I used to teach at the University of Buenos Aires couple of years ago and I haven't realized how much I missed teaching until I was standing, nervous, in front of the 8 participants of the first session of Bold Experiments Workshop.
The last couple of months were very difficult ones in the personal sphere and I thought of canceling the workshop so many times. I am happy I didn't! I knew I wanted to design a learning experience that was a different proposal from the typical DIY workshop structure where the instructor provides a model that all the attendants copy to arrive to similar results.
I started thinking the way I approach the design process: How I combine theory and randomness in a process that makes total sense to me and makes me so happy. But how to teach that? I went back to old books to gather basic concepts and information that are important to understand any design processes. I thought of the workshop as a playground, where attendants could come to learn how to change their ideas into objects and have fun at the same time.
What kind of materials will we need? How can we connect those materials? How should those materials be organized in space? How will the participants feel when they are standing in front of that universe of possibilities? These are some of the questions I asked myself while structuring the workshop.
I planned every detail: the schedule would be hanged on the walls, each attendantStructuring the Workshop made it easier to start organizing the session and add content to the different modules:
In the introduction, I would talk about my personal experience as a jewelry maker and how I approach the design process for self-initiated projects or for clients. I would also provide some basic design concepts that would help the attendants to start thinking about shapes and compositions in a different way.
After that, we would go through a short “warm-up” exercise that will be very important to fight against the “white paper fear”. This is something all designers go through when they have to face a design process: the possibilities are endless and we might be stuck in front of the white page for a while. In this case, we would have all sort of colorful materials in front of us instead of a white paper but the effect is sometimes the same. This is why I thought of starting with one short exercise that has few simple instructions that will limit the design action. In this way, you also get the chance to start interacting with the materials and trying things out.
Lastly, the longer exercise where the attendants will design and make a necklace from scratch. For this, the experience of the previous exercise is very important: Maybe they “discovered” something and want to take it further. Play with the scale, color, texture, etc. Maybe they want to start from zero but knowing how many of the materials behave and what they can do with the available tools. Each attendant will go through its own experimental design process and I will be guiding their actions if they have doubts. As a result, each bold piece of jewelry will be unique and full of personality.
I designed a small booklet and a Workshop Kit with everything the attendants will need to navigate the experience.
The first session came out amazing! Read the next post to get to know about it and see some pictures.