Participatory processes add a sparkle of unexpectedness to the projects we can very well manage independently. This creative sparkle doesn’t just add to the fun, but helps us be innovative and stay at the forefront of developments, which is very hard if we stay within the realm of the expected.
How do you get a bookclub, a boxing lesson and a black metal band at your next event? For instance, at the next anniversary of your university?
Of course, you could book them. Go online, look for an affordable local option, and click the appropriate button. But you probably won’t. The bookclub, maybe, but the others are simply too unexpected, too random, to even be considered. You’ll organise a few workshops, a smart debate, and a rapid fire inspiration session after lunch. And that’s just fine.
On 11 November 2016, the Reinwardt Academy turned 40, and we celebrated this with a festival including a bookclub, a boxing lesson, a black metal band and some forty other activities, including workshops, debates and a solid crash course museology. The lineup was so unexpected, that we called one of the stages “unexpected”. At the same time, the lineup provided enough traditional elements (other stages were called “debate” and “bar”) to appeal to the large and diverse audience that should appreciate such an event.
The lineup of the festival wasn’t devised by a team of creative masterminds, or after a night out in town, but in a carefully designed participatory cocreation process, which I facilitated. When we started with this process months ago, nobody could have predicted what would happen during the festival. Some of the best bits were added in the last weeks, organically, unexpectedly. Watch my vlog of the event to get a sense of the day:Read More »