Tree sprouts – Ancestrality as a praxis

QUESTIONS

How does my ancestrality influence my relationship with the natural world?
What were the turning points of consciousness?
What do we wish for next generation?

The workshop took place on Wednesday Feb 17th, 2021.
8:30 AM São Paulo

Participants:
Marcia Higuchi
Keila Akemi – Keila was my partner on our design studio for years, she’s my role model for a lot of thoughts, reflexions and behavior’s change. Now she is part of a community who is being designed based on permaculture methods.
www.tudicofusi.com
Stella Fernandes – Teia is one of my good friends from college and was also my co-creation partner on our fashion, art and design collective TudiCofusi (which Keila was also part of) She has now this cool brand for babies and children and sustainable products as well.
www.instagram.com/amigomonstro
Luci Hidaka – Luci also went to college with me and is now my academic exchange partner being a Master Design student at University of São Paulo. Her research investigate the reuse of textile waste and she has also an incredible upcycling project.
www.hidaka-upcycling.com.br

FIRST PROMPT

1- Draw your family tree with your family members.
Write some key words or memories around the names that represent their relation with nature.

Doing prompt 1
Their family’s trees
Sharing stories

REFLEXION

How those stories influenced you?
What did you learned, denied or kept with you?

SHARED STORIES

“In my family, the only person who had a strong relation with nature was my grandma who lived with us. She had a japanese garden which she took care very carefully but she would never let us, the kids, play or touch it.  She would tell me it was dirty.”

“My partner grew up on the beach, with a lot of trees around and backyard but nowadays he’s a very urban person who doesn’t even wear sandals.”

“During the exercise, I could see that my grandma (father side) who has a indigenous ancestrality which I would expect to have a  strong relation with nature, doesn’t. She doesn’t goes beyond her individual relation with her plants.”

“On the other hand,  my japanese grandmother, who was a farmer, transcendent that consciousness. She was very present while she cooked, planted and brought those values to the whole family. My uncles, aunts, my mom all inherited that from her. They all know how to plant, they all have beautiful gardens. They all have this strong connections as a value.”
I relate that to: food scarcity (survive) – to plant – to crop  – her values – her spirituality

“Since I was a little,  I listen about caring.  As a kid, I have a very strong connection to nature and crafts (I see this as value) coming from my mom and my grandma.
During certain time, I was totally disconnected (teenager/ adult) urban, consuming, working in the industry… you live with the system.
My turning point was when I started practicing yoga – body consciousness – food awareness – when I start cooking with presence, I start to understand the whole cycle.

Connection with yourself, yourself with nature and you as part of nature.
Turning points are there to remind you. Our nature is the nature itself.”

“My father was an atheist, he always said: “What we live, our existence is based in what we live here and now. Gratitude and reciprocity. If we are here, using what is here, consume here, we should give it back.
If people believe that nothing exists after death, here and now would be all we have, they would care more, respect more.”

“When we travelled by car, my dad would always tell us: Don’t sleep, look through the window and admire the landscape.”

“My mom always took us the the street market and she loved the diversity of fruits and vegetables. She would always show and ask us to try it: Give it a bite!”

SECOND PROMPT

2- Go to the miro board. White some key words:
What else made you think beyond your own perspective?

Gratitude – Presence – Motherhood – Food – Community – Reference – Yoga – Cooking – News- Internet – Think / Act – Coherence – Readings – Lectures – Books

Miro Board

THIRD PROMPT

3- How would you like to be your son’s relation with nature?
Gratitude – Care – Interaction – Proximity – Respectful – Love – Value – Responsible – Enjoyable – Being part of – Systemic consciousness – Circularity

What helps you?
Experience – Community – Education – Money – Contemplation – Idleness – Power to act – Moments for myself – School – Access

What are the obstacles?
Consuming – Religion – Power- School – Publicity – Community – Screen – Social Media

REFLECTIONS

RELIGION
“Religion can sometimes distort our consciousness, it brings guilt. Your are not allowed to enjoy, to laze. I wish my son can enjoy nature, only then he can be grateful and act in reciprocity.”

“The more awareness, the less consumption.”

