Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) supports people to harness the power of technology and creativity to develop new tools and ideas that will benefit people and the planet. As Bristol’s Living Lab, we support communities, entrepreneurs and organizations to come together to innovate, experiment and address social challenges.
KWMC is a digital arts center and charity based in Knowle West, South Bristol. Since 1996, our team has supported people to use creative technology to imagine and enact the change they want to see in their lives and communities.
Knowle West is an area of approximately 12,000 people. It may not immediately call to mind ‘smart tech’ or ‘innovation’, but it’s proven an exciting test bed for new ideas – with innovation driven by community needs.
Our work has a local focus and a national and international reach: many of our programs take place in Knowle West and Bristol but our practice – the way we deliver these activities – is shared and replicated elsewhere.
Co-creation and collaboration are central to our work, ensuring that innovations and programs are developed by people, rather than pushed onto them as pre-determined technical ‘solutions’.
Our co-created tools and approaches have been shared widely, through networks including the European Network of Living Labs and with partners on international ‘smart city’ initiatives. These include:
OUR CURRENT WORK INCLUDES:
In the last 10 years, we have engaged over 20,000 individuals across Knowle West, Bristol, and the world.
In 2018 KWMC was named as one of Creative England’s CE50 – an annual list of “the most exciting, innovative and disruptive creative companies and individuals.” Creative England praised KWMC for “exceptional work within the local community” and driving “real change”.
In 2018 our housing initiative We Can Make was named one of Nesta and The Observer New Review’s ‘New Radicals’.
In 2017 The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing earned URBACT Good Practice status.
Our vision for Bristol is a city of inclusive growth, where valuing and learning from different perspectives, and championing diversity of thought, are central to innovation. Through our work, we want to ensure that everyone, particularly those most at risk of social and digital exclusion, can access technology, knowledge, and ideas, so that, together, we can create equitable solutions to society’s challenges.