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Youth: a life through a pandemic ; Prototype X

The development of the prototype 'Prototype X' occurred within the 1st edition of makers-in-residence programme at the JRC Makerspace of the European Commission under the theme Youth: a life through a pandemic”

Since many of my older projects were focused on working with youth, digital fabrication technologies, maker movement and participative design, it seemed natural to answer this call and apply for the theme “Youth: a life through a pandemic” with a project aimed on local community, its young people and their capacity to “make” something, that would enrich themselves in terms of technological and creative emancipation and help others around them.

“Prototype X” is a participative project focused on the challenges of youth faced during the Covid crisis. The project involved a group of young people from Booster social center who, together with me, the researchers from JRC and staff of a local Fab Lab, would co-create a prototype on originally, very broadly specified subject – youth and the pandemic. The intention was, that by doing that, they would develop their technological and creative skills that, hopefully, would eventually lead to more confidence in themselves in regards of their capabilities and contribute to broadening their future prospects.

Given the participative nature of the project, the prototype's output, such as its final form and representation, was intentionally unspecified as it would evolve through its process of making and co-creation.

The only initial objectives regarding the final prototype were aimed at being easy to reproduce, universal to use, open-source and digitally fabricated with the basic equipment of a Fab Lab.

There were many ways to imagine the outcome. The final prototype could have taken a form of a tiny gadget, an artistic object or even a public space design.

Multiple themes were considered, for example how to be socially distanced, but together. Or how to spread covid19 awareness among young people or how to deal with the intergenerational rupture the pandemic has been causing. It was also conceivable to develop tools to facilitate distance learning or help young people with their future prospects

The prototype was destined to implant itself in the local context of the young co-creators and serve the local community. Read the full report here:

Prototype X - Dalia Gregorova - Final Report and Documentation
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