PRIVILEDGES
“We know how privilege is to be close to nature in our country, it costs to travel, to go to the beach or to have time to enjoy with your son at a park.”
“It’s a role of the school to open up those children references. “
They can make simple actions: My son is going to a public school and received a natural kit during the quarantine. It had twigs, dried leaves, some seeds and instructions to play. He played for days with those simple materials.”
“The school also should take  the kids for school trips to parks, beaches and wherever they don’t have access. “

DIVERSITY
“My son went to this private school which I consider a bubble, It’s easy to be with people who think and see the world as you do, so we decided to put him in a public school. 
The real Brazil is there.
This is the way to act, our agency.
Our responsibility as designers. We have time, the tools, the knowledge and the articulation to make that change for people who doesn’t.”
“Schools are a meeting point. Communities are built around the schools.”

“Being sustainable is being coherent, it’s when you sustain your own actions”

INTEGRALITY
” How do I see myself part of the world? How do design function on this integrality, being part of this natural system? 
Care for the whole system as you care about yourself, being part of this flow.

FOURTH PROMPT

4- DOCUMENTATION
Send me a picture which represents in some aspect what we shared today.

“This plant is called “Saint George’s sword”  and brings protection. My mom carries popular beliefs to her relation to the natural world.” 
“A cotton plantation, which my grandmother worked harvesting, when she arrived in Brazil”
“A japanese garden which remembers my grandma’s front yard. She took care of it so carefully and she was also very good in crafts. She had a sewing atelier in the back of our house, and  I remember the sound of fabric being cut.”

QUOTES

SHARING STORIES

“The more something is shared, the greater its value becomes.”
(Robin Wall Kimmerer p27 Braiding Sweetgrass)

ANCESTRALITY

Ancestrality is not mystic, is totally praxis. For a social consequence, ancestrality should be perceived as an appreciation of our ancestors experiences that were made, the good and the bad ones and they help us learning about how to share our world.
(Ailton Krenak, member of Krenak people)

GRATITUDE

I’m thankful for having those 3 strong and sensitive friends around me, for their generosity of sharing such powerful stories and being my references as women, designers, mothers and human beings.

Special thanks to Ke, Lu, Teia and Laura for setting our zoom room at 3:30 in the morning <3

Affection as an engagement strategy

Eggplant tart shared by Pablo

After going through my Ikigai graph suggested on my studio class I came up with some research questions and chose one to evolve from.

How can I connect people, engaging conversation through the action of cooking?

Solidarity and Affection through a cooking workshop

I started inviting my friends to participate and my cohorts to host and share a recipe and cook with us. It was hard to plan in advance, match schedules and made me feel bad asking for more screen time on a Sunday. It was really kind of them to participate and be open the experience. SOLIDARITY is about doing together and accepting to be there, not knowing exactly what to expect was very generous of them. I really appreciate it.

The workshop took place on Sunday Jan 21st, 2021

11 AM PST (VANCOUVER)
4 PM (SÃO PAULO)
8 PM (AMSTERDAM)

Participants:
Pablo Mariano (sharing his recipe)
Marcia Higuchi
Larissa Miceli
Beatriz Monteiro

The workshop was really fun, Pablo was an amazing host sharing his recipe, all the participants cooked from their houses and shared experiences, thoughts and memories with one another.
We had brief introductions, talked about cultural backgrounds and typical ingredients, vegetarian options available, food sharing/ cook for yourself, family memories, cooking as a female task, cooking as a ritual (barbecue, assado, Christmas dinner), and how moving to another country makes you start cooking in order to have your favorite home meals.

Some adversities I had that I can learn from are: some technical tool issues (zoom, google meet) that I can easily overcome by testing them in advance, time scheduling for everyone in different time zones, it made hard to make plans in advance and also my bad feelings about asking my friends for more screen time during the pandemic.
I also felt anxious about the conversation and the “necessity”to “facilitate”or “control” that, what would not make sense at all, as the workshop happened.

My friend has invited me to a group of studies and two days after the workshop I watched two videos about Paulo Freire and bell hooks and how would they relate to design practice. I’ve been reading and studying Paulo Freire and it came right after Bonne’s class when I shared how his book influences my practice. Some of their thoughts connected clearly my feelings about my workshop outcome.

