The lab and associated programmes introduces design and media tools, technologies, 3D design and digital fabrication to disadvantaged, marginalised citizens who because their socio-economic status do not have access to these resources. It develops a learning environment that has the potential to improve their life chances. ACORN members are co-designing and developing a bespoke ‘living curriculum’ that responds to their issues, addresses their needs and aids their future goals. The learning and practical outcomes of our design curriculum will test their potential application for disadvantaged citizens / vulnerable learners.
There is a strong training aspect, involving layers of peer mentoring, within the groups of participants, between the research team and Acorn staff, and between the residency facilitators and wider communities of practice engaged through our partner organisations. Our model of development is not one that is imposed from outside; rather it is co-developed with participants in a process of shared learning and exchange.