Silicon Triangle

Jun 6, 2014
Sophie Buijsen

Tags: technology

In the summer of 2013 Kevin and I discussed the fact that we often ran into small technical problems and we realised that there must be a wealth of technical resource in our area. Crystal Palace is historically linked to the principles of advancing through science and technology and bringing all new innovation together in one place. Kevin, as you may expect, has a keen interest in all types of technology, and I have a passion for most things science (even the bad bits are usually fascinating). From this grew the idea of the Silicon Triangle.

We put a poster up in our local pub, the Grape and Grain, on which we invited those with an interest in science and technology to join us in rekindling the spirit of the original Crystal Palace. And on August 6th we got together. It was a modest group of people that responded, but it was a lot of fun. We all sat around, had a drink and chatted about our respective science & tech backgrounds. Kevin found people who inspired him to design different features for SARD and I found people who were happy to have me talk epigenetics at them.

In the past 11 months the Silicon Triangle grew and interesting things kept coming up. People brought their new gadgets to the pub to show them off and in April one of the attendees even brought their own 3D printer with some printed models to show off.

We were really impressed with how many people the gathering attracted and how many return members we had. By now we started to realise that the Grape and Grain pub, though having been extremely hospitable, was no longer a suitable venue. We needed a place of our own! So after taking May off to rethink the way we were organising the Silicon Triangle. I went to a meeting at West Norwood’s The Open Works initiative (link: http://www.theopenworks.org/) to talk about a local maker space to see if perhaps the Silicon Triangle could relocate to this location, or if this would be a viable change. Unfortunately the Open Works’ maker space is still in such an early stage that this was not viable. I spoke to the people of the South London Maker Space (link: http://www.southlondonmakerspace.org/) to see what they had to offer, but at that point they were about to lose their space in Herne Hill (luckily by now they’ve found a more permanent location).

The other question was whether we wanted a space where we could work on a project together, or we wanted a place where we could all socialise and perhaps listen to others talk about projects. With the 2 maker space options not entirely up to scratch, I decided that a room above a pub or similar venue would be perfectly fine for our purposes for now. And so I got in touch with the lovely people from the Antenna café (link: http://www.antennastudios.co.uk/cafe-thing/) who were up for hosting our night.

We eventually returned on the 3rd of June with a new venue and a beautiful new poster design by Steve Horry that you can see as the title picture of this blog.

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