“Let yourself be affected is about not having control toward things.” When you let thing just happen and try not to force anything, you are affected , in that case, by people, by feelings and actions in some ways. I felt really affected by my friends, by their shared generosity and thoughts.

Some ideas about liberating education are: “AFFECTION / LOVINGNESS/ DIALOGUE – everyone is transformed” “When you are open to teach and learn – HUMILITY – you learn when you reflect”

Listen to the stories, Understand the differences, Value the diversity.”

How an individual experience  is inside a global understanding.

“SOLIDARITY is more than empathy, is about DOING IT TOGETHER”

Special thanks to Pablo, Bia and Lari. <3
By the way, the tart was delicious!!!!!

Action 11 – Context

I will investigate myself through the self-awareness of my present situation.

Design and Nature
• Design for ecological relationally is deeply context dependent; valid and proper knowledge comes from the context in which it occurs. Only with deep under standing of specific local conditions can we begin the relational work of tending (Berry, 2002).
• “In Buddhist teachings, relationships become a third knowing: “You and I are the same thing, yet I am not you and you are not me… There is a reality that transcends all dualities” (Loori, 2007: 36).
• Setting aside discursive mind and turning back to the moment, turning attention to the felt sensations, to the body and breath, time after time: this is the practice.
• ‘inter-are’ , to inscribe interdependence as an ongoing way of being, an ontology, a path, rather than a fixed understanding or theory.

After reading some chapters of “Design and Nature: A Partnership.” (2019, Kate Fletcher, Louise St. Pierre, Mathilda Tham) and participating of Earth Logic workshop many new thoughts, questions and reflections came to my mind.

Considering nature and humans as just one thing, was always on my ideas “we are part of nature”but still, when it goes to practice work, I always tend to talk about nature as something external. It’s unreal how it is so embedded in our mind, “go to nature”, “went back to nature” as going to a park, my backyard, trees, animals, grass, forest, beach.

After accepting this holistic and much wider concept of nature, I realize how hard contradictory it was for me to detach and attach myself in a context.

Becoming a mother is for sure the most challenging fact in my life and the biggest issue on that is recognising your son as a separate being that you are responsible for but not part of. You have no control of him even though it seems like you have it all. So reflecting about myself being a inter-being, it went deeply on my context situation.

Who am I now? What is my present situation? What am I part of now? Where do I belong now?

The NOW and PRESENT part is very crucial to start this reflection.

I’ve been struggling to keep focus on that through all this uncertain situation. It has not being easy to anyone who planned to make a huge move and now is just waiting for that, and having not to do about it. I’ve been experiencing anxiety and depressed moments, difficulty to sleep alternating to moments I am very thankful for my life, aware of my privileges and the community I am part of. My counselling is all about looking at the REAL possibilities, doing what is possible and focusing on the present.

Belonging was part of my reflection on ACTION 1 – Home ground, completing a full CIRCLE of reflection.

We were encourage to make the immersive reflection through the entire work process, I did use this some times, but now it made sense totally. It took me sometime to understand the importance of being present not only considering the research, the work, the assignments but life itself. At this moment, I am sure I can not separate any of this, they are all part of myself and my present.

ACTION for the future term and through my break: I started a meditation program and I’ll practice this time for myself (in a natural sight if possible) and self-reflexion about being present and inter-being. Try to write words, thoughts and sketch something every day for the next month.

Starting a new reflexive practice today

Action 10 – Interconnections

I will investigate the interdependence/interconnections of all of my previous actions  through the making strategy of mindmap.

