungle”, a coworking space in Leipzig. And Eli was able to pick up a lot of ideas how we can’t only make use of our list of already existing workshop ideas for a restart of Jugend hackt Lab, but also what kind of ideas for civic education we could incorporate even more into our programming.

This is because, of course, Jugend hackt is not only about being able to find one’s way around technology. From the get-go, a critical perspective towards the role of technology, code and the structural power that comes with them is a crucial part of what we’re doing. This self-efficacy, especially in the context of formerly powerful institutions has not only been part of the themes of the events over the years.

Ending the year at the 37. Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg and New Year’s in our shared space

Besides the final push surrounding the grant and the procurements, there was yet another opportunity for networking, where Jugend hackt also played a role: For the first time since 2019, there was another Chaos Communication Congress, and of course 37C3 saw a delegation from us (albeit with another new name) – just like at many Congresses before.

Eli is wearing an apron with the temporärhaus logo and shows a print.

Wedged in between Christmas and New Year’s, Congress Centrum Hamburg became a nearly magical place again, as one can imagine when seeing the photos. At the behest of Jugend hackt, Eli offered a printing workshop for anybody who did not only attend conference talks but wanted to do things with their hands as well. Originally, the workshop was only planned for Junghacker*innentag but the demand for art and printing using our own 3D-printed OpenPressProject printing presses was so high, that Eli added two more workshop days. People could carve their own linoleum or tetrapak printing masters to take away custom keepsakes from Congress.

Lots of prints are laid out to dry at 37c3.

While this congress did not see the customary, large WikiPaka-WG that we used to contribute to, our activists were not only to be found at the youth assembly – where the printing workshops took place – but also at the directly adjacent Bits-und-Bäume habitat. This habitat was the home bases for groups surrounding Free Knowledge such as OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia. That was a great incentive to do even more at 38C3!

Both for the people returning from Hamburg during New Year’s eve as well as anybody who stayed home, the rooms of temporärhaus and Haus der Nachhaltigkeit proved to be the perfect place to spend the evening, recall the past year and celebrate the beginning of the new year. Who could have imagined that just one year earlier?

Anstoßen und Wunderkerzen – was für ein glücklicher Abschluss eines tollen Jahres!

Because the past year was really eventful. In January, the local press interviewed us (and another space in Ulm) about our plans for 2023. And we really checked all the boxed from back then: We had wished for a new venue, wanted to reinvigorate Jugend hackt in our City and keep up the banner of a counter-model to glossy facades surrounding tech and digitization. One move, one outstanding opening party and – coincidentally! – 42 public events in 2023 later, we can proudly say: That went rather well :)

End of year fever – Monthly Review November 2023

It’s already mid-December and it’s been winter outside a few times - and if you’re wondering why we’ve posted so little, you’ll find the answer below - spoiler: It has to do with your donations and an unexpected grant we’re currently working on until the end of the year. Together, we’ll get the new house in a better condition than you were used to in the old place by January <\3

That was November

In November, we once again had 14 public events, i.e. an event open to everyone almost every other day – including several events together with the House of Sustainability, with whom we are working ever more closely.

Hacking with a sewing machine and iron: We want to bring very different groups together so that they can experience self-efficacy

As every month, the sewing café – organized together with the University Group for Sustainability – attracted around 20 people who reworked, repaired and improved textiles on our growing inventory of sewing and overlock machines. There was also a joint meeting with HSGN and the House of Sustainability at the beginning of the month, which was attended by around 30 people.

Milled and chiseled out in our workshop: a beautiful dog bowl holder made from solid wood. Woof!

The Maker Mondays with our open woodworking workshop, 3D printing and laser cutting lab also continue to be popular. Around 30 people attended each of the two events in November. And we are also delighted with the many project photos that people have sent us of the things we build when they are finished – for example the beautiful dog bowl holder in the photo above. The only thing that has been going on in our community longer than Maker Monday is the exchange evening for The Things Network/LoRaWAN, which also took place twice in November.

