What is Protohaven?
Protohaven is a Pennsylvania nonprofit founded by members and staff of TechShop Pittsburgh to continue the community of the shop now that the current location is closed.
Wait, what is “the shop” and what is a makerspace?
“The shop” was TechShop Pittsburgh, a makerspace located at 192 Bakery Square Blvd, Pittsburgh PA. A makerspace is a broad term for a place with tools where people come to build things together.
How did Protohaven start?
When TechShop announced in late May that its Pittsburgh location was closing, members and staff of the shop started weekly meetings to discuss ways to continue the community created by the shop. Protohaven is the result of those meetings.
How will Protohaven be different from TechShop?
Lots of ways, but there were four main points that came out of the member meetings: 1) be more civic-minded and inclusive, 2) better match equipment and facilities to this community’s interests, 3) offer more private workspace and storage, and 4) offer more in-depth courses.
What is Protohaven’s mission?
To serve the public good by providing tools, space, knowledge, and community for creation and innovation.
How are you going to pay for a new shop?
We’re currently running a fundraiser where people can sign up to become members or rent space in the new shop and sponsors can donate to cover transition costs or help cover the cost of membership for those unable to afford it.
Is that going to work?
Only if enough people want it to! This is a community-led effort, and you can be part of the group that makes it happen.
Where will the new shop be?
We have a number of candidate spaces we’re narrowing down. We’re looking for something that’s more affordable than the current space and that plugs us into an existing craft and technology community.
When will you open?
We’re operating right now, but we plan on opening the new shop in December, to provide as much continuity as we can for former TechShop members.
What tools will you have?
We will be a multidisciplinary shop with areas including laser cutters, a wood shop, a metal shop, etc. We will also be working with our members and instructors to determine equipment purchases to match the interests of our community.
What services will you offer?
We will offer memberships, storage and dedicated workspace, and a variety of education classes in partnership with our instructors and other community groups.
Is this just for former TechShop members?
Not at all! If you want to make something, and don’t want to do it alone in your basement, we want you to join us.
Who is running Protohaven?
Here is our leadership and Board of Directors. We also hope to retain as many of the current TechShop staff and instructors as we can.