We’re a makerspace. We’re a school, wait, no, we’re a not-school. We’re a community workshop. We’re a tool library. We’re a summer camp and a place to take classes and a board game club and a space to build stuff and find friends and projects and interesting things going on. We’re not entirely simple, is the point, and, even after running these programs for 5 years, we still have trouble with the ‘elevator pitch.’ Just what are we up to? And how do all of these things seem to relate — what’s the common thread that makes what we do “Parts and Crafts”? To be sure, the simple answer is that Parts and Crafts is whatever Parts and Crafts happens to be doing, and it’s a space for a wide variety of interesting projects to come together and benefit from proximity.
There are common threads: 1) democratizing technology/technical competency, 2) promoting self-direction and autonomous education, 3) prioritizing economic accessibility, and 4) a commitment to warmth, friendliness, whimsy, and openness which comes from our work with kids but we hope to bring to grown-ups as well. We’ve written a lot, and talked and thought even more, about how these ideas and principles intersect. Here you’ll find some of our more abstract and conceptual writing, as well as links to some of our inspirations.