Noisebridge is a space for sharing, creation, collaboration, research, development, mentoring, and of course, learning. Noisebridge is also more than a physical space; it's a community with roots extending around the world.
For we're excellent to each other here
We rarely ever block
We value tools over pre-emptive rules
And spurn the key and the lock.
— Danny O'Brien, 2010-11-09 general meeting notes
We make stuff. So can you.
Noisebridge is an educational non-profit corporation, 501(c)3 public charity status.
We provide infrastructure and collaboration opportunities for people interested in programming, hardware hacking, physics, chemistry, mathematics, security, robotics, all kinds of art, and, of course, technology. Through talks, workshops, and projects we encourage knowledge exchange, learning, and mentoring.
As a space for artistic collaboration and experimentation, we are open to most types of art - with a special emphasis on the crossover of art and technology. From hardware labs to electronics and sound labs, most things that're creative are most definitely welcome.
Many interesting things happen in the space. We've found that sharing is essential to making this work. We strive to begin from a point of respect and trust. We believe it builds a safe community and that this best fosters innovation and creation. Our motto is "Be excellent to each other." We also have writings on community standards and an anti-harassment policy which covers all conduct in the physical space and in our online spaces.
Leadership is taken by individual members for specific projects. We call this "sudo leadership" after the *nix command sudo which allows a regular user to do one root-level, or superuser, task. In other words, if you want Noisebridge to do something, start doing it.
Here's some paraphrasing from our bylaws: Through talks, classes, workshops, collaborative projects, and other activities, we want to encourage research, knowledge exchange, learning, and mentoring in a safe, clean space. We provide educational spaces for teaching practical skills and theory of technology, science, and art. We provide work space, storage, and other resources for projects related to art, science, and technology that will benefit the individual members' personal growth in their fields of interest, encouraging the individual members to share their projects and knowledge for the betterment of society through art, science and technology. We create, learn, and teach, individually and as a group, inviting members of the community in the San Francisco Bay area and the world. We develop, support the development of, and provide resources for the development of free and open source software and hardware for the benefit of society. We promote collaboration across disciplines for the benefit of cultural, charitable, and scientific causes.
Be excellent to each other is the guiding principle of Noisebridge. Wikipedia uses a somewhat similar rule, which they call "the fundamental rule of all social spaces. Every other policy for getting along is a special case of it." Unlike Wikipedia, Noisebridge takes a positive approach, and avoids the practice of officially enumerating the myriad potential special cases; "be excellent" is enough.
We make official Noisebridge decisions by consensus, which means the willing consent of all of our members. Decisions are typically made at our weekly meetings or via our online management venues, and items proposed for consensus are announced at least a week in advance to give everyone time to hear about them. Conceivably, members could block by proxy if they are unable to attend or if they wish to block anonymously.
More information on the Consensus Process.
Doing excellent stuff at Noisebridge does not require permission or an official consensus decision. If you're uncertain about the excellence of something you want to do, you should ask someone else what they think.
- Smart creative people, welcoming community, friendly to newbies
- Equipment, tools, books, materials, and the space itself
- Its culture of free, open, accessible, DIY awesomeness
We self-finance through membership fees ($80 per member/month with $40 "starving hacker" rate), beverage sales, and parties, the way European hacker spaces do it. We also welcome one-time or recurring donations from members and non-members alike. Donations and sponsorships will accompany renovation and equipment purchase. Within the first 24 hours of renting a space, we raised over $10,000 for a cool location and meaningful projects. Within our first month, we've nearly become cash flow positive from membership dues alone. Further discussion is happening on the Finances wiki page.
Noisebridge is inspired by similar European clubs like Metalab of Vienna, CBase of Berlin, MAMA of Zagreb, and ASCII of Amsterdam. Many other clubs of a similar stripe can be found at Hacklabs and Hackerspaces dot Org. It would not be out of the question to consider Noisebridge a possible San Francisco Chaostreff. Noisebridge is a hacker space and community that shares a Dorkbot-like ethic, and indeed, many of the members of Noisebridge are long-time Dorkbotters.
A "noise bridge" performs useful services by injecting noise into a system. Such a device is often used in RF electronics.
Read some oral histories from members, or add your own!