In November 2014 Knowle West Media Centre launched a six-month programme of design, digital manufacture and construction: the Eagle House Pop-Up Furniture Factory. The factory was located on Newquay Road, within the former Eagle House Youth Centre which closed in 2014. It was leased and operated by KWMC, working in partnership with local social enterprise re:work.
The pilot programme grew out of research and experiences in our Green & Digital Business Programme, which supported local people to set up their own small enterprises and make a living by doing what they love.
The latest Quality of Life survey by Bristol City Council (2013) reported that satisfaction with jobs is very low in the Filwood ward, at just 12%. The Furniture Factory hired two local residents as paid trainees and offered a range of volunteering opportunities. During the six months of the factory’s operation, we were also able to offer a programme of workshops where people could learn about digital manufacturing techniques and try out the CNC router and laser cutter.
Eagle House Pop-Up Furniture Factory was commissioned to produce high-quality office furniture to kit out the Filwood Green Business Park, which opened in May 2015. Over a six-month period, a team of artists and designers, including Hot Soup House and 00:/, worked with Knowle West residents to design, make and install nearly 500 pieces of wooden furniture. This included meeting tables, work desks, armchairs, and laptop bars, which can be adjusted and used as a standing workspace.
Some pieces were made from scratch using ‘open source’ designs, which were shared via the Open Desk platform. Others were ‘upcycled’ from the unused chipboard desks brought out of Council storage.
KWMC’s lease of the Eagle House building ended in May 2015 but the story isn’t over! The KWMC team moved into one of the business units at Filwood Green Business Park and established KWMC: The Factory – a new space for making, digital fabrication and product design in the heart of South Bristol.
Banner photo: Photography © Max McClure
The Eagle House Pop Up Furniture Factory has now moved to the newly-opened Filwood Green Business Park - after making hundreds of pieces of furniture for the building. The Business Park was officially opened by Bristol Mayor George Ferguson to enthusiastic crowds last week - and will provide a new home for environmental businesses across the city. Mr Ferguson said the new...