Tweet: RT @WeCanMake_: ūü§Ē All very neatly wrapped! But what is it? Come down to the Bristol Housing Festival & find out. @Bristol_HF starts Friday.‚Ķ


Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Music and performance live-streamed from Knowle West

This September, KWMC artist in residence Marc Blazel will be running a live music and performance session at Filwood Community Centre. Marc will be joined by local and UK-based artists who will be performing a short experimental set in front of a green screen.

You can watch the live stream on Marc’s Youtube channel¬†between 6 – 8.30pm on Sunday 9 September¬† 2018.

Marc’s residency is part of¬†Living, Working, Making Together, a programme of artist residencies in Knowle West exploring how¬†artists and communities live, work and make together.

Over the last few months, Marc has been investigating Knowle West TV Рan early community cable TV project first broadcast on Bristol Channel in the 1970s.  KWMC was given access to 23 hours of Knowle West TV footage in 2014 and hosted a programme of activities in 2015 to share the footage with the community, including daily screenings  and a discussion about the past, present and future of community media.

In 2018, Marc is asking the question: ‚Äėwhat could Knowle West TV could look like today?‚Äô He is also interested in the cross-over between digital and real-life communities.

Marc has been interviewing people involved with Knowle West TV as well as filming some of the activity that takes place at Filwood Community Centre.  To make his video works, Marc blends layers of video to create a digital collage.

To find out more contact Hannah: e-mail¬†¬†or¬†call 0117 903 0444.¬† See more of Marc’s work online here.

Cast your vote for The Factory and help people #makeit in Bristol

We’re delighted that we’ve been shortlisted for the¬†NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund for the second year running!

Cast your vote for KWMC in the public vote and help more people #MakeItInBristol!

Since receiving funding from the Skills & Opportunities fund last¬†year, we’ve supported over 70 people from South Bristol to develop skills in design and digital manufacturing and we’ve seen two new businesses created.¬†Some of¬†last year’s¬†course participants summarised their experiences:

“We didn‚Äôt think we could do this before we started the course.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThe workshops have given me new skills to put on my¬†CV so in the long run I can get a better job […] As¬†soon as you know how to use that laser cutter there ain‚Äôt¬†nothing you can‚Äôt¬†make.‚ÄĚ

“Really informative and providing me with useful training to apply to my¬†practice.”

This year’s¬†Make It workshops will use a different format to enable us to support more people, in more areas of Bristol. We hope to support¬†102 people across beginner and intermediate courses: the Beginner courses will cover an introduction to digital manufacturing, practical making skills and using design software, while the Intermediate courses will¬†work with those who are ready to explore¬†enterprise in more detail, including budgeting,¬†costing and creating products, and marketing.

The¬†Make It courses will be delivered both at our digital manufacturing space KWMC: The Factory¬†and in¬†community¬†settings, with a specific focus on neighbourhoods where people need more opportunities to develop skills and explore enterprise. The latest Deprivation in Bristol Report (2015) identifies areas of Bristol where the number of residents affected by employment deprivation is as high as 1 in 4. It also states¬†that ‘South Bristol is particularly affected with extremes of Education, Skills and Training Deprivation’, with¬†some areas having a high¬†proportion of working age adults with no or low qualifications.

You could help us change this and help people #MakeItInBristol by casting your vote for The Factory: find out more about our proposal and vote online here.

A vote for KWMC and KWMC: The Factory is a vote for developing skills, making products and realising dreams!

The Factory¬†is KWMC’s making and training space: as well as providing¬†commissions for clients The Factory¬†provides opportunities for everyone to “make it” by opening up access to¬†new tools, technologies and training.

Image: Stride Treglown

Hiring: Manga / comic book artists for a 10 week young people’s project

Knowle West Media Centre is running a 10 week manga / comic creation course for young people this Autumn (from 13th September) and we’re looking for a dynamic and talented artist/facilitator to lead the course.

The course will cover storytelling, design, digital and traditional comic styles, and creating a one-sheet comic ready for launch at South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo in November. 


