AYCH GETS ‘Igneous Interactive’

by Rishi Bates (Senior Professional Youth Worker - Community Connections Plymouth City Council)

Back in early 2018 the Out Youth Project worked together to create a ‘Respect’ Graffiti Wall to brighten up the garden space at their centre. During this project the lead Youth Worker, Alison Feek, discussed an idea with two young people, Claire & Salina, about how to make a stone wall into something more interactive…They created interactive Augmented Reality images and an app to bring the wall to life! This was the conception of Igneous Interactive!

Following this Claire and Salina then attended a Creative Jam in Gijon, Spain in April 2019, immersing and learning more about creative tech and its creative application with European Partners (see here and short videos here & here). On their return, it became obvious that both Claire and Salina had a passion and zest to explore new creative possibilities. Thanks to the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs (AYCH) project, this was achievable. We began exploring the next step forward…

Igneous Interactive are currently been supported and nurtured as creative aych Interns with Fotonow, a local Community Interest Company (CIC), who work on the impetus of ‘Visual Culture for Social Change’.

In collaboration with Fotonow (CIC), Karen Ingham, and Igneous Interactive, we kicked off their AYCH internship with an immersive Virtual Reality and Mental Wellbeing project funded by AYCH and The National Lottery Community Fund; ‘SHIFT…Between our selves’.

We are still in the evaluation phase, and the report and film will be following shortly (pictures here). Prior to this, we worked with Igneous Interactive to buy and build PC’s powerful enough to run Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) software. After a few late nights, the PC machines came to life! 

With the machines built Igneous Interactive delivered several AR workshops over the summer period of 2018. There first time as facilitators and educators with young people!

As a way to explore, the potential of an income-generating stream, Igneous Interactive worked with Fotonow to run a series of short immersive workshops during the Ocean Studio’s Makers Market Weekend, and they had a very busy couple of days! 

Following the success of this pilot, Igneous Interactive will be running future public events in partnership with Fotonow, and recently Igneous supported Fotonow’s 10th Anniversary party, inviting guests to immerse in VR space!

At present, we are working on a Mayflower 400 bid, exploring new creative projects for 2020, and planning for the next international Creative Jam in Santo Tirso, where Igneous will be delivering as experts! Watch this space! For more information about Igneous Interactive, visit their website here.

AYCH TALENT: Yassin Razzouk at Devon County Council

My work placement at Devon County Council was very useful and educational having taught me some of the ins and outs of how a project manager operates and what’s expected from them. Having experienced some of the behind the scenes of project coordinating has led me to want to pursue a career within this sector and take on any challenges that may come along the way. My Work Experience mentor Oenone Thomas has also taught me many things from properly communicating with partners to analysing data.

Overall, I’ve learned many things from this week and would highly recommend to anyone that is interested in doing it. Thank you.

Young participants prototyped solutions together to produce what they need and consume locally with new sustainable product and service designs

AYCH Creative Jam, Fab City 

On 9 and 10 November, participants  from Plymouth Youth services, Plymouth College of Art and Ivybridge developed 4 impactful projects together for a sustainable future at the AYCH Creative Jam- an innovative, free two-day initiative to help young people develop their design thinking, digital making and enterprise skills. 

The Creative Jam is a 2-day event bringing young people, partners, agencies and decision makers together to facilitate an opportunity to ‘get creative’ and build prototypes to address societal issues through workshops and a hackathon.

For this one, we have selected the theme of “Fab City”. The Fab City is an international network of cities across the globe sharing a common objective: becoming locally productive by 2054.

The Fab City Global Initiative is envisioning and constructing possible

 urban futures by working at multiple and interconnected scales. Plymouth became the first UK Fab City over the summer 2019 and is now part of the international network together with Brest(France), Barcelona (Spain), Seoul (South Korea), and 28 other cities!

CONTEXT: By 2054 70% of us will live in cities. This rapid urbanization presents a grand challenge as well as a system-changing opportunity.