The Make space with its unusual devices continues to attract many people to us

Even back at the old location, we had regular exchanges on IT security topics: Capture The Flag (CTF) is the name of these meetings and competitions, which had been part of the regular program at Weinhof and started up again in November with the old familiar crew, which makes us very happy! But there are also people coming forward with completely new programming: The Hydra Live Coding Workshop introduced the video synth coding language Hydra to everybody interested. What makes us happy about with these and other programming is that we have a steadily growing base of regular visitors for our regular program. And on the other hand, there are always people coming up with exciting new topics, which are then attended by completely new faces. So it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on our calendar!

This is where you will now also find the OpenStreetMap-Stammtisch, as a regular event. Interested parties and contributors from the region have been meeting for many years to exchange ideas – and since November, this regular meeting takes place within our space, which makes us very happy. The Live Let’s Plays on current and vintage gaming culture are also very popular almost every week – on four occasions in November.

In addition, as in every month, there were at least as many internal construction, organization and planning meetings to further develop the shared house and the offers. And not least because of a wonderful end-of-year surprise.

November and December fever: We’re expanding!

We’ve already mentioned it at the top: Something is happening here (again). Since summer, we’ve been unpacking all our inventory out of boxes and putting it back into operation. And at the latest since our reopening in September, it has gradually become clear what smaller and larger items we are missing in terms of equipment for smooth operations, because it is still stored somewhere in the Weinhof as city inventory that we don’t have access to anymore.

We are very, very grateful that so many people from near and far have supported us over all this time through supporting memberships or on betterplace with direct donations for replacements. Since November, we have been in the process of procuring all the missing equipment and machines that have been financed through your donations.

Something has landed at the post office – but without a big cargo bike, it&rsquo;s not that easy to get it into the house!

Totally unexpectedly, a funding opportunity arose from the German Foundation for Engagement and Volunteering (DSEE) at very short notice. The DSEE had already funded us so generously at the end of 2021 that we were able to significantly expand the equipment we had at the time and our associated skills to a truly fantastic level. At the time, however, this was still intended as a supplement to the existing basic equipment procured by the city over the previous five years. In several places, we had replaced the previous equipment with better devices after gaining experience and know-how about what a place like ours needs and what is practical for the public to use. For other parts, however, we were still assuming at the end of 2021 that we would be able to continue the model of a third location that is self-governed by committed volunteers in a city-funded space.

Thanks to DSEE funding, we can now significantly accelerate the replacement of the equipment gaps, which will allow us to expand the quality of our offer and return to what people were used to from us. And last, but not least, we can also continue with some energy-related measures in order to be able to use the charming but somewhat outdated building with slightly less energy.

With networked heating thermostats, remote thermometers and knowledge of the outside temperature, we can hopefully keep the rooms warm and improve energy efficiency at the same time.

Of course, this takes up a lot of our free time - over the last few weeks, we’ve been getting our procurement plan up to scratch, putting together shopping baskets and obtaining comparative offers. And last but not least, the incoming orders had to be received, inventoried and sorted. If we have posted a little less in places or emails took a little longer for us to reply to: It could be because of that :D

Choosing is one thing, ordering is another. But then stuff still has to be added to the inventory!

However, we would of course like to make our new items available to you as quickly as possible. That’s why it’s still worth dropping by. And if there’s still enough time between ordering, unpacking and keeping track of invoices, we want to show you the best purchases here and on our social media channels :)

Don't be scared – Monthly Review October 2023

While it has finally become autumn outside, we have completed the first full month that we have been open – and are almost back to our usual opening hours. We counted 14 public events in October 2023, which means we’re almost back to the “one public event every two days” average we used to have.

In September, we were delighted with the turnout for Maker Monday, where we had 25 people on the premises from a standing start. But that was nothing compared to the three Maker Mondays in October, where 40–45 people were repeatedly active in the wood workshop, at the 3D printer and the laser cutter. Fortunately, more people are now coming forward to help with the workshop every Monday, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to cope with the demand :)

Created at a Maker Monday on the Laser Cutter: A new stamp, e.g. for visitors who already have a Hackerspace Passport!

