I recently attended an Open Space event discussing Paradigms of Mental Health. Open Space Technology is a very liberating, loose framework within which to convene dialogue. I like it a lot, it’s a great opportunity to hear many voices, I use it often in my work and when I’m aware of other events where the technology is to be applied, I’m keen to get along and participate. So far this year I’ve been involved in Open Space events discussing:
- The Future of Learning Technologies
- The Arts in my local borough
- Mental Health
I usually note take when I’m at these events, and for some reason, Open Space tends to bring out the artist in me.
The conversation at the learning technologies event focused less on the technology itself, far more on behaviours. Here’s the sketch note I made whilst at the event.
During the arts session, there were lots of opportunities to talk, so I proposed a session called ‘Would You Like to Paint?’ where instead of having a conversation, we just made art together. Here’s some of our work.
At the mental health conversation, I was introduced to Monica Biagioli, a senior lecturer at London College of Communication. Monica showed me a new device, called The Zine. We were given a piece of paper, folded with a few cuts in it, and invited to record thoughts and ideas as we conversed. The way the paper is cut means you can refold it into many shapes, which in turn means the things you originally noted adjacent to one another, can be repositioned. Here are some photos showing side one and two of my zine, and a folded version.
I love how, as you move from conversation to conversation, taking notes as you go, the notes can be refolded and repositioned, taking the dialogue in new and unexpected directions. Very zen.
Almost two months after attending the mental health open space event, the zine is still in clear view on my desk. Bearing in mind my desk doubles up as a mini art studio, the continued presence of the zine is no mean feat! I think it is an excellent tool for recording, and remixing ideas. Thank you Monica, for this great, and simple idea.
A version of this post first appeared on HRExaminer in May 2018.