Ideally you’ll have experience of youth work and designing creative courses for young people, alongside having passion and experience for comic book creation. Sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 4.30 Р7.30pm, working with young creatives aged 10-19.

We will be contacting and arranging interviews with applicants via phone/skype on a rolling basis, so if this is something you’re interested in doing please get in touch with by midday on 4th September and include up to 150 words explaining your experience, why you want to be involved in the project and provide links to your work.

The fee for the course facilitator is £600. An enhanced DBS check will also be required.

Good luck!

Tech on the Table is a smash hit

“Everyone is just ready to try something new; they are curious and motived‚ÄĚ

Our Tech on the Table summer activities¬†launched on 8th August with another group of excited 10-16 year olds ready to embark on a creative journey. Two days almost didn’t seem enough for a course that included building robots, interacting with At-Bristol’s fully functioning NAO robot and the Minecraft sessions that continue to be a hit. With some help from our friends at Digimakers¬†from the University of Bristol as well as a handful of other friendly volunteers, it was finally tech time.


Day One

If you walked into KWMC on¬†8th August you’d have felt the energy of over 25 young people ready to tackle tech like few of them had ever done before! Meeting in the building’s main studio space, KWMC’s Dot Baker explained what was going to be happening over the two days.

Harry Gee, who currently works on robot education products with the help of Bristol Robotics Lab, led the Pi robot building session.  Those who attended learned how to assemble, code and activate the machine, before seeing it in action. Other sessions included gaming and digital design and our great team of young volunteers had the young people fully engaged.

¬†‚ÄúThey‚Äôre keen and they are up for it!‚ÄĚ – Harry Gee

“We really enjoyed today. Everyone is just ready to try something new, they are curious and motived‚ÄĚ – The Digimakers student team from University of Bristol

Day Two

Our second day started off with a bang as Beth Cotterell from At-Bristol came to visit, bringing her friend Nell, the NAO robot that so many people have been talking about. As well as all of the young people taking part in the Summer Programme, staff and volunteers came along to Beth’s session too: Nell the artificial intellectual brought young and older visitors together to share¬†a memorable experience. It was a s stand-out moment mixed with a feel-good one: we love a good win-win situation!

Building on the excitement of the NAO robot, the other sessions kept up the high pace of the day. The young people, who had begun to form bonds with each other, got stuck in to digital illustration. At  the end of the day it was great to see so many parents staying around to talk to the staff and young people alike about the day, the buzz from the morning undoubtedly still in the air.

Interested in trying coding, robotics or other tech activities?  Our after-school groups start back after the summer holidays on 11th September; visit the Jump Studios page or contact us on 0117 903 0444 or social media to find out more!

Job Vacancy: Citizen Sensing Coordinator

Looking for a job in Bristol that mixes technology, data, sensors and working with communities?  Knowle West Media Centre is looking to recruit a Citizen Sensing Coordinator to support people to harness the power of sensing technologies and data for the common good.

The Coordinator will play a key role in delivering an exciting and challenging programme of work using The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing ‚Äď a framework that puts communities and their needs at the heart of innovation.

‘Citizen Sensing’ is a process where people build, use, or act as sensors ‚Äď for example, identifying and gathering information (data) that will help them to tackle an issue that‚Äôs important to them. This sensing process could involve creating a bespoke sensor from scratch or using a piece of technology that already has an in-built sensor, like a smartphone. However simple or complex the technology, and whatever the data being gathered, citizen sensing is about empowering and enabling people to use technology for social good.

The Citizen Sensing Coordinator should have enthusiasm for and excellent knowledge of building and prototyping sensors and IoT (Internet of Things) devices and a good understanding of data collection.

37 hours a week for 10 months ‚Äď fixed term contract
¬£21,502 ‚Äď ¬£25,085 per annum depending on experience

For more details and how to apply visit our Jobs page.

Closing date for applications: 9am, Monday 6th March 2017. Interviews will be held on Thursday 9th March 2017.

