NOD Makerspace

NOD Makerspace

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8307-3.ch007

Abstract

NOD Makerspace in Bucharest, Romania is located in a renovated cotton factory that was built when Romania was under communist rule. It's fitting that NOD has transformed the space to become a beacon of entrepreneurship and innovation within Bucharest. NOD is the first makerspace in the city, with studios in the areas of digital fabrication, ceramics, metal and woodworking, computing, and textiles. The space also provides offices for small businesses and startups, which is an integral part of the mission of NOD. Open since 2015, NOD has continued to grow by taking over the ground floor of the factory, which will house more studio space for businesses and startups. NOD is committed to entrepreneurship and innovation but at this time struggles to find a balance between the younger generation of makers and the current professional makers of NOD. This chapter explores NOD Makerspace.
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We are still expanding and took the floor below us and we are going to make some studios for the co-working space and materials library because we do not have those in Romania;… NOD is the first co-working space and materials library, because we do not have those in Romania we are the first to introduce the concept and we were the first to introduce the idea of makerspaces in Romania and Bucharest. — Irina Mocanu

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Organization Background

NOD in Romanian can be translated to knot in English, and in the context of the NOD Makerspace provides a reference to tying or connecting a community together who are interested in creative design. Located in a redeveloped building that, in the 1970s, was a cotton factory located on the Dâmbovita River, located near the city center. NOD currently occupies 1000 m2 (10,764 ft2) and has begun developing additional space in the building for an expansion. Bucharest is the capital city of Romania with a population of over 1.88 million (CIA, 2015). NOD is located in the southeastern sector four and easily navigable by public transportation. The space was opened in 2015 after considerable redevelopment efforts to transform the space from an industrial cotton factory into its current configuration as a makerspace with several offices and studios. Irina Mocanu, the assistant manager for NOD, answered the interview questions and provided a guided tour of the space. Prior to working at NOD, Mocanu studied architecture and prior to that worked in graphic design. According to the 2016 Romanian journal Wall-Street (2016), the initial investment for the space was €120,000 with 40% of the materials donated by various Bucharest and other multinational corporations. Mocanu noted the significance of NOD:

NOD is the first co-working space and materials library, because we do not have those in Romania we are the first to introduce the concept and we were the first to introduce the idea of makerspaces in Romania and Bucharest.

The NOD building is part of a larger complex located just off the main street (Splaiul Unirii), surrounded by a fence and security shed. The only sign to the building is a small NOD logo near the entry door leading to the space. Walking into the building the first floor is vacant and under construction, with bare concrete walls and floors. Upon reaching the second floor there is another small sign with the NOD logo and a door with an RFID reader, used to provide members access to the space. On the inside the NOD makerspace is a rectangle with offices on the outside of the space and in the center/core of the space are the studios. Once inside, there is a welcome desk usually manned by a volunteer, to greet visitors and to help new members. Moving inside the space down a hallway there is a large classroom with a projector and screen. Also, located in the main hallway is Eematico, a separate closed space dedicated to youth after-school making activities. Eematico in Romanian can be translated to plays, tinkering, experimentation, exhaustive use of technology developed by humans and information transmitted. Next, turning the corner, there are 15 offices available for rent that then open up to a large 300 m2 (984 ft2) area of common room. Figure 1 shows the common work areas where members can rent a desk or work on the tables and store the projects in the space.

Figure 1.

Common work area

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Mocanu notes that the airplane hanging in the space was built and flown by one of the members but subsequently crashed, so it was then hung and used as a decoration. Figure 2 shows a longboard developed for skateboarding created on a CNC router developed by a NOD member. According to Mocanu this is the 11th prototype of the skateboard.

Figure 2.

Longboard prototype 11

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Key Terms in this Chapter

La firul lerbii: “ Grassroots” in Romanian.

RFID: Radio-frequency identification.

NOD: Makerspace located in Bucharest, Romania.

Eematico: Out-of-school time center for youth at NOD.

CAD: Computer-aided drafting for project design.

Entrepreneurship: The capacity and process to design, develop, organize, launch, and manage a business to make a profit.

Barter System: A system within NOD where members can work for a reduced membership fee.

Bucharest, Romania: Bucharest is located in the southern part of Romania and is the capital of the country.

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