Theory for hackspaces

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Hackers usually focus on 'getting things done', without too much discussion, and the hackspace rules say that talk is cheap, which might appear to devalue communication.

If you think we should talk about something, please add your suggestions to this page with a brief explanation of why the text/issue should interest us, in relation to hackspace.

Why bother with theory

It is important to set the limits of what we can talk about, because what we do is rooted in how we talk.

With a good foundation in theory, the value of the hackspace might be increased. This page is written in the hope that it will lead to greater membership contributions, motivate more participation, and lead to more collaboration. Also, we might work out how to respond appropriately to conflict and how to communicate better.

Ideally, theory brings us together and does not divide us.

How theory relates to hackspace

Hackspace exists broadly to empower people to make things, and provides shared resources that enable people get on with what wants to be done. Some things need communication, but if we discuss everything at length before acting, then little change occurs. Hackspace offers the opportunity to both discuss things and to act together in the same community. The outcome of a discussion is often an essay, a video, a book, or a wiki.

See Also

Suggested videos for a reading group

Suggested books for a reading group

Critical theory

A Hacker Manifesto, by Wark

Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization, by Galloway

Cultural studies

The Culture of Technology

Cognitive science

In Over Our Heads - suggests why so much of this stuff goes over our heads.


The Handbook of Large Group Methods - methods to organise activity that can engage really large groups of people (with lots of case studies).

Open Space Technology, or Expanding Our Now - a way of inviting unstructured and self-organising events that flow.

Assertiveness and Diversity - uses NLP to convince the reader that the best way to achieve diversity is to promote assertiveness in organisations.


Change the world without taking power - an emotional scream, or plea, to organise in a non-hierarchical way.

Resource links