MarsMedialab (en)

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The MarsMediaLab

The MarsMediaLab was set up in 2015 by Urban Prod association. It’s an open space located in Marseille downtown. The key features of the MML come close to a third place with a welcoming open space and a bar that make it friendly, large and convivial interior design and window display, as well as professional studios used for creative work. The MML is run by a multiskilled team including professionals from the social, cultural and educational fields, audiovisual and projects engineering sectors.

Positive outcomes (anticipated and unexpected)

Within the first two years we have lauched this work and pointed out necessary items in order to take up the challenge :

  • develop multiple actions beyond the walls in order to meet a variety of audiences.
  • innovate with the means of welcoming audiences : considerate every visitor as unique from their fist visit and giving them a meaning and a role
  • identify, know about and be known from all the main players locally through written exchanges, visits, work meetings and the sharing of good practices.
  • put together events with other local players
  • identify common spaces to facilitate access to information instead of propagating communication offers

Sense of belonging experienced by young people at the MML

Encourage the sense of belonging experienced by young people at the MML. The place has been designed to answer young people needs in a place that is theirs.

Physical space with a greater added value

Rely on the physical space to further the success of the MML

Working hours

Flexible working hours. The MML should be opened daytime (for organizations and school groups), evenings and on weekends. Young people should have the right to remain in the place for long periods.


Constant recruitment through

  • visiting schools (participation in programmes of activities)
  • setting up partnerships with young people organizations as well as youth centres
  • getting involved in local communities

A place focusing on people interactions

Rely on the MML human and relational aspects as much as the technological experimentation

Young people involvement

Encourage lots of teenagers in various aspects of the MML operations. For instance:

  • in developing programs
  • in decision-making process
  • in drafting the code of conduct
  • in promoting moderation and tolerance within the physical and virtual space
  • in facilitating workshops


Making sure the MML services are free of charge (i.e. Wifi). If available food is at lower cost. Easy registration to activities, borrowing equipment etc. Age limit (13-30 y.O.) is not applied strictly.


Set up a security system within the physical and virtual space. Draft a code of conduct or a charter prescribing specific behaviours around the place. Make young people aware of their responsibilities whilst managing the place.

Identified impediments

There are 2 main challenges to this project: - involving people aimlessly wandering / living rough - cooperation and shared responsibility among local players towards these people

Solutions applied to reduce obstacles :

  • constant analysis of professional practice to strenghten our capacity to help and facilitate audiences empowerment: Research labs involved : 2 labs from Rennes and Grenoble develop a research subject based on our experimentation. Their overall analysis and review of our action with digital practices towards audiences empowerment provide us with findings upon which to build bridges with other experiementation areas across France.
  • be inspired and breaking new ground to lower obstacles regarding involving greater audiences
  • referencing our experimentation in order to duplicate it across other areas / territories

Final recommendations

Interactions with young people, the team, professionals and community partners allow us to make 5 final recommendations regarding the MML approach / concept :

  • Stay focus on young people needs
  • The MML development is best in beta mode
  • Develop a professionals partnership around the MML
  • Show a great deal of open-minded attitude and flexibility
  • Keep records of the MML designing process

Human resources

  • great variety of human resources (facilitators, mentors, experts, artists in residence, etc.)
  • peer to peer workshops
  • non digital oriented facilitators thus having excellent interaction with young people