Knowle West shortlisted for Smart Communities Award

kw-smart21-logoKnowle West, Bristol, has been named as one of the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) Smart21 Communities of 2017. ¬†This select group of communities from around the world emerged from a group of nearly 400 – and are in contention to be named 2017’s Intelligent Community of the Year.

‚ÄúThe¬†Smart21¬†list always has a few surprises,‚ÄĚ said ICF co-founder Louis Zacharilla.¬† ‚ÄúThis one definitely does.‚Ä̬† He noted that the list rarely includes the biggest cities with global reputations: ‘it is a group of cities, counties and rural communities that decided to apply digital tools to building local economies and societies to prosper in an age of digital disruption.’

Knowle West is the only community in the UK to make the shortlist and is named alongside seven communities from Canada, five from Taiwan, four from Australia, and one each from Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States.

‚ÄúWe find that it is the ones who collaborate with national or state governments, fly under the radar, and are ‚ÄėNo Name‚Äô communities to most of the world that are most innovative and aggressive,‚ÄĚ said ICF co-founder John Jung.¬† ‚ÄúThey are not afraid of new ideas and use strategies proven by Intelligent Communities around the world.¬†¬† They are places that the rest of the world can learn from and offer hope to people who are fighting hard to launch a new future, and create early stage investment opportunities to the outside world.‚ÄĚ

KWMC is¬†delighted that Knowle West has been recognised as a place of innovation, creativity and action: where¬†passionate¬†people make, challenge and explore new technologies in order to shape and improve their lives and communities. You can find out more about some of the work we’re currently doing¬†here.

About the ICF

The Intelligent Community Forum (, headquartered in New York, is a global movement of nearly 150 cities, metro regions and counties with a think tank at its heart. ICF studies and promotes the best practices of the world’s Intelligent Communities as they adapt to the new demands and seize the opportunities presented by information and communications technology (ICT). To help cities and regions build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures, the Intelligent Community Forum conducts research, hosts global events, publishes books, and produces its high-profile annual international awards program.


Retro tech meets virtual reality

 This half term the futuristic world of virtual reality will collide with the nostalgic realm of console gaming as the South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo returns for its second year.

On Saturday 22 and 23 October Knowle West Media Centre will host a celebration of gaming, digital media and art which will bring together retro games and new technology.

  • Do you grab your headset and enter a new digital world when you game?
  • Do you remember the days of consoles and cartridges, and Sonic vs Mario?
  • Or do you prefer your games to have boards and pieces, with no tech in sight?!

The South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo is suitable for all ages and will include a retro gaming area (featuring consoles including SEGA Megadrive and Nintendo64), a board game station, cardboard arcade, and an opportunity to try new virtual reality technologies.

There will also be a gallery exhibition of emerging artists, screenings of anime films, workshops exploring comic production, and a chance to have your photo taken in a pop-up studio.

The event runs from 10am-5pm on 22 and 23 October. Young people aged 19 and under go free and adult tickets cost £5 in advance.  Tickets can be booked online at and under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information contact Mena Fombo, Young People’s Programme Manager, on 0117 903 0444 or e-mail

Tinkering at KWMC: The Factory

Over the last few weeks, the¬†team at KWMC: The Factory¬†have been¬†making¬†new pieces of furniture and exhibits for an exciting new space in At-Bristol –¬†one of the UK‚Äôs leading interactive science centres. Opening this summer, the At-Bristol Tinkering Space aims to inspire the inventor in us all and enable visitors to turn their ideas into something they can touch, design and modify.

Opening on 23 July, the permanent exhibition will include a ‚ÄėBaxter‚Äô robot (the first in a UK science centre), two 3D printers, an air table for testing flying devices, Shadow Theatres, make-your-own ball runs, and more. The space will be open every day, and will include some guided activities with the Live Science Team, which will run for visitors and school groups.¬†For more details visit the¬†At-Bristol website.

Watch this space for photos of the furniture we’ve made!

