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Laurenz from DasLabor

Ross Dalziel @cheapjack edited this page Oct 26, 2018 · 4 revisions

Passing of Laurenz from Das Labor

Marcus one of the directors of Das Labor sent me some really sad news that Laurenz who took part in my Public Engineering project which was an exchange between DoES and DasLabor in 2014, now aged 23 was tragically murdered outside their hackspace in Bochum in September 2018.

I've included Laurenz' obituary that Marcus wrote, followed by my reflections on the project he did with us. I felt to be part of our permanent wiki was some sort of fitting tribute, although Sean Gleeson and I have also decided to include him as a brick on our wall of heroes.

Laurenz is pictured in the image above 4th from the left and below on the right arriving in Manchester Airport and posing in front of a Yuri Gagarin plaque.


In memory of Laurenz ✝ 12.9.2018

His death was pointless, but his life was filled with meaning and joy.

Laurenz found our club when he was 16 and immediately started exploring every nook and cranny. Soon he knew every project, every tool, and every screw. So you could always ask him if you were looking for something: Laurenz knew where it was! Playful and full of curiosity about the wonders of the world and technology, he joined our group and made the club his own.

We have learned with and from him. Laughed and celebrated with him when things went well. Got annoyed when something went wrong. We shared pizza and Mate with him. Soldered and tinkered with him, joked around and thought seriously. We argued with him heartily about the issues and then found solutions together. At the Ideen-Park, we hovered with him on a hoverboard. We built towers of cardboard with him. With weather balloons we explored the space with him.

Laurenz was an important driver for us. He has not resigned himself to grievances. But always looking for improvements, best immediately! Therefore, it was a pleasure for us that he was the first chairman of our club and represented it ex- and internally. Fair and understanding, and with a firm eye on the whole community, he has enriched us for many years. His commitment to the Labortage has given many people the opportunity to meet and exchange.

The influence of Laurenz on the community was not limited to Bochum, but was supraregional. As part of Chaos-West, he has worked with other communities throughout NRW. At the Congress of the CCC, a world public enjoyed every year the results of this cooperation! We lose a longtime member of our group, a first chairman, a dear friend. We are grateful for the many memories that will accompany us for a long time and make us laugh and cry.

What remains is an intimate wish and promise: that Laurenz lives on in us and through us.

We will never forget you!

LABOR e.V. Bochum

Laurenz and Public Engineering

Laurenz & Kai Arrive in Manchester to work on the DoES/DasLabor exchange June 2014


After their visit to DoES Kai and Laurenz returned to Bochum and he took a good deal of ownership of the project and put uncounted hours into energising the Das Labor community to make sure the project happened, even though it was just for an unknown artist in the uk he had only met for a few days. I only realised later, how much work he and Das Labor put in and for me Laurenz' generosity is what really makes hackerspace and makerspace cultures, in particular Das Labor special.

My project was simply to try reveal this to the art and cultural bodies in the city who seemed almost oblivious to their existence, when I found them immeadiately on the HackerspaceWiki. I think places like Das Labor and DoESLiverpool and many others remain the key to resilience in not just technical culture but more broadly in wider society and culture. I still think the bigger cultural organisations and local government need to be more aware of this.

It is down to the passion and care of people like Laurenz that makes any of this possible.

The amount of work was easily as big as the effort we put in for Maker Faire, if not more. Without me asking, the community made their own artworks and ran workshops at the event, behaving more like real artists than myself. I still don't think that project is 'mine'.

Laurenz made sure it all happened on time, borrowed vans, asked favours and stayed up all night helping to build a DIY Die-cutting machine with individual Stanley knife blades. It was truly epic s**t.

Their venue was in a rundown part of the city, beyond the border of gentrification, not unlike where we are now. I'm not demonising an area as to blame for what happened from my priviledged perspective; just often people making interesting things happen sometimes work in places that are not like shiny gated innovation parks and campuses.

I don't think anyone knows exactly what happened that night only that a young person had his life and future tragically taken away.

Rest in Peace Laurenz you did some epic work that we'll always remember.

Ross & DoES

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