Hackerspace Lodz

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Hackerspace Lodz
Hakierspejs Logo.png
Status active
Country Poland
State or District Łódzkie
City Łódź
Date of founding 2020/01/15 (informally)
2020/09/17 (first premises)
2021/03/22 (registered NGO)"2020/01/15 (informally)2020/09/17 (first premises)2021/03/22 (registered NGO)" contains more than three components required for a date interpretation.
Last Updated 2024-01-27
Website https://hs-ldz.pl
Wiki https://github.com/hakierspejs/wiki/wiki
meetup https://www.meetup.com/pl-PL/Hakierspejs-Łodź/
IRC irc://libera.chat/#hakierspejs
Matrix #hs-ldz:hackerspace.pl
Phone 00 48 42 203 20 50
git https://github.com/hakierspejs/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hakierspejs/
E-mail https://lodz.hackerspace.pl/email.htmlURIs of the form "https://lodz.hackerspace.pl/email.html" are not allowed.
Mailinglist https://lists.hackerspace.pl/archives/list/lodz@lists.hackerspace.pl/
Snail mail

Zielona 30
90-604 Łódź

Number of members ~15 active members"~" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 15.
Membership fee 100 PLN
Size of rooms 130 m2
Location 51° 46' 9.37" N, 19° 26' 42.97" E

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Panorama of our Hackerspace

Hackerspace Lodz or Hakierspejs, in short: HSLDZ or HSŁDZ – a hackerspace in Łódź (Lodz), Poland. We are in Zielona str. 30 – the building in the end of the backyard, across it.

We organize open meetings on Tuesday evenings every two weeks. To check the date of the next one, see our website. To enter, call us on the phone: +48 42 203 20 50 or dial 50 on the door phone.

You can contact us on Telegram or Matrix (#hs-ldz:hackerspace.pl) – those chats are bridged with each other. If you want to come on another date, ask there.

Apart from the live meetings, our community maintains contact on several Telegram/Matrix (bridged) chatrooms, the forum and the mailing list. We also have IRC channels on Libera.chat equivalent to our Matrix/Telegram chatrooms, however they aren't bridged at the moment (as for the beginning of 2024).

We are on Mastodon, Facebook and Meetup.com.

From the formal point of view, we operate as a registered association (stowarzyszenie). Members pay a monthly membership contribution (recommended amount: 100 PLN, reduced to 50 PLN in the case of students and people in difficult life situations), which gives them access to our building at any time and a meaningful voice while making decisions important to our hackerspace. Being a member is not required to be a part of our community or to enter the building together with someone who is a member (at his responsibility). The money from the membership fees is spent on the development of our infrastructure.

You can find more information about us on our wiki (mostly in Polish).


The beginnings[edit]

Everything began in January 2020, after one of us, inspired by a visit in Hackerspace Kraków, decided he wants something similar to exist in Lodz. According to our notes, the first organizational meeting took place on 15 January 2020 in The Eclipse Inn pub. Next was the meeting on 29 January 2020 in another pub, 6. Dzielnica. For the next three meetings, in February and March 2020, we were happy to be guests of Opus Center, a great organization focused on helping newly emerging NGOs. We exchanged ideas for new projects and started thinking about how to get a functional hackerspace as a place. We also planned a night hacking meeting in Bodo cinema – which unfortunately never happened.

Pandemic period[edit]

Already on the last meeting in Opus (10 March 2020) it was clear that the things in Poland were going to change a lot. A new coronavirus, which was, for last several months, causing unprecedented, unimaginable things far away in China, came to Europe and was already present in Poland. There weren't any countrywide restrictions introduced yet but the city of Lodz had already closed down swimming pools and other public places. It was unclear if the next meeting could happen as planned.

Already on the next day, extensive countrywide anti-pandemic restrictions got introduced. Schools closed down, workplaces switched to remote work whenever possible. As promised – for 2 weeks – but it was clear it may last longer and nobody knew how long. It was therefore clear the next meeting (and possibly next ones as well) won't take place live in the real world. We started to look for solutions how to meet online.

The first online meeting took place on 18 March 2020. We started on jit.si but as it turned out to be too unstable (at least on its official instance), we switched to the second option, Mumble, hosted by one of us on his home server.

For the next two months, which could be characterized by heavy anti-pandemic restrictions that for some period included a closure of parks and forests, or even a ban on leaving home for purposes other than those absolutely necessary, we met on Mumble biweekly. Discussing the current events, things going on in the IT world, but also setting up crucial parts of our online infrastructure, with a great help of Warsaw Hackerspace, who kindly borrowed us a small part of their vast server resources. We started up the forum, played open-source online games together, hosted talks about Kubernetes and about QubeOS. An ongoing topic was also how to find new hackers who would like to become the hackerspace members. The online-only conditions helped us integrate with the members of other Polish hackerspaces, who also keenly joined our meetings.

