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Creative, inclusive, innovative: Welcome to the MakerSpace.

A large, open industrial workshop, equipped with state-of-the-art tools and lots of space for ideas and experiments – a warm welcome to the MakerSpace Hall1. The workshop on the campus of the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences (Westfälische Hochschule) has developed into a creative hotspot where people can be found working on sustainable E-mobility solutions and green future technologies in a relaxed atmosphere.

Foundation & idea

Matthias Rheinlaender (second from right), founder and workshop manager of Hall1.

The open high-tech workshop Hall1 was founded in 2018 by two engineers and graduates of the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences. It offers students, start-ups and also technology-inspired private individuals more than enough space to work, experiment and network over an area of some 300 m². State-of-the-art equipment, such as 3D printers and CNC milling equipment, are available to everyone. Anyone unfamiliar with this equipment will rapidly find help and support from the team in Hall1.

The project was funded to the tune of €1.7 million by the North Rhine Westphalian Ministry for Economics. The services offered by Hall1 are free to users. The Ruhr District, which has been known for centuries for its coal and ore mining, has been battling high unemployment levels and a precarious labour market for many years.

The MakerSpace is intended to help counter this: it is an easy-access gathering place at which the green technologies of the future are developed. Young students can meet up with former miners here. Both learn technical interdisciplinary skills from each other, provide mutual support, and benefit from the inter-generational and community-based wealth of knowledge. However, it is not just this guiding principle that unites the founders and self-starters – but also a passion for Cargo Bikes. They were really impressed with the Riese & Müller Load 75 HS.

The "MC Load"

… is probably Germany’s first “High-speed Cargo Bike Club”. That is what the four team members of Hall1 call themselves – all passionate riders of Riese & Müller HS-Loads. They know every component of their Cargo Bikes and do not shy away from transporting bulky goods or long trips – for instance to get Fair Trade chocolate from Amsterdam.

This project is all about chocolate transported emission-free from the bean to the supermarket shelf: a freight ship transports the cocoa beans from South America to Amsterdam, where they are then processed into chocolate in a solar-powered factory. From there, the chocolate is then transported by bike.

Before the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic in the spring of 2020, around 200 cyclists picked up the chocolate in Amsterdam and transported it to their home regions. During the pandemic, smaller task forces took over the border crossing and transport to Germany, carrying as much as they could. The Hall1 team rode on their Cargo Bikes fitted with trailers to Amsterdam and transported 300 kg of chocolate climate-neutrally to the Ruhr region, where it was distributed in the MakerSpace.

The solar catamaran

… is an approach that could shift some freight transport from roads to inland waterways. The photovoltaic-powered floating drone is designed to be a precursor to stand-alone inland navigation on canals. Among other things, the solar catamaran could be used for small-scale parcel delivery. Testing of the prototype ended positively and “Sunshine Jenny” can now be transferred to a larger development stage.

The plant cabinet

… was developed in Hall1 and designed as a teaching kit for schools. It is intended to address the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in a cross-disciplinary manner. Students can change different environmental parameters (light spectrum / intensity, irrigation, nutrients, temperature) in the cabinet and program their own controls. A digital community platform is also used to encourage dialogue with other project groups. Competitions foster the scientific work in a fun way, at the same time exploring the conditions under which the plants thrive best.

Follow Hall1 on Instagram and Facebook.

Impressions from the MakerSpace

Huge cargo space, top quality. The Load 75.