Gadget Workshop (Vekotinverstas, FI) is a project in which several organizations teamed up to organize permanent digital making space for young people. The roots of Gadget Workshop are deeply bounded with the idea of information sharing and collaborative working. Wirh European Medialab Praxis, Lasipalatsi Media Centre focused on young people. After all Gadget Workshop is also an environment for anyone to expand his/hers technology, engineering, arts, and IoT skills through experimenting, tinkering and making.
Lasipalatsi Media Centre Ltd is an organization at Helsinki City Group. Among other things, the company is specialized in improving the learning of digital skills. Grounding for Gadget Workshop comes from European Medialab Praxis. Based on original idea of define new media lab environment during the project, Lasipalatsi Media Centre decided to focus on smart cities and smart technologies, IoT and microcontrollers.
Eramus+ funded project (European Medialab Praxis), close collaboration with other organizations at Helsinki City Group and existing space & staff, provided grounding for Gadget Workshop. The mission is to inspire, educate and support learners, makers, artists and entrepreneurs, all citizens, and in turn grow communities and businesses in the City of Helsinki. By offering the space, guidance, learning materials and creative projects, Gadget Workshop offers a fun and valuable experience for all members of the community whilst allowing everyone to come together in a cohesive way.
Gadget Workshop briefly
- offers access to a variety of making and prototyping tools and equipments
- provides guidance and support for learning about smart cities and IoT solutions
- works in close collaboration with schools, communal centers and NGOs for teaching new skills and inspiring the next generation
- hosts events, classes and meetups to inspire, inform and get people to work together for the ”the most functional city in the world”
- works with businesses, inspires new companies and start-up’s work for innovative technologies
- supports cities and organizations that are interested in setting up their own workshop to enhance skills within their city or community
What is Gadget Workshop (Vekotinverstas)
Gadget Workshop is a digital makerspace focusing for IoT and smart cities. It’s a physical place where people can come together to create, share, learn and develop. It is a space that offers tools for creation (basic microcontrollers, computers, sensors, various electronic parts, programming tools). Gadget Workshop can be founded by, for example, a library, a school, a community centre, a space by private-public collaboration... At Gadget Workshop professionals, young people and makers can meet and mix. Intellectual capital in a spirit of sharing and collaboration is an important principle of Gadget Workshop.
How Gadget Workshop connects with the principles defined together at European Medialab Praxis
Open is to be visible and accessible space, connected to the territory
Gadget Workshop have weekly & daily service time and it’s doors are open for everyone who is interested to learn, try and develop smart solutions and IoT gadgets. It offers guidance at the permanent space, Gadget Workshop @ Kaapelitehdas, but also arranges events (pop-up workshops) at communal centers through the city. Events are organized also by demand.
Safe is a friendly environnement, a human size, free of pressure, with guidance
Working at Gadget Workshop is innovative and resourceful. Workshop hosts (employers of Lasipalatsi Media Centre, Forum Virium Helsinki and City of Helsinki) help to build off the ideas and choose the best tools and programming tools. Easy access and kind, supportive atmosphere lowers the threshold especially for young people. Possibility to learn new technologies at Gadget Workshop helps to prevent loneliness and provides an inspiring space outside of school or home.
Share is human facilitation and community appropriation to generate p2p connection
The essence of Gadget Workshop is in sharing: sharing knowledge, sharing experience, sharing tools & equipments and sharing good will. The administration, advertising and tools are shared by 3 different organizations at Helsinki City Group. The reduces costs and workload.
Evaluation is allow people to modify and improve the project
Gadget Workshop reflects and evaluates on events and workshops. Workshop hosts and other staff have discussions about their impressions what went well and what didn’t, what could be improved and how. The schools, libraries and NGOs that collaborate with Gadget Workshop, have more formal procedure for feedback and reflections. These signals are used for development of workflows and routines. The factors that determine when workshop/event/work was a success or not, can vary. Sometimes a large amount of participants is a goal. With preselected group of guests, it’s more about how easily shared information was adapted and taken for use. Also a number of new ideas and created new solutions will tell about the impact.
Movement is to improve skills in the organisation, create « movement », innovation in the organization
Gadget Workshop connects more that one movements:
- maker movement,
- peoples growing interest for volunteering,
- enthusiasm for life-long learning and
- the state of art technology
are all represented at the environment of Gadget Workshop.
With collaborating partners, Lasipalatsi Media Centre have a confidence that media labs and more specific IoT labs can have a huge part to play in helping to gain understanding the smart cities and cutting edge technologies that are more and more present in daily life.
When young people can develop the skills and aspirations of the digital makers of the future, the digital awareness grows and the grounding for the next generations of professional is built.
When Gadget Workshop is running at Helsinki, it is closely connected with city strategy.
Helsinki aims to be the most functional city in the world. Lasipalatsi Media Centre seeks also another goal, set by Forum Virium Helsinki: the most functional smart city in the world.
The ambition of Gadget Workshop is to seek this goal and set it firmly in the community. By building bridge between city, educational organizations and business, people’s learning in general can improve, and young people’s opportunities to learn cutting edge technology and possibilities to find meaningful education and jobs can strengthen.