Meet: Build Brighton

Meet: Build Brighton

Build Brighton has a special place in my heart as my home hackerspace (and full disclosure, I was also one of their trustees for a few years). Fittingly for a hackerspace in the UK’s “Silicon Beach” tech capital, Build Brighton was also one of the first hackerspaces to start up in the UK way back in 2009. The space originally grew out of the now-defunct Brighton Robotics meetup group, when they were visited by Mitch Altman of Noisebridge who encouraged them to start their own hackerspace. The early members of Build Brighton originally met up at a local co-working space once a week before finally moving into their own dedicated space in September 2011, the day after the first Brighton Mini Maker Faire.

A woman working in a large workshop. She is wearing ear defenders and operating a mitre saw.

A member working in Build Brighton’s wood and metal workshop. Photo by Build Brighton

The hackerspace has a large main room for socialising, large projects, photography, events, and members storage. Separate areas house a digital fabrication room with a laser cutter and 3D printers (including an Ultimaker 2), and a wood and metal workshop with lathes, a CNC router, and a MIG welder. The space is based in Rodhus creative studios which is home to around 20 artists and creative businesses, which gives the building a creative and collaborative vibe.

A man working at an electronics station. He is using a pair of helping hands to put a circuit board together.

Soldering and electronics projects are popular. Photo by Chris Giles

Over the years Build Brighton has hosted events and meetups including a textiles club, 3D printing nights, maths nights, VR meetups, Brighton Dorkbot, and Brighton Raspberry Pi meetups. The hackerspace has been involved in most of the major science and technology festivals around Brighton and Sussex, including the Brighton Science Festival, White Night, and the Big Bang Fair South East, and Build Brighton members were also a driving force behind the Brighton Mini Maker Faire – the first Mini Maker Faire in the UK – which ran annually from 2011-2015 every September as part of the month-long Brighton Digital Festival.

A woman and a group of children interacting with an LED tabletop. A toddler is sitting on the middle of the tabletop.

A busy open evening as part of the Brighton Science Festival. Photo by Build Brighton

Build Brighton currently has around 115 members and operates on a “pay-what-you-can” monthly subscription basis with a suggested amount of £15 per month. If you’re interested in joining, go along to a Thursday open evening and speak to somebody about signing up.

Header image: Repping the Build Brighton t-shirt merch. Photo by Barney Livingstone