The Chennai Nook Project
IGCS teamed up in a new collaborative project with Bangalore-based non-profit organisation Project DEFY and the German-based association Initiative für Neue Bildung e.V. to create a “Nook” self-designed learning centre near Chennai. Nooks are ‘schools without teachers’ equipped with tools, technology, electronics, recycled materials and a broad variety of resources that learners can utilise to design and pursue their learning journeys based on individual needs and interests.
Source: DEFY Bangalore.
Note: The images are illustrative of the previous Nook locations and not currently of Chennai
The Chennai Nook will be located in Katchipedu, a periurban village 40 km west of Chennai, adjacent to the famous Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Site. Due to a lack of access to quality education and a spiral of marginalisation and social stigmatisation that the local population faces, many Katchipedu residents rely on odd jobs or exploitative day labour. For the village youth, in particular, prospects are minimal. This leads to ever-more social conflicts and issues.
The Nook project, initially funded by Hans Hermann Voss-Stiftung over three years to commence in January 2022, sets out to change this scenario. The partners envision the Nook as a catalyst for change and provide Katchipedu’s youth with the platform, resources, skills and knowledge they need to take charge of their own lives. It will play a pivotal role in supporting and nurturing the ambitions of the youth and thereby contribute to a more sustainable transformation of the Katchipedu community at large. By building on IGCS’s Periurban Initiative and the ongoing Peri-Cene Project about Chennai’s periurbanization processes, the Chennai Nook incorporates an action research component to integrate sustainability with the learning process and learners-led projects such as community gardening or repair and recycling.
IGCS-Postdoc Land Use, Urban and Regional Development Visiting Faculty at IIT Madras
Dr Christoph Woiwode
RWTH Aachen University, Economic Geography