The Live Let’s Play evenings have become a regular new event on Tuesdays, where computer games are tried out live as a cultural form and experienced together. And because we are a third place, this can also take place in our rooms without any pressure to consume stuff – in our opinion, we really need places like this in our cities.

TTN and LoRaWAN have been with us since 2016 – back then, the initiative.ulm.digital set up the first TTN gateways in the city, and the community that has been active with us since then has not only expanded this network, but also encouraged many other interested municipalities to get excited about this free sensor network :) Two TTN evenings took place again in October. And as reported, the Upcycling Nähcafé, which has been part of our community program since December 2016, also started up again in October.

Last, but not least, Free Knowledge is weaved into our DNA, as it has been from the very beginning. The OpenStreetMap-Stammtisch took place in our rooms for the first time in October. And since Wikidata was already the content of the first Germany-wide networking event in the old rooms, it is only logical that we were the location for a joint livestreaming of WikiDataCon 2023 in the region.

Combining knitting machine with streaming equipment: HD streams with wireless microphonony, accompanied live by our piano, to test our equipment.

On October 3rd, we also spontaneously declared our construction and organization day, which was taking place anyway, to be an open house event. In addition to these public events, our joint house is full of life practically every day, which makes us very happy. There is still a lot of work to be done within the premises – the workshop and soldering lab are continuing to progress, the modernization of the lighting is in its final stages and we have now also found seals for the huge gaps between the glass doors of the main entrance, so that air draw is not as bad a problem as it had been :)

We’ve also been able to integrate the streaming case from WMDE back into our daily routine and have already broadcast several test streams from the living room on Twitch. We want to use this equipment to provide even more live insights into our activities in the future, even if they don’t take place on the “big stage” in the salon. And, of course, we continue to acquire exciting devices that are left to us – for the electronics lab, for the workshop or simply because they’re fun.

Always up to date: Our new Fluepdot display

Provides orientation: Our Samsung Flip as a stopgap device to display, what is currently happening where. And as one can see, there is a lot going on at once.

The new signpost at the main entrance, currently still based on our Flip 2 display, has a very practical use. Synchronized with our new, finally Google-free event calendar (also available for subscription!), it shows which event is currently running where in the entire building, i.e. also the events of the HdN or of guests. Using this technology, we want to be even more inviting and open to occasional visitors. And by the way, you’ll also notice that our two communities sometimes have three things going on in the building at the same time!

Group picture after two hours of conversation and exploring our venue

What also brings us a lot of joy: Just as in the old location, we are once again a place to visit for digital politicians and people from the field of administrative digitization who are interested in the experiences of voluntary civic tech. On Friday, October 27, Anna Peters (Green voter for the European elections) and Tobias Bacherle (Member of the German Bundestag, among others in the Digital Committee) visited us and ended up talking to us for much longer than the planned hour about digital volunteering, hack- and make spaces as third places and digitization in municipalities.

We are happy when we can share experiences and pass on knowledge - the next visits are already scheduled for November :)

Old cameras? Also a topic of interest for people. Often so much, that they keep on nerding out about the topic until late into the night.

With all this program for the public and the transfer of knowledge, the community aspect for our community should of course not be forgotten. And so we did not only combine the public pumpkin carving on October 30th with getting to know various groups active in the house, we also grew as a community at the various other evenings, from the house-building event to the spontaneously formed analog photography interest group – precisely because we want to be a third place where people enjoy hanging out.

Go for Launch – Monthly Review September 2023

We’ve been open for about two weeks now – time for a recap of what has happened since.

Our great opening

Highlight of the month is naturally the joint Opening of temporärhaus and Haus der Nachhaltigkeit on Saturday, September 16th. The 99 reserved ticket slots were quickly booked, and, to our delight, so was the waiting list.

