Although I am currently the Communications Manager of Creative Sustainability (CS) I am writing this post under Stuff We Do as a participant in the workshop. See the workshop video here, or click any photo to view them in larger windows or find all the photos on CS Flickr set
A group of students of Creative Sustainability (CS) programme has arranged a workshop that was open for CS teachers, students and Aalto University partners with the help of PhD Paula Siitonen. The workshop was about the development of the CS programme bringing one’s own perspective and expertise. Asli greeted the participants entering the Design Museum while Lasse was asking each one to pick up a piece of folded paper not to look into it just yet. The first thing that caught my eyes was the screen saying, ‘Welcome to the Future of Creative Sustainability’.
Meri opened the workshop by asking us to introduce ourselves in one sentence using the word written on the paper we were given at the entrance. My word was ‘hug’ and I gave Naoko one saying ‘my name is Seungho, and I want to give a hug to Naoko’ because she is a wonderful study coordinator and also was right next to me.
We were asked to visualise ‘the ideal study programme’ and divided to four groups. My first group was given modelling clay and we were supposed to not say any word for the first 10 minutes. The tool helped us visualise the abstract notion of a master’s level study programme giving emphasis on what is important. For another 10 minutes all of us shared the reasons behind the colours and shapes still keeping the level of discussion at meta-level.
Then only one of us, Glen in our group, remained and all the others left to work with what other groups made. The group I joined used (more or less) natural material like beans, nuts, stones, and pasta. Although the main ideas were similar to what we made in the previous group the content was somewhat more poetic thanks to the granularity of the material, I speculate. More sophisticated notions arouse such as history, philosophy and criticality whilst the same keywords such as interdisciplinary, freedom to explore, practicality, professionalism, and collaboration resonated repeatedly. We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us, as McLuhan once said.
We extracted keywords in respective groups, then we all voted for what CS is already doing well, and what CS needs to urgently enhance visiting the artefacts the others made. The result was synthesised into four agenda with each of which we again made groups for and discussed the practical reasonings and ideas. Each facilitator was with one group helping people to talk and pushing the discussion forward, and Heli was with us.
At the end of the shortest two hours we shared the results. One of many interesting idea was to create a course which this year’s students design for the coming year. Imagine how interesting the documentation of the course in five or ten consecutive years will be!
The images below show the large sheets of paper we used in the final round. I must say that it was a very fruitful workshop with many valid points, thanks to the student organisers/facilitators and the enthusiastic participants. The facilitators will work on the report of today’s workshop and we will post in here on CS website.
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Lasse Granroth, Meri Lundahl, Heli Mäkinen, Aslihan Oguz