The broad and inspiring Fab City theme gathers 10 sub-themes: 

  1. ECOLOGICAL
  2. INCLUSIVE
  3. GLOCALISM
  4. PARTICIPATORY
  5. ECONOMIC GROWTH & EMPLOYMENT
  6. LOCALLY PRODUCTIVE
  7. PEOPLE-CENTRED
  8. HOLISTIC
  9. OPEN SOURCE PHILOSOPHY
  10. EXPERIMENTAL

Learn, Design, Create and Pitch Process

Over the two days, young people were encouraged to use design, creative thinking, and technology to build new sustainable ideas, products or services that will create the city, urban and rural spaces of the future. We asked participants to think about designing new ways of producing and making food, products and services local

ly while being connected globally, sharing open source tools and expertise. Experts from a range of sectors including the creative, technology and digital, startup and enterprise, were on hand to teach them creative, design and enterprise skills to help transform their ideas into reality.

Using tools ranging from 3D Printers to laser cutters, participants learned skills in Coding, 3D printing and Laser Scanning, Projection Mapping, Animation, Social Enterprise and even Virtual Reality. Throughout the course of the workshops,  young people formed teams to develop their ideas ready for pitching to a panel of expert judges at the end, who scored each idea for factors including how much social impact the project would have. 

4 Innovative projects for a sustainable Plymouth Fab City

#1 People & Plants – Winner of the Creative Jam Audience Vote & Most Impactful Project

6 inclusive centres in Plymouth to locally produce food 

Team Members: Hannah, Anya, Cain, Craig

  • Gardens for everyone – community centre’s to create a safe space for community people. 
  • Look at providing a safe space for everyone, grow fruit and veg to be sold back into the community.  Positive place for everyone, mental health, inclusions. Quiet spaces, café, fitness space. Build landscapes and plants for diff seasons, calm space include sensory room.  
  • Community performance, promoting local talent,
  • Café & Shop – opportunity for people to meet, volunteering, income generation,
  • Art Gallery for talent to come through and community guests.
  • Different idea for transport – Boris Bike.  Locate the gardens within 2 miles of city centre to can use bikes to get around them all
  • Outdoor gym and games, 
  • Aim to Bring everyone together, everything a neighbourhood could want. Community engagement.

#2 Sensory Settee – Most Investable Project 

Immersive sofa for all using VR/AR and senses

Team Members: Shanara, Goerge and Sam 

How can we holistically support people with disabilities, mental health and wellbeing?

  • Need for Virtual Reality with 4D sensory, to be available on NHS. 
  • To promote people’s mental wellbeing through a positive experience. Provide a safe, calming environment in different places.
  • Believed a settee would be great in public spaces and nothing like this around at present. To use where people are usually anxious e.g. Dr Surgery.

#3 GNC – Most Impactful Project

Housing community for creatives and urban farming

Team Members: Nathan, Margaux, Magdelena

Green, Creativity circle living.  Combine people in team skills. Aquaponics?

Context: Expensive housing, lifestyles more lonely, bad commute to work.

Solution: shared and individual space to help create community life. Reduces commute to work. Self-sufficient living and more inspiring space. Focused on self-employed creative people. 

Urban Agriculture: Concept already out there, people doing in their back gardens, use fish waste to feed plants. Bringing nature back to the home. Extension of your kitchen or garden, put this in a communal space so people growing together, reduces food bills

6 home commune, self-sufficiency and creative space. green area.  Need to share food more, share skills and communicate. Mores sustainable building practices. More sustainable housing. 

#4 Shirt Project 

Second life to clothing – sustainable fashion

Team Members: Jessie, Robert, Cara, Emma

What’s Eating at You?

Context: clothing industry causing waste, pollution following unethical principles all over the world. 

Objective: Reducing clothes production, waste and pollution.

Solution: Pop up store, swap clothes, minimise packaging, and try clothes on and a mirror superimposes the clothes onto you. 

Prototype: Animation, QR code, choose from selection, try on in magic mirror and then out and ready to wear. 