https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_ldKFQlQ=/

INSIGHTS:
My keywords here were transferred to my Research Methods class visualisation of my first research thesis’s sketch. That was such an AHA moment for me, Dialogues, Studio and Research Methods classes all came together that easy 🙂
• I had to reflect and make sure my son was not in my actions just for convenience, since we are isolated together and I don’t have many options of real interactions. But it was clear that children education are one of my big interests.
• On my action 9 , I concluded men always selecting and ranking everything (Tones of value), what also is on my Action 3 through Sieve/ Selection and Classification. On my action 6, I started selecting and classifying Elham’s dishes, and for Action 8, I kind of did it again to reflect about all my interviews. It seems like it’s a way of understanding for humans (myself) to gather similarities and classified them. (go back to “Sorting things out” Bowker and Star)
• Decoloniality appeared in some of my actions tackling some ways of knowing, behaviours, even the hierarchy cartesian thought. On my future research maybe it will be embedded in sustainable agency.
• Culture is there many times, regarding my international cohorts and to remind us of “What does it mean to design for people who have different histories, different backgrounds, and different commitments from us?”.
• METHODS- Most of communication designers are used to meetings and computers, imagining and prototyping on the computer. These actions were the first time in years that I tried to go outside, reflect in everyday actions, experiment with different material, storyboard in a different way, co-create with my son and experiment theory through practice.
• My Aha moment was for sure when “Theory + practice” together happened. Looking back all those readings and identify them on my son’s playing, on a natural sight, on the street was amazing for me. This moment really opened up my practice to different perspectives, looking through different lenses.
• Another moment for me as well, was recognising and accepting the “non-tangible outcome” through a very valuable process.
• A big immersion for me was trying to understand some thoughts, concepts and ideas we took for granted, and how colonisation have influenced that. Why we thing the way we thing, and afterwards, what make us change. Another one was investigating the circle shape, considering its inclusion idea of gathering. When Arturo Escobar compares a classic American suburban house to a Maloca house in the Amazon, he talks about how a construction influences the way you relate to the world, how “we (humans) design the conditions of our existence and, in turn, the conditions of our designing.” (Escobar 2018)

Action 9 – Tones of Value

I will investigate co-creation through a workshop with our children.

After Elham’s and Louise’s suggestion to make an action with my “mothers” cohorts, I met with Angela and Pat to plan that. After a nice and experience exchange talk, we decided to each one create a workshop each other’s kid.

Angela created and sent this workshop for us

That was Angela’s workshop she sent us with a list of words, also in Portuguese (soooo thoughtful).
So first step was to look for objects in nature that matches that word in someway.
I let Tom really free for that, just trying to make some inquiries to help (trying not to direct or suggest too much) when he said he didn’t know what to choose.

Investigating and looking for
WEIRD / BEAUTIFUL/ WILD/ SILLY/ FRAGILE / TREASURE
His Clover’s drawing, which he considered his favorite pick.

After gathering his finds, we had to choose his favorite which was the clover.
More adjectives to that: potatoble, 3 petals
Feelings: anxiety – feel like i want to take it out
Sound: ffffffff…like a wind, whisper

The clover was something that already showed in my previous action about playing. My aunt has taught him to “take weeds out” from the ground using a tool which made him really proud of learning and doing that.
When he picked the clover, which he considered fragile but also special, and sadly thought that was something he wanted to take it off from the ground. It made me feel really uncomfortable and reflect a lot about what we consider “weed”and useless for us, and of course not for nature and the whole environment around.
Well, that is a question we face for a while, since gardening and caring for plants was introduced to him; “What makes a plant good and worth for caring or not? Why are some plants more important than others?”

INSIGHTS: Why men have this “necessity” of classification and hierarchy things, people, everything?

After this reflection, big tragedy hit the news:
“A black man was strangled and killed by security guard in a supermarket in Brazil, just like George Floyd.”
Every 23 minutes, a black man is killed in Brazil, we have very alarming data and information going on, and nothing is being done. After this tragedy, our vice-president said in national television “There is no such thing as racism in Brazil”.
So much anger, madness going through most of Brazilians minds (myself including), asking for justice, equity and clarity for the facts happening.

Presstone – Instagram profile

Presstone is a instagram profile that shows how the tone of your skin influences how the media publish a message.
When you’re white “Lawyer is arrested by drug dealing”, when you’re black “Murdered of TV Globo photographer is arrested in Morro do Tuiuti.” The darker your skin is, it’s assumed your guilty by the media, in the opposite way, the lighter your skin is, your professional assets is highlighted over the crime committed.