Transparency and Openness: We want to show to everybody what we are offering now. To stream the opening event was a matter of honour, hence, and as usual we performed this with our own resources. Visible here: ech0 with the mobile reporting rig, and Jakob explaining the electronics workshop while Jakob 2 provides good audio with a microphone.

Naturally, we aimed to include interested persons who could not attend in person. Hence, we tinkered until the end to provide everybody with a live stream – including a mobile setup for a guided tour across all rooms. Of course, we did not turn away anyone who showed up!

Already from outside the two communities filling this place with joy, love and programs are recognizable: The pull bars that used to read “SPORT SOHN” have been replaced with DIY variants that read “Temporärhaus” and “Haus der Nachhaltigkeit”.

The grand opening also marked the final stretch for most parts of the remodeling efforts which took place basically every day during the weeks before. There are still minor issues to be completed, but the opening date made it clear that the stage, all the PA and event infrastructure, the accessible toilet and a bunch of other construction sites needed to be done by that date. All these remodelling efforts have only been possible due to thousands of volunteered work hours by both our communities. And we are really proud of what we have been able to achieve together as a civic community!

Already the site of a concert after just having been finished: The stage during Kulturnacht, being used by The Dogs of The Bay. View towards the stage through a DIY room divider/planter built by HdN.

The date for the opening was purposely set for the day of Kulturnacht Ulm/Neu-Ulm. Beginning with the very first day, we wanted to open our shared house for the general public and anybody interested. Harbor songs were played by “The Dogs of The Bay”, a band with members from the Haus der Nachhaltigkeit. Meanwhile, both our groups catered all interested visitors with food and drink, led guided tours across the rooms and let them experience the exhibits: audiovisual animations of Wikipedia edits, better images for the AI hype and interactive exhibits and art by bleeptrack. We were very delighted about the great demand, since queues started to form along the sidewalk right from the minute we opened in the evening!

Right at 19:00 a first queue formed across the sidewalk. View from the sidewalk towards the entrance, with people queuing.

Regular program right from the opening

Our regular programming started immediately after the opening weekend. The re-opening of our Maker Monday on Monday, September 18th drew a crowd of about 25 people. Right on the next evening, a Live Let’s Play followed.

First public event in the workshop: Interested onlookers, while Eli tries our shaper milling machine.

Wednesday, September 27th saw the re-boot of another favourite of ours that we had previously organized for years in the old rooms at Weinhof: LoRaWAN and TTN is back in business for anybody interested in free sensor networks and IoT. As before, every other week will see either an open evening and a hack night focused on finishing one’s project on a rotational basis.
The same day saw our Temporärhaus hosting the first partner event for ZAWiW’s Fall Academy’: We demonstrated how to contribute to OpenStreetMap’s quality through the StreetComplete app.

Workshop with WMDE: Part of the in-person audience with a view towards the people participating remotely.

On Thursday, September 28th, a four-person delegation of our patron Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) stopped by our house while they were on the way to WikiCon in Linz. Together with 13 of our volunteers we held a planning workshop about what will and can happen in our rooms, how to report our activities to WMDE and how to keep the public informed about our activities.

Along all these “official” events, there is still a lot of work to be done. Some of the construction sites that were temporarily put on hold for the opening need to be completed. The wood workshop has seen a lot of progress and one tool after another becomes usable. We strive to finish all the open tasks together with Haus der Nachhaltigkeit by the end of the year.

That’s not all, by far!

We are looking forward to re-boot all the usual, regular events that you have come to enjoy in the past years. October will see the re-start of Nähcafé, our textile and sewing workshop program. There is still a lot to be done, but having finished the main remodelling tasks allows a lot of other programming to resume – both ones you have been familiar with, and others that are only possible through our new-found cooperation. As before, you are invited to participate to mold our third place for our twin cities.

From 2017 through 2020 we had created monthly activity and transparency reports for one patron and the lord mayor. We want to re-introduce this kind of chronicling – but now, finally, also for the general public, in order to create transparency and accountability.