What was the founding vision of your makerspace, and how is it supported? What facilities and skills programmes do you provide?
Maker’s Asylum is a lot like a playground for artists, thinkers and engineers. We call them our community of unlike minded people. Our vision has always been of a collaborative workspace with an access to a range of tools, ideas and people. Over time we have equipped our space with simple hand and power tools to rapid prototyping devices and digital fabrication machines like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills etc.
We have a strong community of trainers and mentors who share their skills through regular workshops, tool training, meet-ups etc. in design thinking, wood working, CAD modelling, architecture and rapid prototyping. The Maker’s Asylum is essentially bootstrapped but also has membership fees, sponsored projects through the unique ‘Maker-in- Residence’ programme and the goodwill of sponsors.
What’s a typical day or weekend like, in your makerspace? What kind of membership profile do you have at the moment?
There isn’t really a typical day. It could go from heads-down concentrated silence to very spirited meet-up. After all, the community at both our Mumbai and Delhi space, are working on several projects ranging from healthcare and social innovation to artistic installations and toys. Weekends are busier with several events sometimes happening simultaneously. Electronics and circuitry design could be happening at the same time as drone making and woodworking.
Our members range from students in high-school making their debut as tinkerers to hexagenarians with decades of experience. But most of our members are generally those working on collaborative projects. We have a balanced male to female ratio and very surprisingly, the women/girls are the biggest supporters of woodworking at the Asylum. Artists, Doctors, Architects, Musicians, Designers, Bankers, Social Scientists and Engineers, all fit into the asylum member profile.
Do I need to bring my own tools and materials?
We provide all basic hand tools, power tools, 3D printers and a Laser cutting machine. Materials are not provided. But you are welcome to bring your own tools and share with the community!
Can I co-work from the Asylum?
Yes you can. We are in process of setting up a whole new co-working section for startups and freelancers. get in touch with us at [email protected]
Will there be someone to guide me?
Think of Makers Asylum like a gym for tools. You come here, we teach you how to use the equipment and then, you use it yourself. We don’t encourage hand-holding but if you get stuck, be assured that there will be someone from the community there to help you out.
What happens to a project that I build in the Asylum?
It’s all yours. You bring the materials and you take what you build out of it home. However, if Asylum funded a Build Group, the project remains at the Asylum. Similarly, if we pay for the materials, the project stays at the Asylum.
I don’t have an idea or skill, can I still join?
Yep, you are more than welcome. We suggest you to come for some of our training sessions. They will teach you some basic skills that you can practice at the space later.
What do you guys do for fun?
Censored. Just kidding. Come hang out with us to find out.
What is a Build Group?
Build Groups are open community projects. Champion Makers can initiate Builds at the Asylum. These projects are open for the community to join and learn. This is a great way to get started at the Asylum – work on new exciting projects and learn from the champions during the process.
What’s a Workshop?
Workshops are conducted by trainers in the community who like to share their expertise in the field. These range from VFX training to screen printing to robotics.
If you would like to host a workshop, get in touch with us on [email protected]
What’s a Tool training session?
Tool trainings are conducted by the Asylum team on the equipment we have. After you have passed the tool training session, you are free to use all the tools at the Asylum at your convenience
Who are champion makers?
They are the mentors of the Asylum community. Reach out to them when you are stuck on a problem. They are helpful and loving only if you ask the right questions. They are the leaders of the maker movement in India!
Do I have to pay for workshops separately after becoming a member?
Yes workshops need to be paid for separately. If you sign up for a 1 year membership, you get 2 discounted workshops at the asylum.
Where are you located?
We are in right opposite the passport office in Marol MIDC, Andheri East Mumbai.
And in 268G, Haus Rani, New Delhi. This is right next to the Max Hospital in Saket.
I can’t come all 6 days a week, can I get a discount?
No, we need all the support you can give us. Come talk to us. If you have the skills and money is the big issue, we will try figure something out. The money given by you for membership goes into funding projects and growing the shared pool of equipment at the Asylum.
Do you provide 3D printing/laser cutting service?
Yes we do. You can send us an STL file for 3D printing and a DFX file for laser cutting at [email protected]
Where can I source material?
We do have basic materials for laser cutting and some basic electronics kept at the asylum that you can buy. If you need something specific you can try reach out to the following vendors: Link
What activities and support do you provide for social entrepreneurs and NGOs?
We host regular meet-ups on a range of topics, ranging from Developing Social Solutions to Crowd-funding. These provide a great platform for social entrepreneurs to network, get inspired and act on their ideas. In addition, we work closely with a lot of social entrepreneurs in their efforts at combating challenges in literacy. We’ve also partnered with relevant NGOs in Mumbai and Delhi to run innovation workshops in slum pockets. The result were Pipe Lamps built by the kids who attended. We also helped ‘Ugly Indians’ in Bandra make more effective cleaning tools. We also work with NGOs in providing access to their communities for free at the Asylum as part of the fellowship program, so that they may explore their latent talents and interests.
What are some ways in which large corporates and tech providers can get involved with makerspaces? How are they supporting or sponsoring you today?
While we’ve had the involvements of corporate, the scope is just beginning to diversify. Currently we conduct workshops for corporate teams and run projects on behalf of corporate. We are also supported by OEMs and tech providers in the form of sponsored equipment.
We’d like build more meaningful associations with corporate through being a bridge between their needs and the talent that’s available across the community. The Asylum would like to co-create curriculum through industry-academia partnerships. We would also like industry to think of maker spaces as a test bed for new ideas.
List of Holidays for year 2016
Maker’s Asylum will remain closed on following days:
26th January – Republic Day
24th March – Holi
25th March – Good Friday
15th August – Independence Day
5th September – Ganesh Chaturthi
14th September – Anant Chaturdashi
11th October – Dussehra
30th October – Diwali
31st October – Diwali
25th December – Christmas
31st December – Year End
1st January – New year day