Hackerspace Awards/Brainstorm

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This page is for collecting brainstorming ideas for the Hackerspace Awards. There's no bad ideas here, just collecting different things we could include if we did a hackerspace award.


  • Inspire innovation
  • Recognise project accomplishments from the international hackerspace community
  • Generate publicity for hackerspaces and the projects that come from them
  • Boost moral amongst the DIY/Collaborative participants
  • Your idea here!


Currently the Hackerspace Awards has two branches, the Competitive Awards, and the Merit Based Awards. The HSIS Competition has offered to fill the Competitive Awards, and we have some great Merit Based Award category suggestions started below.

Award Type[edit]

  • Competition Based Award - See Hackerspaces In Space (HSIS) as an example.
  • Kit Competition - Not really so much a Kit, as a list of materials. example give was "Use 17 LEDs in a project".
  • Merit Based Award - projects are worked on normally, and nominated for the chance to be awarded. Self nominations encouraged.
  • X-Prize Style Award - Targeted, measurable, staged achievement award. Choose something that has never been done (e.g., demonstrate communication via quantum entanglement with an Arduino), explain the framework for judging whether the achievement has been achieved, and stand back while a new industry is born. This differs from "Competition Based" since only the guidelines are certain, the likelihood of success is not.
  • Your idea here!

Award Categories[edit]

  • Hackerspace Improvement: A project that benefits members of hackerspaces, or better improves the quality of their hackerspace. A project that not only demonstrates innovation, but is something that all hackerspaces could benefit from.
  • Cost Efficiency: Let's say that the cheapening factor has to be around x20 for instance (replicate for $200 the functionality of a $4000 machine) at

the moment of the award.

  • Mad Science - A category for projects that exemplify crazy mixed with fun
  • Networking
  • Electronics
  • Media (video/audio)
  • Your idea here!

Generated from Hackerspace Call-in[edit]

  • Documentation - Many projects, no matter how useful or cool, can be difficult to reproduce due to hard to understand documentation. This category would be for those that took the time to ensure great documentation came with their project.
  • Media Attention - based off an idea from the Ham Radio League, if a project received any type of media attention, special mention was made of their accomplishment.

Award Selection[edit]

  • Panel of Host Judges: One hackerspace's members act as the judges for the award that year
  • Panel of Hackerspace Judges: Every hackerspace is invited to volunteer one judge
  • Impartial Judge: Not sure if there is such a thing, but maybe invite a non-hackerspace affiliated organization / person to act as judges for the year. Could be a columnist from Make Magazine, Popular Science / Mechanics, etc.
  • Your idea here!


Being a brainstorm page, these are date suggestions, not written in stone.

  • March 7th: Attend Hackerspace Call-in, invite attendees to submit category ideas after the meeting.
  • After March 13th: Send invite flier to hackerspaces to submit categories
  • Early May: If HSIS Event Board (1 rep from each hackerspace) is assembled, have them choose their favorite categories from the submitted list.
  • Mid May: Send invite flier to hackerspaces to nominate projects for categories
  • Could have awards submission deadline in time to announce alongside the HSIS winners. Which would be between Sep 7th and Sep 30th, 2010.
    • Submission dates for HSIS end on Sep. 7th, 2010
    • Could also announce the awards over a period of a week so it stays in the news longer

Trophy Ideas[edit]

Physical Trophies[edit]

Lots of physical trophies might be expensive to send around the world, but if it's within budget:

Digital Trophies[edit]

  • something the hackerspaces could print out and choose to display.