After making this reflection, I went back to nature finds and classify them by color scale.

INSIGHTS: Does nature have a color classification? Tones of value?
Nature uses color to hide and emphasise something when needed but never in a scale of importance as man do.
Men, even being from the same “specie” (investigate concept) use classification and scales to control and oppress other men and other beings.

Action 8 – Visual Reflection

I will investigate sustainable behavior change through interviewing.

After going through my cohorts presentations on their peer engagements, I was really attracted to work with some data visualisation. We had some wonderful work from Chloe and Zarah’s presentation.
Then I decided to start some interviewing on my attempt to collect some information, and maybe transform them to data afterwards.
At first, my question was: Tell me one sustainable habit of you and what was the turning point to change?

Interview through Whatsapp
Organising data/ information

After gathering 50 mini-interviews, I tried to organize the answers in a excel sheet, and right away I noticed i’ve made the wrong question. Wrong for what I wanted to know. I realised I wanted to know more about the stories. During my meeting with Louise, she sent me The Pearl Diver (the designer as storyteller) which was a very good fit fot that! I wanted to know the stories, not numbers, not data, not just information.
As the interviews were made through Whatsapp, I didn’t listen to my interviewers but I wish i had. Regret on that!

Storytelling as a method
Storyboard as a method – Zach’s video

Watching Zach’s video about storyboard on moodle inspired me to put those stories on paper and see how it goes from there.

One of the stories: “I was really annoyed by São Paulo’s heavy traffic and decided I needed to do something to contribute. I sold my car, saved money from gas, insurance , mechanic and start using UBER and public transportation.”
I put all the stories up and there were many points in common between them.

The first thing that I can notice, is the factor MONEY on these stories. Money shows up 1- when some changes are made in a very logical and rational way (For example:” I started saving water and energy to save money. “Or “The company I work for stopped using plastic cups and asked the employees to bring one from home, to save money.”) 2- When something, a product is bought for this change to happened. ( “I bought a eco bag, I bought a collapsible cup, I bought metal straws.) So, capitalism is right in there, making our attempt to help the planet into more and more products.
In fact, another thing I noticed is that most of males had “saving”actions contrasting the “caring”and more subjective actions made by females. (Maybe it is an assumption)

Afterwards I noticed a lot of changes came from VISUAL inputs: a documentary, a lecture (with some data visualisation), graphics on social media, following examples from others, empirical situations (polluted lake, garbage all over, landfill or simply having no water to use), some others came from a more abstract reflection about the planet, the future and the future of the kids and another one is talking to people. All of them would have a “reflection moment”afterwards.

All these people have to make a reflection in some point. Some, just were kind of led to change, by shame or by a structural that changed before (up-bottom) and others have a very deep reflection on their lifestyle, and some are responsible to make that structural change (bottom-up).
To reflect about something, people need a minimum of empathy and self consciousness of place/ community-based, social presence and real data/ information.

PS: “Real participatory action” – My son was with me during the whole storyboarding and he made his own. Copying my drawings but made his own connections. (I’ll investigate them and come back for more)

Action 7 – Playing around

I will investigate engagement through the action of playing.

1- Playing with Candles and crayons

Through this action I propose to recognise actions that would encourage engagement, a real will to participate and contribute while playing with my 5 years old son.

Experiment 1 – Making a floating mandala with candles and crayons
I asked him what would he think of doing that activity that he did before at his school. He was really excited, helped me preparing the material and when it started, he realised the real experience was with color candles, and the I tried to exchange by crayons but it didn’t work quite well. He was frustrated and after that, just asked me to keep doing it, he wasn’t enjoying it.
INSIGHTS- Plan your activity in advance, test it before, so you don’t get expectations broken.
“Do I have the tools to do your best? so I don’t get frustrated?”

2- Origami

Experiment 2 – Origami with my aunt
He was really excited to look through the computer and see all the options he had to make. We explained all the process, chose the color papers and the instructions we were goint to follow. When we all started, he noticed he couldn’t fold the paper properly and his origami wasn’t working. He asked for help many times, but me and my aunt were trying to figure out our origamis and didn’t give him enough attention.He dispersed really quickly and started another activity.
INSIGHTS- Does I have the skills to do your best?
Can I do what I am supposed to do?
Do people care for me?
Do people listen to me?
Am I important?

