KOWORK Constrói-te!

(“Constrói-te” means literally “build yourself”)

Kowork E5G is a social project created and promoted by GIP, the department for employment inclusion of NGO Moinho da Juventude, funded by Programa Escolhas, a national funding program promoting social and employment inclusion, to support young people living in Alto Cova da Moura neighbourhood (Amadora, Greater Lisbon, Portugal) to expand individual employment opportunities and/or build their own business ideas.

GIP partnered with a group of institutions and organizations to propose a wide and diverse curriculum of activities for the participants ranging from learning how to build résumés, preparing for interviews and working on the topics of citizenship and entrepreneurship, to practice wall painting techniques, build 3D printers, print objects and work in the newly furnished workshop with rapid-prototyping and laser-cut machines. The Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, is part of the consortium, through the group studies GESTUAL, entrusted to foster the use of the workshop as well as harness carpentry, building and design interest and skills in participants.

In light of this, four designers and PhD researchers proposed to develop a co-design process with young participants in the view of materializing things that contribute to the community while aiming to enact future possibilities of using the workshop that can generate revenue and/or create opportunities for long-term occupation or employment, at least for some of them. In a series of twice a week sessions, our role is intended to foster the ‘designerly’ mind in the youngsters by exploring in a ludic approach how designers work, how youngsters see the neighbourhood, how they approach challenges, opportunities and change and what they think could be meaningful and viable contributions.

The co-design experiment is ongoing and predicted to end-up by middle of November 2015. Soon we expect new things coming out of the workshop, so stay tuned: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514548758860388/?fref=ts

Koworkers: Azul (António), Carlos, Cátia, José, Maria João, Miro, Patrick (and designers, PhD researchers) António Pinto, Delano Rodrigues, Natália Plentz, Inês Veiga.
Kowork E5G coordinators: Joana Dias, Paulo Semedo, Ana Rita Domingos.
Kowork E5G partners’consortium: Nozomi-Criminal Investigation Solutions Lda; Tork Stunt – Marketing Estratégico, Lda;  GESTUAL – Faculdade de Arquitectura, Universidade de Lisboa; Oficinas do Convento; Mistakermaker.
Kowork E5G workshop technician: Sr. Luis
Image credits: © António Pinto

Discussion KOWORK Constrói-te!

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  • Great initiative! Do you have any ‘concrete’ examples of what comes out of these co-design sessions? I’m curious how all the activities and possibilities of the place come together and matetialize… Or perhaps there is a particular story of one of the participants which is worth sharing?

    18.11.2015 — 17:25Yes(0)No(0)Reply

    • Koworkers

      Thank you! We have reached a concrete idea to revitalize a public space (check it on our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514548758860388/?fref=ts
      ) so what we are doing now is gathering support for materials and new partners in the neighbourhood. So far, it has been mostly about building trust and strengthening existing supporting networks although it’s too soon to tell… We (all) try to keep hopes and expectations down and be very open to what and if other things may come.

      21.11.2015 — 17:47Yes(0)No(0)Reply