Updated: Tuesday, 22nd January 2019 @ 3:56pm

World domination? Manchester MadLab group aim for city centre 'hacking hub'

World domination? Manchester MadLab group aim for city centre 'hacking hub'

By Rachel Heyes

In a cozy and sheltered creative space in Northern Quarter sits a small community of arts, science and technological enthusiasts better known as HACMan.

The HACMan collective took over the ground floor of MadLab for this month’s event: HackDay.

And on May 19 the group’s ‘HACMannequin’ design, which changes the pitch of the sound being transmitted through the position of a hand touching the waterfall, will be exhibited for FutureEverything: Handmade at Victoria Baths.

There is a common misconception that hacking involves breaking into some kind of secret Government database, or taking down multi-billion conglomerates to take over the world in Pinky and the Brain style.

But for HACMan hacking is about a group of people using their highly specialised and detailed knowledge in order to create something of importance.

Members Bob Clough and Alex Lang strive to create a hub of like-minded enthusiasts in a creative pocket.

They said: “The more people you have, the more you can do. More money equals more tools.”

They are very well equipped technologically, electronically, intellectually and ingeniously and joke about plotting world domination.

HACMan has been running as a community organisation since 2009 when it started out in Stockport.

The group moved to Manchester City Centre in 2010 and joined forces with MadLab. The relationship between the two organisations is a mutually beneficial one as both focus on developing an active creative community so they often work together on projects and share common resources such as workshop space.

The objective of HACMan and HackDay is to unite members for the purpose of creation.

They are an amiable community, but fiercely intelligent. They have all the tools they need to craft some amazing works of art and innovative technological beasts.

There is a hardcore contingency of eight people who regularly attend HACMan at MadLab and their weekly evening meetings encourage people to work on various projects. From multi-media displays to electronic cars to computer systems and woodwork art projects requiring functionality and movement.

As a collective organisation, the more members they have, the more they can do. More people means more ideas, more equipment and ultimately more exciting and innovative projects.

The group welcome everyone from students who need one-off advice sessions for their academic programmes to regular contributors who need an alternative outlet to the day job.

But, what’s their most immediate and pressing objective? Get a 3D printer.

Because that would be ace. And then they really could take over the world.

You can attend free weekly meetings with HACMan on Wednesdays from 7pm to 11pm. For further information about the group visit their website here.

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