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Posted 02.01.20

Young creatives create sustainable product and service design solutions with AYCH

By Naomi Girdler

Photos courtesy of Dom Moore

In November, participants from Plymouth Youth services, Plymouth College of Art and Ivybridge developed four impactful ideas together for a sustainable future at the Atlantic Youth Creative Hub (AYCH) Creative Jam - an innovative, free initiative event to help young people develop their design thinking, digital making and enterprise skills. 

The Creative Jam is a two-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.

This event’s theme was selected as "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 of 2019 and is now part of the international network together with Brest in France, Barcelona in Spain, Seoul in South Korea and 28 other cities.

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 centred around 10 sub-themes; Ecological, Inclusive, Glocalism, Participatory, Economic growth and employment, Locally productive, People-centered, Holistic, Open source philosophy and 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 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 locally 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 the 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. The following four pitches feature innovative ideas to create a sustainable Plymouth Fab City.

People & Plants - Winner of the Creative Jam Audience Vote & Most Impactful Project

Six inclusive centres in Plymouth to locally produce food, devised by Hannah, Anya, Cain and Craig. The project aims to create a community space including gardens, a café, shop, sensory room and an outdoor gym, which would bring everyone together, putting everything a neighbourhood could want under one roof, encouraging community engagement.

Sensory Settee - Most Investable Project 

An immersive sofa for all using virtual and augmented reality and senses, devised by Shanara, George and Sam. This project focuses on the use of virtual and augmented reality to holistically support people with disabilities, mental health issues and various other ailments. Thoughts behind the sofa mean it would be accessible in public spaces and would be especially helpful in anxious situations e.g. a doctors' surgery.

GNC - Most Impactful Project

A housing community for creatives and urban farming, devised by Nathan, Margaux and Magdelena. The aim of the project is to tackle expensive housing, lonely lifestyles and difficult commutes to work by creating a living environment that is self-sustainable, collaborative and inspiring.

Shirt Project 

Giving a second life to clothing with sustainable fashion, devised by Jessie, Robert, Cara and Emma. The aim of the project is to tackle the clothing industries’ waste and pollution, revising the unethical fashion principles across the world. This method of minimizing wastage could also work on other items such as household products.

Bring creative and societal ideas to life with AYCH!

Most of the projects from this Creative Jam will be part of the next Incubation Programme to develop their idea further. 

You too can bring impactful business ideas to life, sign up to join the AYCH Incubation Programme to take your project forward starting on the 5th of February 2020 (launch event 15th January). The AYCH incubation is a free nine-month support period which provides enterprise, creative and digital workshops and mentoring with various experts, equipment and facilities.

A great opportunity for all young people aged 16 to 30 years old with an innovative idea or positive ambition and entrepreneurial mindset.

If you are interested, please see the programme details and complete the application form, get in touch with AYCH Project Coordinator Eli if you have any questions.

You can follow AYCH on their FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts for all the latest updates.

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