HS4 was founded in early 2009. Drawing on the existing social networks, mediated through online message boards and ‘pub meets’ which were a key part of the digital technology community in a large Southern UK city, the hackspace grew rapidly, quickly outgrowing its initial space. The hackspace is one of the oldest and largest in the UK, and has been extremely influential in the British hackspace network, both in terms of the codified protocols and codes of conduct which the space has developed; and as an exemplar body to look to. The institution has struggled with finding stable space in the city centre, as rents have increased and membership continues to grow.
This CTP relates to the decision made by the organization founders to create a mailing list to garner attention from existing tech communities, allowing them to rapidly gather interest and create visibility, building on the founder’s own social capital.
This CTP describes the process by which the founders set up the legal structure of the organization, drawing on their prior knowledge with technology companies; and how these structures were appropriated by other spaces.
This CTP describes the decision of the board of directors not to raise their membership dues, as the process of doing so would sever ties with members who supported the organization at distance.
This CTP relates to the removal of a member of the board of directors, following their election; and the surrounding decisions made to develop banning protocols and a specific code of conduct for the space.
This CTP describes the decisions advocated by one of the directors to intentionally allow the organization to ‘fail gracefully’ and dissolve into a number of smaller short-term bodies, following the end of the lease in 2017.
This CTP relates to the process by which the organization obtained their first physical space and in doing so, became visible to a wider swathe of the non-technical community in the city.
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