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Knowle West Media Centre

Knowle West Media Centre
Our Mission
“Making fair and thriving neighbourhoods with art, tech & care.”


Bristol Living Lab is run by Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), a UK based non-profit arts organisation with 20 years’ experience of working with communities and individuals to understand how creativity and digital technologies can be utilised to meet local needs.



Our Approach

We are based within the community of Knowle West, an area of approximately 5,500 households in the south of Bristol. Like communities in many cities, Knowle West ranks highly in government indices of multiple deprivation. Projects are commissioned by a wide range of government, academic, voluntary and public sector organisations, from local groups to national organisations, and KWMC is an active participant in European projects.


We are a community based ‘enabler-driven’ living lab: KWMC acts as a ‘broker’ between citizens and organisations, ensuring that each participant in a particular project is able to contribute their knowledge and experience. KWMC adopts an ‘action research’ approach, where continual reflection and evaluation are built into the working process, and this enables KWMC to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of partners and communities.


We have a wide range of citywide, regional and international networks that we actively work with and take a ‘Commons’ Approach to sharing knowledge and learning. Whilst we work ‘hyper locally’ within our community we are committed to sharing what we do with an invitation to ‘adopt and adapt’ to suit your Living Lab context.


We have 3 organising themes:


Community Wealth Building Ensuring the skills, know-how, changing narratives, and the economic, cultural and social change that we create, benefits the community and builds a Thriving neighbourhood. That wealth does not flow through without ‘sticking’ to the neighbourhood and benefiting residents.


Social InfrastructureSocial infrastructure refers to the physical places, spaces and organisations that shape our capacity to interact with one another and supports physical transformation and tangible change, linking to the Making.


Fair Transition For us a fair transition is a set of practices that builds economic and decision making power in the neighbourhood – moving from extractive practices to a regenerative economy. This includes our approach to production and consumption being waste free and always environmentally aware.  Our focus prioritises:


    • Engaging with rapid technological change – going beyond ‘tech for good’ to tech that is developed with the community, understood, empowers and addresses neighbourhood challenges.
    • Climate and ecological emergency – acting locally but understanding local and global impacts
    • Intergenerational, class and racial justice – establishing fairer ways of living for all.
    • Sharing knowledge equitably, with open access to information – supporting the Commons and encouraging the pooling of resources and know – how.


Creative and tech projects are clustered into portfolios that reflect these themes.



Examples of Bristol Living Lab projects include:


  • KWMC: The Factory – a new digital manufacturing space that offers access to tools, training and rapid prototyping, using CNC routers and laser cutters. It supports makers at all stages of the innovation process, from design and development through to prototyping and production, and offers services to a range of local people, schools, businesses and artists.
  • WeCanMake – uses an asset-based approach to re-imagine “how to do housing” differently. It starts with the know-how and resources the community already has, and uses a process of creative co-design to work with people to develop the tools to do housing on their terms.
  • Come Together – explored how we stay connected through the COVID-19 pandemic and what new ‘hybrid’ spaces  we could imagine and create, using a mix of digital and physical spaces and tools we co-created new inclusive spaces / experiences for coming together.
  • Future Makers – Future Makers is a programme where people can ‘have a go’ at designing and making things. f They can work on something small such bird tables, right up to outdoor furniture or redesigning the homes themselves.
  • Maker City – We believe that young people should have the chance to access and explore the exciting world of digital making. Maker City is Jump Studios‘ programme for makers aged 10 – 15. Young people experiment with a range of digital manufacturing technologies, including laser cutting, robotics, vacuum forming, 3D scanning all whilst learning about the product design process and social action campaigning.
  • TwinENERGY – TwinERGY is a three-year EU research project testing an Energy Demand Response Framework, a technology solution that supports households with sustainable energy generation (e.g. solar panels) to actively manage and adapt their energy use to market fluctuations through the help of data and automation. With the aim of saving energy, money and carbon emissions.
  • ParCos (Participatory Communication of Science) – an EU project that supports people to collect scientific data and interpret and communicate it themselves through a range of practical citizen science activities. It also explores the issue of misinformation and how scientific data and research can sometimes be distorted or misrepresented when it is shared.
  • University of Local Knowledge – explores, uncovers and celebrates the skills, talents and expertise that exist in Knowle West and the surrounding areas. It has collected 970 short films and other resources which are organised into courses on  ULK challenges perceptions of how we gain, use and value knowledge and promotes the value of community-led learning alongside more traditional academic understandings of knowledge.
Carolyn Hassan [javascript protected email address]
United Kingdom
Leinster Avenue
Artificial IntelligenceAgriculture & Agri-foodCulture & CreativityEnergyEnvironmentHealth & WellbeingSocial Inclusion & innovation
Knowle West Media Centre

Historically Labelled Living Labs


Since its formation in 2006 ENoLL has labelled 440+ Living Labs. See the full list of Labelled Living Labs who are not active members of the network.



Torino City Lab (Italy) – 5G towards 6G for Citiverse: How AI, IoT, Blockchain, and XR are driving urban innovation in future Cities & Communities

Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024
Turin, Italy
The international event will take place in Torino on June 18th, 2024 and will be focused on showcasing and promoting the debate among Public Authorities, Research and Industry on concrete advancements in the application of 5 to 6G emerging technologies solutions for urban innovation towards the upcoming European paradigm of “CitiVerse”.

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