At The CO• we believe that hands-on, creative exploration helps encourage risk taking, cement learning, boost self-confidence, connect individuals and communities, and serve as a guide for understanding our individual and collective place in the world. As a space and a concept, The CO• makes the room necessary for the uncertainty and experimentation of the learning process. This process has many labels such as making, tinkering, exploring, creating, hacking, building, and prototyping. It occurs across various mediums—digital, technological, industrial, domestic, analog, and artistic. However, neither the label nor the tool is the most critical piece of this innovation equation. Rather, it is the time allotted for discovery, the self-directed time spent thinking critically and honing hands-on problem-solving skills, which cultivates innovation. Trying, failing, and trying again is a fundamental component of learning. At The CO• we advocate for an equitable distribution of time devoted to making, tinkering, creating, building, hacking, sharing, questioning, and connecting. We champion the liminal space where such exploration resides and the critical discourse that follows. We must ensure that all engaged in this creative process work through prejudice. Experimentation must be open to all regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, abilities, age, geography, education level, and discipline.
To tinker is to study. To fail is to be human. To make is to empower.