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The rise of the creative class and startups as well as the DIY revolution has given birth to a new medley of work spaces that rebel from the lone corporate cubicle.

As more and more young professionals value collaboration and passion over competition and compensation, the work environment takes on a new form, breaking the walls between desks to cultivate a deep sense of community and a free flow of ideas.

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From this petri dish, makerspaces have emerged and created an open platform for the young generation to casually gather to share resources and knowledge, build together, inspire each other, and play.

Makerspaces, sometimes dubbed as “hackerspaces,” are  like coworking spaces that cater to professionals like engineers, artists, programmers, architects, and graphic designers—basically, occupations that require special tools.

Makerspaces not only provide a collaborative studio, but also the tools, technology, community, and mentorship that could help in product ideation, prototyping and development.

But, not all makerspaces are created equal. So before you make one your home, make sure to vet them out based on your personal preferences and needs. Great ones will give you a tour of the space first, and let you work for a day for free. Take advantage of this generosity and try to get a feel of the place and the community it supports. You may check these newly opened makerspaces for a start.

1. SparkLab Innovation Center

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SparkLab Innovation Center is a multi-million joint collaboration between ThinkLab founder Roland Jay Miguel and Norde International Distributors president Hao Chin. With the goal of improving the competency of the country’s maker community, the lab not only provides a playground with state-of-art technology and tools, but also technical trainings and workshop from the nation’s top engineers.

A two-level repurposed house with a mix of modern and rustic vibe, SparkLab feels like Ironman’s sleek workshop in the woods. “We designed it so you can feel at home and be creative,” co-owner Miguel said.

A front desk welcomes you in the main entrance where rates per day are displayed. Adjacent to it is one of the equipment rooms that houses 3D scanners, 3D printers and other small maker equipment. Across it is a spacious common area where people can work and collaborate with each other, and where talks, events and workshops are conducted. It’s surrounded with private rooms for meetings and startups who needs an office.

On the basement, there are bigger toys for heavyweight makers. It’s where SparkLab’s industry-grade Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router, welding machines, PCD (polycrystalline diamond) mill and computer-controlled cutting machine are.

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But the huge space is not only for making. It is also for showcasing one’s chosen craft. It’s already been used for gigs and exhibits by artists who experiment and fuse technology with various arts like WSK festival director Tengal Drilon, Ian Jaucian, and Derek Tumala. Indeed, SparkLab is a creative school, gallery, builder depot and a workshop rolled into one.

SparkLab Innovation Center, 118 Matahimik St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. Website. Facebook. Rates start at P895 per day for individual makers and P9,990 per month for startups. You may contact Luigi Conti at +63927 6765972 or +632 5087955. 

2. Builtable

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Builtable, located at the busy Shaw Boulevard, is a partnership between architect Adriel Tan and software engineer Justin Tee. The two met in a startup event and were originally working on a different business, when they “realized we were spending so much whenever we meet about the business.” And so they founded Builtable, the first co-making lab in Manila.

A spacious room with unpainted walls, 3D printers, and other small fabrication tools, Builtable is set up like an industrial engineering classroom lab perfect for co-making, workshops, training and one-of-a-kind tech events like World Cup Robot Soccer which was held in the space last December 10, 2016. Additionally, the lab also have four private rooms for startups looking for a long-term office space.

“Builtable could help entrepreneurs, startups and makers to decrease this risk. This place is for a more cost-efficient product development and hardware acceleration. But we also have a network of VCs that we could connect to startups who have promising ideas,” serial businessman Adriel said.

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Aside from providing a platform for fabrication, co-owner Tee emphasized that they also want to focus on building a community of kindred makers.

“We want to connect people with the same passion and be a venue to network and meet like-minded innovators,” he said.

Builtable, 3/F of CBC Corporate Centre at 724 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. Website. Facebook. +63917 7270288. 1pm-9pm. Rates start at P500 for individual makers and P8,500 for startups. 

3. Warehouse Eight

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At the heart of La Fuerza compound in Makati, where one of the country’s finest art gallery is—Finale Art File—is Warehouse Eight, the largest, most chill co-working space in Manila. With four-seater and six-seater tables made of wood and steel, as well as bean bags and huge pillows whimsically scattered on the floor, transparent walls and doors that you could write on, and a “grass room” with a synthetic meadow for barefoot brainstorming sessions, the new makers spot feels like it was designed for a young Steve Jobs.

A two-level space with a coffee bar on the first floor, Warehouse Eight is adorned with artworks, illustrations and motivational quotes that all express the energy and contemporary style and ideas of the young urban creative, or yuccie.

“Our goal is to become a home for discovery and inspiration,” co-founder and Marketing and Events Manager Kayla Dionisio said.

Warehouse Eight hosts workshops, gigs, art exhibits and events by niche groups with uncommon passions and interests, as well as a regular Artist’s Residency program where artists could showcase and sell their works. The Mad Table, a mysterious dinner between ten strangers are also held regularly in the space, as well as WHOAREMARO’s Life Drawing Setup.

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But, there are also cubicles, and big private rooms for startup incubation. Additionally, the warehouse also offers virtual offices and other business process outsourcing services.

“Warehouse Eight is flexible. It can be whatever you want it to be. I don’t want to define the community we accommodate. All kinds of groups are welcome here,” Dionisio said.

Warehouse Eight, 8-A at 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue, La Fuerza Plaza, Makati City. Website. Facebook. +63917 5379438. 8am-8pm. Rates start at P500 for freelancers and individual makers. 

Photos: Czyka Tumaliuan

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