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Archive for November, 2021


Here at Knowle West Media Centre we take great pride on doing what’s best for the environment and taking care of our earth. During COP26, which closed on Friday of last week, we spent that time sharing different practices throughout the media centre that have environmental benefits.

Our aim was to collate a large collection of resources that people, both in the local and wider community, could either use in their day-to-day life or in more specific areas.

If you read on, you can find these resources at the bottom of each of the sections, which consist of different practices we are celebrating.

Green influencers

Jump Studios‘ have been running sessions with ‘Green Influencers’.

The ‘Green Influencers’ scheme, supported by the ‘The Ernest Cook Trust‘, aim to get young people more engaged with the environment and they also have a huge array of workshops and resources available on their website from their annual conference – as well as even more resources they recommend such as a workshop on a ‘Conservation & Environmental Activities Online’, a free online ‘natured connectedness’ course by Professor David Sheffield and many more. For all of these resources click here.

The sessions we have been running with young people, aged 10 to 14, have been all about inspiring a younger generation to create social action projects and help educate them on carbon emissions. From bird boxes and bug hotels to games and short films, the young people have been developing an array of projects they will be creating over the coming months. 

Tales of Care & Repair 

‘Tales of Care & Repair’ is a project that brought together community members and local residents to share their knowledge and experience of repairing objects.

The organisation wanted to build a repository of ‘stories’, featuring everyday repaired objects, aiming to collect 1000 images which people can upload to their website with tagged details about the repair. Alongside their website, they have been holding workshops in New Delhi (India), Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and Bristol, which is where we got involved.

If you want to be inspired by ways of repairing everyday objects, or get involved by uploading your own tale of care and repair, then click here and if you would like hear from the Factory ‘INSPIRE’ talk click here.

Factory Takeover

‘KWMC The Factory’ opened the doors to a newly renovated space to families for ‘The Factory Takeover Day’ (in collaboration with Maker City). On this day, families were able to experiment with biomaterials before learning about biodiversity and how they can help with the climate issue. They were able to craft their own protest placards with slogans such as ‘You can’t eat money’ and ‘There is no Planet B,’ whilst learning about how the factory recycles plastic offcuts and waste into new recycled sheets.

This day provided an opportunity for families to spend valuable time together while also making a difference in the fight against climate change.

As part of the day, there are two resources we offered to help families explore simple and creative ways to reduce their household waste. Both of which we are making available for you. The first is a waste audit sheet, designed to be used over the course of a week, to measure both your recycled and non-recycled waste to help see your own habits and where they could be improved. The second is a magazine, completed by ‘KWMC The Factory’,’Bristol Bath Creative‘ and ‘ParCos Project‘, filled with stories and advice for reducing household waste.

Forms of Intelligence

During COP26, we also chose this time to launch a very exciting, nature-focused art project called ‘Forms of Intelligence’.

The project, held throughout 2020, brought people in the UK and internationally together to ask the question: what can we learn from animal and plant intelligence?

It resulted in a website, which includes the inspiration cards for co-species care (designed by Kaajal Modi), collate insights from the Forms of Intelligence project.

Community activists, artists, and researchers – with specialisms in: spiders, trees, fungi, butterflies, soil, bees, dogs, birds, robotics and visual arts – were invited to participate in online and offline co-creation activities facilitated by Martha King, arts programme manager at KWMC, and Nicole Foster, researcher at Digital Cultures Research Centre. The insights from the project have been collated into a beautiful set of inspiration cards for co-species care and accompanying booklet. You can play with the cards today online through the website.

KWMC Sustainability Meet-Ups and Discussions

We set up a sustainability working group with representatives from each of our internal teams: KWMC The Factory, Young People’s Programme, Arts, Sustainable Neighbourhoods, Living Labs and our Core team. The group has regular meet-ups, roughly every 2 months, to discuss sustainability considerations and look more closely at our organisational impact.

What we have found is that to make a difference, you must firstly understand where you can improve. You can see below an image of a graph we have found particularly helpful in measuring where we need to better understand.

If you are a member of an organisation looking to address their own sustainability, please feel free to get in touch to find out more about the process we have adopted.

We The Curious    

This half-term, Jump Studios helped young people aged 10 to 16 learn the basics of photography. It got them out on the streets of Bristol to take photos as part of the ‘We The Curious‘ photography call-out for COP26. The callout asked young people to “photography the Bristol you see in response to the theme ‘This can change’ and be part of an exhibition to help inspire action for a more sustainable future.”     

‘We The Curious’ are to shortlist ten submissions from young people across Bristol but we thought we would share just some of the incredible work the young people that came to the photography programme have done. We are really proud of the work the young people have created that reflects their opinion on environmental issues through artistic expression. 

We Can Make

Whilst most of the practices we shared our more singular events, the ‘We Can Make‘ project is one of our ongoing teams – dedicated to a new approach to housing in the area.

‘We Can Make’ is an eco-friendly housing project in Knowle West. With strong environmental credentials, these homes are designed by Studio Bark and uses 50% less carbon to make than the average UK new build. The designs also make space for nature by including green roofs, bike storage and landscaping that encourages biodiversity. 

The ‘We Can Make’ project is available to Knowle West residents in need of housing however, we would like to recommend an incredible resource for developers: Building with Nature. ‘Building with Nature’ are another organisation who have created a set of standards which provide planners and developers with evidence-based, how-to guidance on delivering high-quality green infrastructure.

