12 May 2023
From a young age, Steven Vincent was always drawn to making and experimenting. He would enjoy using his hands and making and creating things. This has not changed.
Fast forward to May 2014 and during the build of Basestation (Steven’s other baby), an idea started forming for a “space for making” to complement the co-working space. As Steven began to share his vision and concept, it became apparent that there was a gap in the market and a real demand from the “makers”.
When Steven was invited (or coerced depending on who you ask!) to the Board of STEM Wana Trust back in 2019, he saw an opportunity to develop his long-standing vision for a community driven makerspace project under the banner of STEM. It was just a matter of translating what had existed in his head for many years into reality.
And that’s where Tia Lush comes in, a graphic designer by day and founder of Tauranga’s STEM Festival and Tinkd by night/any free time she gets! Tia gave Steven the push he needed and helped bring his vision to life. In early 2020, Tinkd was born.
So, what’s with the weird name? Tinkering has always been something that resonates with Steven. It is a transitive verb: to repair, adjust, or experiment with. Tinker. So, when they were looking for a name that was short, memorable and conveyed the purpose the team naturally gravitated towards “Tinkd”. Yes, it’s totally a made-up word, but they like it for being different and unique, just like their makers.
Simply put, Tinkd is a place for making, collaborating, learning and sharing. A place where you learn by doing. A place that encourages the mindset of being a creator, not just a consumer. A community resource available to anyone of a curious nature, with the sharing of tools, equipment and knowledge, regardless of age, ability, experience, or social economic status.
There are six zones currently, which include 3D printing, laser cutting and etching, robotics, textiles, computing/technology, electronics, and vinyl decal/heat transfer. They are always looking to add additional zones to make Tinkd a one-stop makers shop, and are currently exploring options for woodwork, metal work and CNC router – watch this space. Tinkd is also home to the Tauranga Repair Café, a free monthly event where the public and volunteers, who know how to fix things, come together and give objects destined for the landfill a second chance.
Maker sessions currently run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. Tinkd will (eventually) run 24/7 and have all the latest tools and equipment to enable and encourage life-long learning.
So, if you too like to tinker then make sure you book your free tour now. With maker members aged from 8 – 88, there is something for everyone. From a casual one-off maker membership, to monthly and annual memberships available. They also collaborate with community and youth groups, schools and business looking for team building exercises. The options really are endless inside Tinkd.