Sudo Room

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Sudo Room and their Articles of Association

  • We're Sudo Room, a free hackerspace currently located at 4799 Shattuck in uptown Oakland, CA!
  • We're into technology and where it intersects with social justice, sustainability, education and solidarity.
  • We strive to be an open, transparent, horizontal and welcoming community where all are supported and free to learn, create, gather, collaborate, work, play and more! .
  • We've got tons of tools for you to use, from a 3D printer to public computer terminals, a big huge library and all kinds of gadgets!
  • We are exclusively volunteer-run and supported through donations!! Learn more about membership.
  • Our slogan is: HACK THE PLANET!


This is largely copied from Tunabananas' Shareable article, 'Hacking the Commons: How to Start a Hackerspace.' _NEEDS UPDATING_ - Edit at will, sudoers!

The first Sudo Room meetings were held at an Oakland technology salon, Tech Liminal, every Wednesday night for more than 6 months. There, we incubated at somewhere between 5 and 12 folks per meeting, regularly overlapping with local techie non-profits who showed up to meet, organize, and hack on innovative civic projects.

From the beginning, we committed ourselves to the active practice of openness, transparency and collaboration. Drawing from prior experience as well as the Hackerspace Design Patterns guide, we set up a mailing list, wiki, and IRC channel. We take notes together using an etherpad shared document, and post them on the wiki after each meeting. We decided to run by consensus without fastening ourselves to a binding agreement; iteration is invaluable, and we wanted to leave room for growth and change.

During this time we also created a collaboratively written mission statement:

Sudo Room is an open, non-hierarchical, collaborative community of humans, including tech developers, citizen scientists, activists, artists--and all combinations in between and beyond!--who are interested in and working towards social change. Our goal is to create the first inclusive, dedicated hackerspace in downtown Oakland, to share ideas and projects in citizen science, digital citizenship and literacy, environmental sustainability, community engagement, and self-government.

Sudo Room is committed to access, empowerment, transparency, and public/social good. Sudoers have a great diversity of interests and we emphasize respect and solidarity among ourselves and with others.

In May, we had a kickstarter/fundraiser (calling it a 'kickraiser') featuring a panel of Bay Area hackerspace representatives, including BioCurious (a DIY biotech space in Sunnyvale), HackerMoms (a hackerspace for moms in Berkeley) and The Crucible (a fine and industrial arts education space in Oakland) as well as the aforementioned (Noisebridge, LOL and Ace Monster Toys). Participants spoke on the topic of “Hackerspaces: The Necessity for Community Spaces Here and Everywhere.”

Come summer, we'd moved into a space – of sorts – an eclectic building also home to a psychic, an improv theater group, a nurse's training organization and a gun security instructor. We rented the box office and a tiny orange closet, giving us access to the large classroom space and two smaller back rooms. For better or worse, the improv theater folks hold auditions in the classroom every weekday evening. We have our meetings in the back room, but the open ceilings prevent any possibility of privacy – our voices often straining to be heard over the raucous hollering and silly sounds of the actors.

Despite the limitations of the space, we made the most of our momentum: We worked together to develop a governance structure, get a bank account, and forge a compact.

We also made the most of our location in uptown Oakland by hosting events for the monthly First Friday Art Murmur. For August's Art Murmur, we took the opportunity to stage a public announcement declaring our Intent to Exist – a requisite for obtaining a bank account without a federal tax ID – followed by an attempt to see how many hackers we could fit in our small box office space (the answer? 42.). Our clothes-hacking night during September's Art Murmur featured electronic conductive thread and LEDs sewn onto donated clothing and homemade hats.

In November of 2012, Sudo Room voted unanimously to move into the larger space at 2141 Broadway St.

[ hey sudoers, help write up 2013! ]

In April of 2014, Sudo Room voted to move to the Omni, and we are excited to create an epic future as part of a collective of collectives dedicated to a radical commoning of space and resources! \o/

See also: the sudoroom blog.