3- Writing and drawing on the wall

Experiment 3 – Writing and drawing on the wall
I did’t explain too much, just gave him chalks and propose to draw or write on the wall.
He wrote his name, draw something and kept asking me to draw together or propose something he could draw. I said he could draw anything and be free. He finished this activity very quickly.
INSIGHTS: loose proposal
Do I know the process?
Give me some directions or at least, do it with me.

4- Painting

Experiment 4 – Painting his parking lot
For this one, I tried hard to plan in advance, getting the materials, asking him what and how would we paint his parking lot that he had built days before.
So we planned to start from the ramp and he suggested to paint it as a rainbow. I asked his opinion about everything, and tried to make a “framework” for his work, making sure he had the abilities and tools to do what he planned and was supposed to do.
He was on this for hours, very engaged, giving his opinion and worried about the final result.
INSIGHTS: Yes I can. When I understand the process, have the tools, the skills and the framework to create, I give my opinion and contribute to the final result.

5- Gardening

Experiment 5 – Gardening
Again, another experiment where my aunt took part. She invited him to gardening with her. She very patiently explained what and how to do it, gave him an orange tool and stayed by his side, not controlling but enjoying her time with him.
INSIGHTS: Did I learn something new?
Am I important and capable?

During this action I felt very anxious and wanted to step in and interfere the activity, to control it and make it in a easier and faster way. Control is an issue for me, sometimes I make a huge effort not to control situations and make things my way.
Since my son was born, I read a lot about free playing and let kids learn and play through experiencing. Sometimes I succeeded in letting him, I guess, but now all the time.
To engage people, we have to find a point of connection, something in common or that make them feel the same, as equals, same skills and possibilities. They need to feel listened to, that their opinion is important and make a difference. People need to feel capable of learning and teaching something.

Action 6 – Smell, look and taste good

We will investigate connection and intuition through the action of cooking and dishing up.

Elham and I decided to registered all of our meals and food we ate for 3 days and shared with each other. The idea was to come up with some material and source to a start with and reflect on caring, connections and intuition. We would exchange them on monday and have no talk about it.

Elham sent me pictures of her meals for 3 days

 When the pictures arrived on monday, I got really emotional about it.  I was very thankful for that sharing experience, grateful for her disponilility and effort to register her meals and could feel part of her life and family. Meals can be such an intimate information and talks so much about your every day actions and feelings. I could smell those pictures, and taste them in a sense (I wish very hard we could taste them for real).
Well, we agreed not to talk much about it, but I felt I have to share those emotions with her. <3  and asked her to cook a meal for me as soon as we arrive in Vancouver :))))

Comparing our meals, we got a lot in common

First thing we do instinctually is to connect information with you, with your life and reality. So that’s my comparison with hers to my food, the pictures I sent her. Much in common, bread, coffe/tea, fruit, seeds/ nuts, processed candy, salad, rice and chicken.

First attempt to classify her food

My second action was an attempt to classify her food, using my instincts and information trying to guess its importance, temperature and kind of food in a meal composition.

Circle of Food Care

After that, I tried to imagine a Circle of Food Care where certain kinds of food would care for others related to its classification but having each one their relevant and unique role in the meal and people’s lives.

Iranian traditional embroidery
My gift for Elham

As an outcome for the Circle of Care, I wanted to return Elham’s effort on sharing her life and intimacy with me with a gift. She had told me before about her textile and fashion previous and current work and actions and for me, getting out of my comfort zone of Brazilian culture exploration (which I love but still much easier for me) would be not only challenging but scary. What scares me the most was the fact of questioning myself on my previous actions “What does it mean to design for people who have different histories, different backgrounds, and different commitments from us?”. When I’m scared, I freeze, it blocks my creativity and my ideas flow. Was I afraid of other’s judgement?
I mean, it’s just a studio practice, but will this make sense at all?
When I call it a gift, is that a try to take out my responsibility on that action?