The idea of founding a physical hackerspace didn't disappear. We started looking for appropriate premises – naturally, with the help of technology – we wrote software that scanned real estate rental websites, posted sensible offers on a Telegram chat and allowed to like or dislike them.

After it became warmer, an idea to organize a live meeting in the open air appeared. The first hackpicnic in Zdrowie park, next to the legendary gazebo (Altanka na Zdrowiu), happened on 6 June 2020. The idea was continued for the whole summer 2020, the last live meeting in a park happened on 5 September 2020. In the next years, the idea of regular meetings in a park wasn't continued, but several other open-air meetings as well as forest and urban exploration trips took place.

In September 2020, after the restrictions got loosened up and it started getting too cold for hackpicnics, we came back to the idea of live meetings somewhere inside. As Opus rooms seemed to be too small to accommodate us comfortably, so that we could keep appropriate social distance (the pandemic was still ongoing), we asked Centrum Kreatywności Fabryka for help, who kindly hosted us for the first after-pandemic live meeting on 17 September 2020.

Our first place[edit]

On the same day when the Centrum Kreatywności Fabryka meeting happened, we received the keys to our first premises we just managed to rent. The place was old and required renovation, major problems were the lack of any proper heating system (something we're still struggling with now as I'm writing that, in January 2024), not-so-good condition of the electrical wiring and the state of the walls (plaster consisting mostly of sand, hidden behind plywood prewalls). We started renovating and equipping it, largely with the help of our friends from the other Polish hackerspaces, generously donating us some stuff, similarly to some of our members.

For some time, to more or less mid-2021, live and online meetings happened interchangeably. For quite long we also held regular meeting on organizational stuff, so called spotorgs (short for Polish spotkanie organizacyjne).

Founding the association[edit]

Originally, our new premises was technically rented by one of us, the same happened with other things, such as the Internet connection or DNS contract. However, from the very beginning it was clear we would have to formalize our organization – to distribute the responsibility and no longer force the members to trust some single persons. We observed the legal forms of the other Polish hackerspaces and from the two options used by the others: a foundation or an association, we selected an association, as the form, which is more democratic and in our opinion suits better the hacker mindset.

Immediately after renting the premises we started never-ending discussions on the rules and the statute of our future association. We built our statute in a probably most hackish way possible – using a Git repository. Changes to the originally proposed version of the document (based on the statute of Warsaw Hackerspace) were basically pull requests and required a review like program code. Though big changes were also preceded by discussions and polls on our forum. From the legal point of view, we are thankful from a lot of help we got from Hackerspace Kraków.

The culmination point was a founding meeting on 20 December 2020, on which we elected the first management board (@d33tah, @thinkofher and @gazowany_smalec) and audit committee. We filed all required documents and finally got registered on 22 March 2021.

The second place[edit]

Being a registered NGO helped us manage our infrastructure. Our first premises developed, we organized multiple open talks, e.g. on Wikipedia or on ham radio, as well as a cryptoparty. We had a lot of fun developing our place, several new people joined us. We were also on the first post-pandemic Cebula Communication Congress, an irregular gathering of Polish hackerspaces which took place in Gdańsk from 1 to 3 October 2021, as well as on multiple Polish inter-hackerspace online meetings.

However, we also realized that the place we had was too small for us. In 2022 we started looking around for something that would be bigger and also possibly reliable regarding being able to stay there for as long as possible. A sensible choice was to look at the spaces offered for rent by the city, also because they offered discounted prices for NGOs, and we were finally registered as one. After watching several places offered by them, we finally decided to choose another space at the same address – Zielona 30. After long negotiations (with a great help of friends from Warsaw Hackerspace), we signed a rental contract on 20 June 2022. At a slightly higher price, we got a four times larger place.

The place required a lot of work. It had a leaking roof, which got repaired by the city, but we had to get rid of the whole mould and humidity. We replaced big sections of the drywall on the ceiling and on one of the walls. We also had to test and fill in the shortages in the electrical wiring. All of that took us the whole end of 2022 and much of 2023, during which we squeezed in in a limited amount of space (because the rest was being renovated) – there was a period, in which we had the soldering desk in the... bathroom.

On 20 December 2022 we held the General Assembly in the new premises being under heavy renovation works. We elected the new management board (@d33tah, @gazowany_smalec, @kujaw and @SP7Q) and the new audit committee.

The first big event organized in the new premises (still under renovation, but prepared so that it was possible) was a talk session during the Museum Night on 13 May 2023.

In 2023 our delegations were on the Pol'And'Rock Festival, where Polish hackerspaces were a part of Akademia Sztuk Przepięknych, as well as on the 37C3 Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, where we joined the Onion Cluster assembly.

As for the beginning of 2024, the renovations continue, but the hackerspace at the new location is already fully functional.


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