Photo credit: Joe Meredith

Success for The Factory in Skills & Opportunities fund

We are delighted to announce that Knowle West Media Centre has been awarded a share of NatWest’s £2.5 million Skills and Opportunities Fund.

We have been awarded £23,965 to provide workshops at our training and making space KWMC The Factory. These workshops will support 120 people, particularly those currently under-represented in enterprise, to develop the skills and knowledge to thrive in the manufacturing and making industries.

KWMC is one of three organisations selected in the South West, alongside¬†I Can Do That CIC in Torquay and¬†West Devon Business Information Point in Okehampton. The Skills & Opportunities Fund¬†‘supports organisations in disadvantaged communities that help people develop, create, or access the skills and opportunities they need to get into work or start a business.’¬†Charities, not-for-profit organisations and state-funded schools and colleges can apply for up to ¬£35,000 each for a specific project from the fund.

Oliver Watts, Chairman of NatWest’s South West and Wales Regional Board, said: ‚ÄúIt was a challenging decision because of the standard of entries we received. But the panel felt that all¬†of the¬†organisations would make a massive impact in their local communities.”

We know that satisfaction with local jobs is very low in our area Рaround 12% in the latest neighbourhood statistical report Рand this funding will enable us to support more people to explore the possibilities of self-employment. Over the next few months we’ll be delivering a range of skills development workshops in digital fabrication, prototyping and product design, and we’re looking forward to supporting more local people, from all backgrounds, to make it in business.

A huge thank you to everyone who voted for KWMC in the public vote and helped to spread the word about our programme. ¬†Watch this space for more information…

If you’d like to register your interest in the ‘Making it in Business’ workshops please contact Justin Ricks on 0117 903 0444 or



Change Creators in Barcelona

The Change Creators spent some time in Barcelona from 10th Р13th April, with two full days of workshops in the Barcelona Fab Lab, which is part of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

On Monday the group received a talk from Guillem Camporodon on the development of computers. He took the Change Creators through their history and how the demand for them has increased so rapidly, sharing a 1958 quote from Thomas John Watson: ‚ÄúI think there is a world market for about five computers‚ÄĚ. Guillem also explained the development of 3D printers and how they are being used all around the world. The group had a full tour of the building and an up close and personal look at 3D printers.

The Change Creators then spoke to Mara Balestrini, Director of Research for Ideas for Change, who has been collaborating with KWMC to develop The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing (which the Change Creators are part of). Mara spoke to the group about connecting people with sensor technology, the challenges involved and what to think about when encouraging citizens to use sensors. She gave examples of projects that had failed and flourished, giving a detailed explanation as to why.

The afternoon was spent exploring Arduinos with Guillem Camporodon and he also introduced the Change Creators to the ‚Äėsmart citizen‚Äô kits. In pairs the group set up the kits around the Fab Lab, both inside and outside, ready to collect data for them to visualise the next day.

The next morning the group sat down with Guillem and Mara to present their ideas for using sensor technology within their campaigns: reducing food waste and diversifying mental health support services for young people. Mara and Guillem challenged some of the ideas, encouraging the Change Creators to reflect further, and offered their expertise, gained through similar projects and experience.

In the afternoon the group were ready to input the data, collected the previous night, into Adobe Illustrator and visualise it using a laser cutter. They decided what they wanted to visualise, with Chelsea and Yelena focusing on comparing the CO2 levels in Santiago and Barcelona. Through this exercise, the Change Creators got a first-hand experience of how sensors can enable you to be creative with the data they gather.

The two days were successful in helping the Change Creators understand sensors and data visualisation:

‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt know it could be so creative‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Chelsea
‚ÄúI‚Äôve learned so much in a great, fun engaging way‚ÄĚ- Charlie
‚ÄúI‚Äôve learned so much, I‚Äôve got so many ideas about what I can do for my project‚ÄĚ – Yelena
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been really hands-on. We‚Äôve been talking about these concepts for so long and seeing them in action has been really valuable‚ÄĚ – Andrea


Contact Us

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

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