If clothes works, scale up and use on other items, such as household items.

Works on tokens

AYCH Opportunity: bring creative and societal ideas to life!

Since then, 7 participants have signed up to join the AYCH incubation programme to take their project forward starting on the 5th February 2020 (launch event 15th January). The AYCH incubation is a free 9 month support period which provides with enterprise, creative and digital workshops and mentoring with various experts, equipment and facilities. A great opportunity for all young people aged 14 to 30 years old with an innovative idea. 

If you are interested, please contact our AYCH project coordinator, Eli Zahoui ezahoui@pca.ac.uk or Jo Clements joanne.clements@plymouth.gov.uk .

Want to find out more? 

AYCH project

The overall AYCH project, that the Creative Jam is a part of, is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme, designed to promote transnational cooperation among 36 Atlantic regions in five European countries. The AYCH aims to develop new approaches and interventions within existing youth settings, as well as in both formal and non-formal education settings, to connect young people, creative and social business leaders, with experts in emerging and disruptive technologies and creative industries. This will take place across a network of “Atlantic Horizon Hubs” that will help them to develop ideas, new products and services.

WINNERS AYCH KIDS DRAWING CONTEST 2019

We are delighted to announce the winners of our AYCH Kids Drawing Contest 2019. The theme of this year’s contest was “The Atlantic Ocean, a sustainable environment for all!” and the participants were asked to imagine the future of the Atlantic Seaside to express their creativity. The contest was open to children between 8 and 11 years with the goal of raising awareness on sustainability and environmental protection. The winners are:

Category 10-11 years old:                            Category 8-9 years old:

1st – Nicolás Lamas                                      1st – Ariadna Alvarez

2nd– Deva Fernández                                    2nd– Carla Gómez

3rd – Cristina Núñez                                      3rd – Leire Cano

4th – Nadaya Iglesias                                    4th – Adrián Fernández

5th – Marta Rodríguez                                   5th – Mael Villaverde

Congratulations! We loved your drawings!

Your prizes are on their way and you will receive them very soon. You deserve it!

Besides, Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs would like to congratulate and say big thanks to all the artists for participating as they são proved to be very talented and passionate in their drawings. The drawing contest for AYCH Kids is part of the project Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs whose main goal is the development of an innovative model where young people can reinforce their entrepreneurial spirit as well as form themselves or search for employment.

 

AYCH opens the first Fab Lab Interreg Atlantic Area

On October 31, our Spanish partner  Vida Lactea inaugurated its Fab Lab space thanks to the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Atlantic Area programme inaugurated by the General Director of Youth, Participation and Volunteering of the Xunta de Galicia Cristina Pichel Toimil

The objective is to look for new forms and methodologies for the creation of ideas and the development of prototypes and ideas in relation to youth and society.

This is achieved through live and direct work of young people at different levels on different subjects that have to do with creativity.

Audiovisual: we have teams and professionals with whom they can work from the basics.
Design Thinking: we work directly with the Ville Durable de Nantes: international center for the design of innovative methodologies for youth creation and interaction. Entrepreneurship: with professionals who can develop economic plans, businesswomen, negotiation, sales channels, …

Our Fab Lab has opened with the 3D room and cut and engraved where young people can develop their prototypes. The Audiovisual room will open shortly and a little later a podcast recording studio.

Without a doubt, it is an installation open to all young people in Lugo and Galicia.

The Lug Open Factory creator of this Fab Lab is part of the Atlantic Youth Creative Hubs, a European project that creates synergies between young people from France, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom; It consists of several programs among which stand out among others:

  • Incubation of ideas and projects.
  • Business development.
  • International Residences.
  • Internships.
  • International Events: Creative Jam.

In our space you can create the prototypes and projects that youth wants. For now we are working on these aspects, according to the material contained in the fab lab: 3D printing: creation, design and printing in 3D formats; Cutting: cutting and engraving on different materials; Audiovisual: cinema and documentaries; Digital Marketing: campaign creation; SEO: positioning in the network of networks; Computer programming; Tourism and Free Time: design of programs, projects and tools. We have the teams and professionals available to youth.

