Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
This policy is based on the Tidy Space Policy as implemented by Pumping Station One (Chicago).
Please don't strip parts from things that might be useful. If you want to strip a thing, please make sure to properly dispose of the rest.
The TidySpace policy is designed to make the “space” in “hackerspace” easier for everyone to use. It introduces a visual system of marking and tagging to indicate when something is out of place, and gives people tools to help keep things orderly. It relies on participation from every member, but is administered by Tidy Space Committee members and officers. It is, of course, to be executed alongside the Vancouver Hackspace Society Code of Conduct and the overarching rule: “be excellent to each other.”
This tag should be placed on any item, project or materials used for personal or group projects, which are too large to store in personal locker or shelf space. Items with a properly issued parking permit must not be left on a Worktable or in a Walkway. Permits expire after 30 days, or on the date selected by the issuer, whichever comes first.
Parking permits may be issued or renewed by any officer, director, or Tidy Space Committee member, but renewals can be overruled by a majority vote of the same. Permit renewals follow the same process as new permits. The individual responsible for the material should be notified immediately of the date of issue so they can honor the term of the permit.
The tag includes a brief description of the material covered, the maximum square footage taken up by the material, the name and contact information of the individual responsible for the material, the date the permit expires and the name and signature of the issuer.
This tag should be placed on any item, project or materials found in the space without an owner or any indication how long it will be there or who owns it, or if the material is obstructing a walkway, common work areas or work surfaces, or is otherwise stored in a manner that is dangerous to the material or individuals passing by.
Parking tickets may be issued by any officer, director, or Tidy Space Committee members.
The tag includes space for a brief description of the material in question, instructions for the owner of the item, the name of the individual issuing the ticket, and the date of issue.
The ticket can be struck by the issue of a valid parking permit, or in the case of space property, proper labeling and storage. Ticketed material may be moved out of the way or placed in a Wut Zone, but must not be moved to Limbo until the 72 hours after the ticket is issued. The issuer, and/or Tidy Space Committee member(s), accepts the obligation to make a good-faith effort to contact the person responsible for the material (if known) to let them know their material should be retrieved or marked with a valid parking permit. If the owner is legitimately unavailable to take care of their materials within the 72 hours, the issuer and/or Tidy Space Committee members may make arrangements with the owner at their discretion.
This tag should be placed on any item or group of items that looks like it might be in need of either a parking permit or parking ticket. These exist so that any member can flag items needing permits/tickets and bring them to the attention of Tidy Space Committee members. A web form will be created for notifying Tidy Space Committee members of parking requests. Requests for a parking ticket may be removed by the owner of the items if the items are moved into personal storage or removed from the space.
Requests can be issued by any member.
The tag includes space for a brief description of the material in question, check boxes to indicate the nature of the request (ticket or permit), the name of the individual issuing the request, and the date of issue.
Limbo is a clearly marked and well lit set of shelves dedicated to almost-trash. Everything brought into limbo is marked with a date. Date marking apparatus is attached to the shelf. Anyone may remove anything from Limbo at any time. Tidy Space Committee members will periodically clear out the oldest items. If an item is too big to fit in Limbo, it is subject to disassembly or ejection from the space. In this case, if the owner is known, they shall be given two weeks to arrange for removal of the item from the space.
Each hosted area has a Wut Zone, a marked space designated for items in need of a home. The Tidy Space Committee members will sort through these areas as often as they’re able, but other members can also help.
Things found in Wut Zones will be sorted by anyone. If you encounter a populated Wut Zone, do this:
Small personal items (cell phones, wallets, multitools, hats, etc.) should be placed in the Lost and Found.
Because the TidySpace policy relies heavily on Tidy Space Committee member intervention, it also requires that areas be visually well-defined, that Tidy Space Committee members are easy to contact, and that they’re able to recruit help and delegate administrative tasks as necessary.
Every square foot in the space falls under the purview of Tidy Space Committee members. In each area, the following information should be clearly visible:
Tidy Space Committee members may, at their discretion, recruit other members to help them manage parking requests, parking permits, parking tickets, Worktables, Walkways, and Wut Zones. Tidy Space Committee helpers agree to communicate all administrative activities to the Tidy Space Committee members. Tidy Space Committee members may revoke administrative permissions at any time, but should avoid this by selecting their helpers carefully.
A Worktable is a surface to be used only for projects being worked on right now. Tidy Space Committee members designate Worktables in their area at their discretion. Worktables are marked either with spray paint (using a stencil like this one) or with other markings devised by the Tidy Space Committee members. Worktables must never be used to store projects not being worked on right now.
Walkways are specially marked areas which are kept free of obstructions so that individuals may pass through them unhindered. Tidy Space Committee members designate walkways in their area at their discretion. Adherence to ADA width requirements* is strongly encouraged where possible.
Designating “walkways” is an excellent way for Tidy Space Committee members to keep floorspace clear and are recommended for areas around stationary tools, shelves, and anywhere else where obstructions are unacceptable.
Although some large projects may inevitably encroach on a walkway while they’re being worked on, this should be kept to an absolute minimum. Materials should never be left in a walkway.
If you need to leave a project for a short time (less than 24 hours), you are expected to put a note on your project. If other members encounter your project while you're out, the note will communicate to other members how long the project has been there, how soon they can its owner will be back to take care of it, and how to contact its owner in case it needs to be moved. “Standing Project” forms will be available but other media may be used.
Standing projects should be tagged by their owner with the following
Make sure your tag is visible, legible, and securely attached to your items. As a courtesy to others, and for the protection of your project, do not leave projects on a Worktable, in a Walkway, or anywhere it will be in other people's way. Projects left in people's way may be respectfully moved.
Standing projects with notes over 24 hours old are automatically subject to ticketing. Projects with notes past their stated time of retrieval are also subject to ticketing.
If you encounter what appears to be an abandoned project in a Walkway, Worktable or any place where it obstructs your activities, take a moment to assess the situation. The project’s owner might be somewhere in the building or outside. Try to find them. If they’ve left the building there should be a note nearby. After looking for a note and verifying that the person is not at the space, proceed while keeping the following in mind:
You might feel frustrated when other people's projects are left in your way. That's understandable. But remember the rules. Be respectful and non-confrontational. Keep in mind that nobody's perfect, and that lapses in policy cannot be blamed solely on one individual. Use the opportunity to improve the space’s operation through communication.