It’s very easy to get sucked into the grind of Hong Kong, where somehow Friday night turns to Monday morning in the blink of an eye. In between all the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to take a step back and remember that our brains – and hands – are capable of more than filling in spreadsheets for 60 hours a week in a sterile office.
Adult supervision unnecessary at Three Keys’ studio.
In response to this creativity-stifling environment, more and more entrepreneurs are launching places where you have the space, the tools and the guidance to get your creative juices flowing again. These “makerspaces” – community-driven hubs for anyone who wants to make something – are dotted all around the city, suitable for anyone from those still unearthing their inner creatives (even if it turns out to be a three-year-old scribbling with crayons) to talented designers looking for a place to transform their vision into reality.
Whether you’re all about using your hands to craft objects out of wood and leather, or 3D printer and laser cutters are more your style, Hong Kong’s makerspaces have got you covered.
Dim Sum Labs, Sheung Wan
Dim Sum Labs, which proclaims to be Hong Kong’s “first hackerspace/makerspace”, is for anyone who’s curious about “hacking”. Before you think you’re going to learn how to steal foreign governments’ nuclear codes from your laptop, they mean hacking in the broadest sense; Dim Sum Labs describes it as creatively overcoming or circumventing the limitations and purposes of virtually anything.
The non-profit’s mission is to provide a location for “the creatives, the rebels, the playful and different” of Hong Kong to do their thing: think soldering, laser cutters, “crypto parties” where you learn how to secure your personal devices, and bio-hacking (a.k.a. crowdsourced biology).
Analogue electronics workshop at Dim Sum Labs. Photo: Dim Sum Labs via Facebook
On the first day of every week they host Maker Mondays, when everyone is welcome to explore and experiment with their tools, or to share their work, while Tuesdays evenings are reserved for Hack Jams, when attendees get to play with DIY electronics and low-level programming.
MakerBay, Yau Tong
MakerBay is another space in Hong Kong looking to broaden your creative mind, or at least dig it out from where Hong Kong buried it. Located in Yau Tong on Kowloon side (just one stop away from Quarry Bay), it functions as a co-working space (memberships can be purchased on a daily, weekly or monthly basis) and as a studio for a range of events and classes.
You can join their regular classes on woodworking, milling, metalworking, laser cutting, and 3D printing, or request your own classes on anything from papier mâché to drone aerial photography.
Its founder Cesar Harada is a prolific inventor himself and created MakerBay after getting frustrated with trying to work at other co-working spaces where he couldn’t make a mess without attracting trouble.
Three Keys Craft Space, Chai Wan
Three Keys Craft Space is for those who are less into security encryption and more into old-school design. Functioning as a co-working space where people can rent desks daily or monthly, they also hold workshops and classes.
Most recently, they held a workshop on how to create a wooden box as a Mother’s Day gift – something we’re sure mums would appreciate infinitely more than yet another mall-bought, mass-produced trinket.
Learning how to make a wooden box