KWMC The Factory

‘KWMC The Factory’ is a community innovation space for making, digital manufacturing and product design that puts sustainability and sustainable approaches at its core. With its new refurbishment and expansion, The Factory is home to a range of traditional and digital fabrication equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters and a CNC router, working alongside kit such as shredders and heat presses (to reform and re-use plastic waste) and a bioplastics kitchen (to explore sustainable alternatives to plastics and resin).

The Factory delivers skills, outreach and business development support for its members, trainees and the local community which have sustainable practices embedded within them. It also offers a commercial fabrication and cutting service which again, champions the use of sustainable or recycled materials wherever possible.

It is available as a resource for the local and wider community to use so if you are interested in exploring sustainable making, membership or would just like to find out more about The Factory, contact or click here.

Other Organisations to Highlight

Aside from our own practices, we also wanted to bring some attention to a few other organisations that we think are doing great things to create a positive change and implement new practices. 

  • ‘Walk2COP26‘ is an organisation using the occasion of COP26 and the mechanism of a walk to engage individuals and groups on climate change. The stories they have heard from their walk have been recorded and will be played back on their social media accounts.
  • ‘Bristol Green Capital Partnership’ is a unique partnership of over 1,000+ member organisations who have committed to working towards Bristol becoming a sustainable city with a high-quality of life for all. They are constantly running multiple projects throughout Bristol.
  • ‘The Cabot Institute’ is a diverse community of 600 experts united by a common cause: protecting our environment and identifying ways of living better with our changing planet. This offers a way for people and organisations to collaborate, research and make a difference with the best fitting environmental expert.

We hope these resources can be useful in some way for you. We keep the environment and sustainability as very important values during the work we do with the community and are proud to continue that work.

Come Together Weekender 18 – 21 November

Welcome to the Come Together Weekender! 

A four day gathering of talks, workshops, and events exploring how we can connect through a mix of in-person and virtual, or ‘hybrid’ spaces.

Join us for online + in-person workshops, activities and events.

Day 1: Inclusion in Action,

What happens to ‘hybrid’ when you start with access and inclusion?

Come Together for a day of creative play centring expertise from disability cultures and activists. End the day with a disability-centric nightlife party brought to you by the New York based REMOTE ACCESS organising collective.

Find out more about these events and how to book HERE

Day 2: Making it Sensory

How can we make digital experiences sensory, warm and engaging? 

Come Together to imagine our own sensory utopias and connect through smell, taste and conversation including an event with artist Linda Brothwell. End the day with a special Cook-a-long with Grizedale Arts.

Find out more about these events and how to book HERE

Day 3: Imagining for real

How can we use a mix of tools to include everyone in neighbourhood visioning?

Come Together for a day of neighbourhood imagining from where ever you are. Take part in online and in-person workshops with artists including Malcolm Hamilton of Play:Disrupt at Knowle West Media Centre.

Find out more about this days events and how to book HERE

Day 4: Claiming the right to rest

How can we access and enjoy the spaces of rest we need to find peace and wellbeing?

Come Together to relax at the end of the weekender featuring workshops by artists including Emma Blake Morsi. Take a pause and claim your right to rest.

Find out more about this days events and how to book HERE

Come Together is an Arts Council England funded project aiming to unpack and explore what ‘Hybrid’ is and could mean. ‘Hybrid’ is often referred to as a way of connecting people who are present in-person and virtually.  Through four creative residencies in Knowle West this year artists and the local community have been coming together to experiment with ‘hybrid’ connection. Through the Weekender we will share some of what’s been happening in Knowle West this summer, whilst also celebrating excellent national / international practice in the field and of course opening up more questions together.

Garden Vitals

KWMC have been working with artist Kasia Molga:  to explore how environmental sensors could help growers, plants and pollinators to:

Relate differently: developing more caring and mutually beneficial relationships

Connect more: forming new networks of knowledge and support   

Communicate better: experiencing new ways to share/sense data 

Through 2021 Kasia has been working with the first local Knowle West residents to have We Can Make homes, as well as local expert growers and gardeners from Knowle West. Kasia, who is based in Kent, has been leading hybrid workshops to explore what sensors can do and how we could use them to help us understand & relate to our gardens better.

From these sessions we found out that most people wanted to know how to care for their plants – especially when to water the plants and wondered if there could be some way for the garden to communicate its needs more clearly. Together they designed an object to go in your garden which would tell you when a plant was thirsty by playing a tune through a music box and showing simple messages like ‘I need water’ on a small screen or through flashing lights.

Prototype of the ‘Garden Vitals’ sensor box made by Kasia Molga in collaboration with KWMC local residents

Kasia explains that, “The music box plays when soil needs water. Moisture was mapped with the help from Don – local expert grower, and experience of his finger in various types of soil and its moisture, dependent on types of plants. Needless to say that no device will ever measure up to the knowledge and experience of our elders. It is such an honour to try to preserve & share his wisdom”.

The latest workshop involved local residents designing creative casing for the sensors so they can be waterproofed. Brilliant ideas came up from casing the sensors to look like mini houses or beautiful hearts. Prototyping and testing is happening now, including how to power the sensors using solar.  

The aim is that every new We Can Make home has one of these musical sensor boxes as part of the ‘Kit of Parts’ welcome pack and perhaps, in the future, Knowle West will have a unique sensor network of gardens and humans in communication. 

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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