Indianapolis has no shortage of creative types. While there are a lot of homegrown talents living here, some simply cannot afford the tools and hardware that are necessary for creation – the laser-cutters, metal working machines, sewing machines and other equipment to give them a leg-up with their start-ups. That’s where the concept of “maker movement” comes in. This month, construction will begin on RUCKUS, Downtown Indianapolis’ first makerspace. What’s that you ask? Exact same question I had.
For many artists in Indy, RUCKUS will be a means to help launch their next big idea or creation. It will provide equipment and resources for makers who want to scale beyond a start-up shop or home-based location. It will also foster a community for creative collaboration and entrepreneurship. This project will be developed by three powerhouse local organizations: Riley Development Corporation, Pattern, and People for Urban Progress (also known as PUP).
RUCKUS will offer co-working space, which includes a conference room and kitchenette, a common photography studio and meet-up and event space. Other add-on options will include table or pod rental or even leasable individual studio space. A membership structure will allow artisans, inventors, designers, photographers and small business owners access to different types of equipment. The concept is similar to that of a gym, with tailored membership levels to accommodate a range of people and activities.
Polina Osherov, co-founder and executive director of Pattern, is one of the biggest supporters behind the makers movement and says RUCKUS will be a game changer for Downtown Indy. “I hear more and more people talking about moving to Downtown instead of out to the suburbs. For this trend to continue it’s important that Downtown offers the same, if not better, amenities to its residents. Based on what I know of Indy’s ever-expanding creative class, Downtown Indy is the perfect location for a makerspace.”
RUCKUS will take up about 20,000 square feet of the south end of the Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC) – just along 10th Street near the intersection of the Monon Trail, the Cultural Trail and the new Pogues Run Trail. The location is a pretty prime spot in Downtown Indy real estate: the CCIC is around the corner from Mass Ave’s east end (dubbed the “hip end”). An extension of the Cultural Trail will actually run through RUCKUS so that bikers can pass right through the building and see all the creative minds of Indy creating their masterpieces.
Truth bomb: the maker movement (a term that didn’t even exist years ago) is a big and important development happening across the nation right now (find one of the largest makerspaces in Massachusetts, a woman’s only makerspace in San Diego and a Chicago makerspace inside a public library). People like the idea of shopping local and making purchases that support their local city or state. For that to happen, we need to help artists transition their art, craft or hobby to a profit and give them a means to do this.
Riley Area Development Corporation, Pattern, and People for Urban Progress are leading the effort on this project which will evolve throughout 2015. In the meantime, support local makers and find unique gifts at these Downtown spots:
Basile History Market at the Indiana History Center
Homespun: Modern Homemade
House of 5th
Indiana State Museum Gift Shop
Indianapolis Museum of Art Store
People for Urban Progress
Silver in the City
White River State Park Visitor Center