On the opening day two incubation projects have been presented: Laretas Comunicación and O Museo; and three projects developed by coworkers of the coworking space of the Lug Open Factory: buslugo.com, immersive cinema of Microsoños and the Díxito project that will be released in January. The Fab Lab is in Complexo Residencial Lug2 (Lugo-Spain).

“The most important thing in this space is that young people have places to develop their creativity, and they feel supported by experts and people who encourage and motivate them so that through their concerns we create solutions or innovate in such a traditionalist environment like the one around us “Xosé L. Garza (Lug Open Factory coordinator).

NEWS:

La Voz de Galicia               Ocio en Galicia

Xunta de Galicia                Imjoying             Viva Lugo

AYCH Steering Meeting: Innovation Inside

by Xosé L. Garza (Chair of Communication)

Every so often in our project we have a good habit of traveling and meeting to see and study as our Aych and what we have to do.

Normally, the host partner has everything ready for us to arrive and start working. The simple thing would be for one of us to make a public presentation of the issues and then open a debate, this sounds very democratic and parliamentary, but no, it is not so easy.

Our sessions are of intense work, with an innovative methodology where we all contribute, we all create and there is no time left for the smartphone.

The magician of the Design Thinking Methodology in our meetings comes from L’Ecole de Design Nantes-Atlantique, a dynamic Corsican (the Corsicans have always been belligerent), which makes us work through cooperative dynamics.

It divides us into groups, we analyze, we criticize, we give solutions and we make decisions. And what do we have in the end? Above all the satisfaction of having contributed all in everything and worked all in everything.

The parliamentary system that exists in other projects in ours is not valid, it is not real; we are required more and we also want to learn. The spirit of non-formal learning of the Aych project begins here, in the methodology that its partners work in the meetings.

Indeed, the feeling is very gratifying, a pleasant feeling that tells us that even when we meet we are innovative.

Our last steering committee in Angoulême has been a good example of this: good organization of the host, involvement of the partners, working time and the revitalization of Florent as a road map.

Launch of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter, UK by OENONE THOMAS

On Thursday 10th October evening the Aych Coordinator, Oenone Thomas, was invited to the launch of the University of Exeter’s new Entrepreneurship Centre. It’s always a pleasure for me to return to the campus where I studied for an MSc in Sustainable Development and was accepted for the Leadership module of the One Planet MBA. Thursday night was especially exciting and relevant because of the strong synergies between AYCH and the new centre. Just take a look at this short video: http://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/research/centres/entrepreneurship/

The guest speaker was Deborah Meadon of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006vq92

She spoke about the ‘role of the entrepreneur in society’ and took non-stop questions from a very engaged audience. It was a wonderful evening with far too much to report on here. But I did take the opportunity to mention AYCH to her. Perhaps we can follow-up on that?!

According to Deborah you can spot an entrepreneur because they are:

  • Very interested in everything around them – they scan their horizon
  • A bit restless and random – they can’t stand still
  • Always learning
  • Full of emotional intelligence
  • Able to spot a good idea and turn it in to a business

Importantly, Deborah believes that biggest problem that entrepreneurs can help solve at the moment is Climate Change.  It’s a challenge for us all and AYCH can play a part  in that.

 

ATLANTIC YOUTH CREATIVE HUBS: the Europe of Cooperation by Oli Raud

Oliver Raud project manager at Plymouth College of Art and speaker at the European Week of Regions has sent us his thoughts on what Aych is in Europe. A clear commitment to transnationality and cooperation in these very complicated moments, let’s read carefully everything you tell us.

Why/How has the Interreg transnational cooperation been essential for tackling the specific thematic challenges?

Transnational cooperation allows for the Confluence of ideas, people, cultures, perceptions, prejudices, Technologies, disciplines, demographics and opportunities.

