Since its opening in October 2019, the WIP has been one of the most important third places in Caen. To continue its development, the structure has created its own communication tool, the Medialab.
From the outside, the place is intriguing to say the least. Two old hangars brought up to date thanks to innovative designs and the historic fireplace of the Société Métallurgique de Normandie (SMN), a bastion of the Lower Normandy working class, which dominates the plain of Colombelles, a town bordering Caen. This site is WIP, like Work In Progress. In its hangars, called naves by the occupants, spaces for co-working, training, craftsmen’s workshops or an area dedicated to events. “This is the DNA of the project, explains Hugo Simon, director of the third place. WIP is open to everyone: professionals, citizens, artists, activists, associations. We create connections between audiences who are not intended to meet. ” Within the WIP, the Medialab is defined as a “Full-scale training-experimentation system, based on the pooling of experiences, tools and skills of participants in the media field”. With several missions including that of documenting what is happening at WIP. “For example, we can follow the events of the large nave or a participatory worksite, details Thomas Maignan, the coordinator of Medialab. It is distributed to partners or volunteers for use in communication purposes. ”
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The Medialab also offers its services outside. He was thus asked to create a podcast to help creators of third places. By visiting several sites in Normandy, they developed the economic models, legal statutes or governance of these structures. The most important production of the project remains “Bonjour Turbine”, a radio program hosted on the Arte blog and broadcast on radio Bazarnom, a local antenna. “We manage to be identified on this program throughout the country, continues Thomas Maignan. This gives credibility to Medialab. We are not positioning ourselves as a radio station but as a creator of audio content that we then offer to local community radio stations, with the idea of supporting this radio ecosystem. “
Medialab is still participating in a social inclusion program called “Shared territory”. “The objective is to run workshops with these people so that they regain self-confidence. We try to really involve them by offering to do interviews or other work. These people help us, it gives color to the place. Everyone gets something out of it. “ After a year of life, Medialab has produced dozens of podcasts and radio broadcasts. Focused on environmental, civic and cultural themes, Made in WIP productions still have a bright future ahead of them.