We will give you a short introduction so we don't get to the door straight away. We are a group of eight Saxion students who will work together in the coming six months to devise a plan for a physical location for the EnschedeLAB. In recent weeks we have been busy researching which location in Enschede is most suitable for a 'community space'. For this we have critically examined three potential locations in the center of Enschede. It was unanimously decided from this that the Metropool music café has the most potential to establish EnschedeLAB. Of course the location is only a small part of the physical location, the building will also have to be managed and financed. For this research, we therefore also visited two locations in the Netherlands that have set up a similar idea, the knowledge shop in Leiden and WIJS in Groningen.
Knowledge store Leiden
On September 27, we went with four students for the first market research to the Knowledge Shop 'Learning with the city' in Leiden. After a long train journey from Enschede, we entered the door at 12:45 pm at the location on the Arubapad in Leiden Noord. When we arrived in Leiden, we were welcomed by a group of students and the coordinator, after which we were able to sit at the desks of the students and were offered coffee and tea. The desks in the building were connected to each other in a kind of rectangle in the middle of the room, so everyone can see each other when they are working. Here we started with a proposal round and a short introduction about Learning with the City. After this introduction, we only sat down with the coordinator for an interview. During this interview we wanted to find out what Learning with the City does and how they run this location. After the interview was finished, we were given a small tour of The Building in order to experience what is at this location. Finally we went back to the station to start the 3.5 hour journey back. All in all, it was a long but interesting and useful day to visit Learning with the City in Leiden.
On September 28, we went with five students to the second location for market research, WIJS in Groningen. At 07:05 we boarded the train from Enschede and at 09:30 we were at location Paddenpoel, a deprived area in Groningen. Once we arrived at WIJS, we were received enthusiastically and coffee or tea was offered. First we received a short introduction about what they did at WIJS and how, we were told that WIJS shares the building with SNS Bank. The space of WIJS is attractively furnished with many warm colors and fine sofas. In addition to sofas, there are also desks with chairs. SNS and WIJS have been divided up, so that it is clear to visitors where they should be. After the proposal round, we were able to interview various project leaders and ask questions to find out how they do and finance everything at WIJS. After the interview we went into Groningen to view the Forum on the advice of the project leader of WIJS. After the visit we went back to Enschede. The visit to WIJS in Groningen was an interesting and useful day where we were able to take a lot into account in our research.
What have we learned?
We learned that the locations are mainly run by students, but there is also a person who supervises them. It has become clear that it is a learning process for the students to work in the different Labs. It is also useful to create a win-win situation, so that all stakeholders can benefit from it.
What are we doing now?
At the moment we as a group are processing all information and research to see which information we can apply for our project at EnschedeLAB, or not, because it is not of added value for the Community Space. We will keep you informed once in a while with our discoveries and progress and hopefully after six months there will be a great physical location for the EnschedeLAB.