We have developed a number of methodologies and pathways that have been co-designed, co-created and jointly implemented throughout the project partnership, drawing on skills, knowledge and expertise that we alone do not possess.

The Creative Jam comes to mind, principally. A  place where young people in transnational teams are presented with a brief to develop a service or product that responds to the societal challenges of our time – linked to the UN SD goals- and reimagine an interaction, a place, process etc developing a prototype of this and pitching the idea to their peers, experts, investors, local authorities and industry experts. It could be big, small, digital, analog, it’s a place to experiment in a transdisciplinary space. Young people are not done to, they are empowered to see themselves as the change agents we desperately need in society. It’s a longitudinal project and AYCH is the start of a transnational collaboration that will continue to Foster entrepreneurs across Europe that are able to be comfortable, confident and skilled in a society and job market that is constantly changing and is unstable, building social capital as well as financial capital.

We haven’t shied away from social entrepreneurship and creating businesses with a social purpose and meaning. I felt, when I was writing this project, that a fresh perspective on the way in which we empower young people, through design disciplines, digital fabrication skills and Key Enabling Technologies would bring a different approach to the type of entrepreneurship we were  fostering. An entrepreneur that was socially minded, inclusive, responsible and digitally savvy. By embracing methods such as User Experience design, service and product design as well as design thinking more broadly, we are teaching young people key skills to bring new products and services to the market, underpinned with technical, business and entrepreneurial formation. I also felt that it was  important to make sure these skills and expertise were democratised outside of the walls of higher education and fee paying environments. A young person accessing a youth service hub in Gijon, should have the same right to knowledge as a student from Liverpool attending university and the same is true across the partnership locations.

What is the added value of transnational cooperation for those thematic fields compared to other modalities of cooperation (cross border, Life +, H2020, etc.)

What was and is great about AYCH is that it doesn’t really look like your average INTERREG project. INTERREG AA programme has allowed us some real freedom and trust with regards to the types of activity we were proposing, the types of actors in the partnership and how we realised the activities. I’ve been in and around INTERREG projects for the best part of 10 years and they have generally been pretty safe bets, as Local Authorities tend to be the primary stakeholders, however increasingly in the UK and now across the rest of Europe, austerity has meant that LAs are unable to enact as much of their policies as they may be used to, giving way to new collaborations and whilst I definitely don’t think austerity has been a good thing at all, we have seen some wider, more innovative partnership actions coming to the fore.

As an example of this, collaboration between research organisations, local authorities, youth organisations, CICs, business development agencies, from different sectors – mostly creative industries – have come together in AYCH and supported over 20 new products to market, in this first 18 months and given the opportunity for 100s of young Europeans to experience new skills in KET and enterprise, developing not only their business acumen but also their key 21st century skills, character skills, deep skills or soft skills, whatever you want to call them, as they work in teams, across national boundaries, supporting territorial development, from the ground up.

How could Interreg TN cooperation contribute to reduce disparities at territorial level and improve citizens’ well-being?

I feel they absolutely can and they are a very positive test bed for pilot actions, schemes and initiatives that can have a tangible impact as we try to reimagine our relationship with capitalism, the institutions that govern us, technology, data, social media etc.

At the core of the ethos of AYCH was an axis of two of the key partners – Plymouth College of Art and Brest Métropole – and their embracing of digital manufacture, maker cultures and making as an act of learning and resistance. Brest and Plymouth are the World’s 1st Twin Fab Cities. Joining this network of locally productive and globally connected cities has really positively contributed to what we see in the AYCH project, as a Fab City is a sharing, balanced, prosperous city that cares not only for its citizens’ welfare and environment but also the way in which we Foster innovation and value systems that are not extractive, nor reductive and exploitative. We are aiming to support our young people to be the citizens who are empowered to make their own future and not passively consume it. We talk about Smart Citizens who are able to benefit from a decentralised power system and positively support a larger number of people, across class and economic divides. They are also citizens that are able to benefit from the democratised access to production means – 3D printers, CAD, CNC manufacturing machines etc. to prototype and build for themselves and others, responding to a need of a place and connecting with others across Europe to share knowledge and resources. They are then confident and entrepreneurially versed enough to create value from their ideas and rollout their products and services more widely.

I believe this is possible from these projects and it should be celebrated that they allow us to do this, despite tons of bureaucracy and the hugely disruptive threat of Brexit looming!!!!

How could the financing of projects through Interreg TN contribute to the improvement of public policies?

If there was an improved policy platform to listen to and invite open, participatory democracy.

At present, it feels as if there isn’t really the mechanism to fully showcase the impact, merits and detail of a project to policymakers. There is a disconnect between the political classes and the people, which is giving rise to populism and populist policies.

As a piece of positive action, as part AYCH, we are developing a model and then a policy adoption, toolkit in order that others, across  Europe at both practitioner/operational level as well as civic leadership and policy maker level people are able to pick up and implement aspects of our project or adopt it wholesale in their locality. We feel this practically allows citizens and government alike to use the investment in our project over a longer term.

Aych in Brussels: European Week of Regions

Today the Aych project has been presented in Brussels at the European Week of Regions and Cities. Our partners of Plymouth Plymouth College of Art and Santo Tirso represent the whole partnership in this event so important to us.

Oliver Raud – Plymouth College of Art | Vera Araujo and Joao Correia – Municipality of Santo Tirso | Carlos Garea, Ismael Morán, and Carla Guimaraes – Join Secretariat Atlantic Area

Louise Honey in Cies: an amazing residence!

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Cies islands off the coast of Galicia as part of Cíes Camp 2019. Not only beautiful but also rich with history, wildlife and fauna, my time spent on the Cíes islands was full of appreciation and awe. Working with an international team of volunteers of all ages, our tasks included cleaning the trails and beaches, designing educational puppet shows, informing tourists on the wildlife within the island and reforestation workshops. As I arrived on the island, I saw the beauty that draws so many tourists to the archipelago each year – clear waters, pure sand and luscious eucalyptus forests. Working alongside a team that was compiled of some that I had met previously in England and Spain and also an international team of volunteers, each day I saw the passion behind keeping the region in its natural beauty, which was enhanced by the innovative ideas discussed in design thinking workshops.

As an allocated beach and trail cleaner, each day it was clear to see the positive impact each team of Cíes Camp members were having on the cleanliness of each beach, but there was still work to be done. We sorted through the collected refuse which included discarded food wrapping, pieces of fabric, fishing net fragments, clothing tags, cigarette buts and remnants of plastic objects – all of which were collected between the distance of the shore line to the sand dunes. Each day we recorded our findings and I was surprised to see the variety of objects that washed up on the various beaches of the island. What we also discovered was rubbish being hidden under stone benches and rocks, which was sad to find.

During the evenings, after we had enjoyed water sports activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking, each design thinking team worked to develop their prototype ideas which focused on providing practical solutions that visitors could utilise to protect the islands; reduce plastic waste and to inform guests of the history of its natural environment. Inspired by the reforestation workshop and learning about efforts to slowly reintroduce natural fauna back onto the island, I learned that the eucalyptus trees that I had found so attractive on arrival were actually non-native and invasive to the area. Using this as a lead I supported the ‘Bolboreta’ team with designing and making accessories, designed from waste eucalyptus bark. Working to a tight time scale, two prototype designs were created – one clutch bag and a backpack. Using my experience within the fashion and lifestyle industry, I encouraged the volunteers to think of the sort of materials that could be used alongside the bark such as new vegetable leathers and ways the bag could be constructed with as little material waste as possible and without using harmful substances that would counteract the natural focus on the design.

It was really inspiring to see each team present their ideas on the final evening and I was amazed to see what was achieved in such a short period of time. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to visit Cies, to better understand the history of the islands and to have worked with such a vibrant and passionate team. I am looking forward to hearing about the selections reviewed during an event in Porto, Portugal next year.