This collage was not co-created with Elham, but I showed her before posting it here as a way of having that kind of cultural endorsement. She loved it and I felt ambiguous about it.
Our knowledge should be question and attention points of our work and practice. They should not block our creativity. Bonne talked a lot about that in our dialogue classes, challenging us to act and not to freeze about all those new information addition.

Action 5 – Transcending the Limits of the Real

For this action, I paired with Elham and together we tried to expand our questions, see it for another standpoint and came up with a video sketching planning.
I had 2 big thoughts on my last action, circle shapes and signs vs. intuition.

A circle can be viewed someway when you are inside and exclusive, opposite way when you are outside it.
I did some research and had some readings on study circles, healing circles.
The study circle is a unique method of dialogue, in terms of its torically established objectives of democracy, citizen engagement, enhanced social solidarity” (Suda, 2001)
“For the Aboriginal talking or sharing circle, circles represent inclusion and non-hierarchy, where “each one is equal, one belongs” (National Adult Literacy Database, n.d)

Circles can become a bubble that you sometimes don’t belong to and are not welcome to. Concluding that sometimes circles can easily get bigger and expand to have you, or not.
“People often see multiplicity and heterogeneity as accidents or exceptions. The marginal person, who is for example of mixed race, is portrayed as the troubled outsider; just as the thing that does not fit into one bin or another gets put into a“residual” category.” (Bowker & Star, Sorting Things Out, 2000)
Circles can have intersections, where boundaries objects and structures can be formed.
” Boundary objects are those objects that both inhabit several communities of practice and satisfy the informational requirements of each of them.” (Bowker & Star, Sorting Things Out, 2000)
“A monster occurs when an object refuses to be naturalized.” (Haraway 1992).
“A borderland occurs when two communities of practice coexist in one person.”(Anzaldúa 1987).

storyboard for my first video sketch CIRCLES
Video Sketch 1 – CIRCLES

My second video sketch was on following signs that we are so used to in a city social context vs. following your intuition and broad knowledge towards nature.
“The human collective today knows far more overall than the whole population of 15,000 years ago. However, at the individual level we are much more specialized today. Ancient foragers were the most knowledgable and skillful people in history.”(Harari, Sapiens, 2011)

storyboard for my sketch FOLLOWING
Video Sketch 2 – FOLLOWING

After my peer engagement on Tuesday, many INSIGHTS and questions came up with my cohorts conversation.
– Which intuition would I like to evolve? – reminded me of Clarissa Pinkola Estés , 1989 “Woman who runs with wolves” wild woman, and I’d love to go deeper on that
– Consider a 3D circle
– Circles in architecture
– Circles + Time measuring / Spiral – tree’s age measurement
– Blanket exercise
– Increasing number of signs to follow during the pandemic
– Children’s ethics / child spontaneity / decolonizing children
– Circles vs Square – more area, sharp edges

RA interview – educational methods and approaches

I was invited to a RA interview for KGMS position to incorporate squamish language into day to day interaction project with Zach, Anji and Marissa.
Besides being far physically what harm our interactions and our co-creation process to deeply understand teachers, students and community needs, I’ve been experiencing a lot of good strategies of co-design and exchange through screen with my colleagues during classes and with our actions. So, it’s not the perfect situation but it is for sure, viable.
In addition to that, This interaction would be highly necessary to create our actions and materials together.

My first suggestion to the project was learning through experience, that could be a food experience, a festive, music, dance experience what would approach students to a different (or not) culture and language. Hopefully they would to interact, give a try and things would try to make sense for them. If not, we would ask for suggestions, improvise another actions and try to understand what really motivate them.
For little kids, experience is just the way they live and act, everything is new and everything is interesting, quite easier to have their attention. We can explore all their senses, for example, in the food experience: stories about that dish, its ingredientes, feel the ingredientes, paint with the ingredientes, its source, where they grow…

“Food is an expression of terroir, the place, ground or earth that we are most identified with. It is also a potent storytelling medium.”(Action 2)

sensorial and food experience

I also suggest a grandparents visit to tell and share their culture, knowledge and tips for life 🙂 Past is full of valuable social and cultural resources.

grandma’s visit at school

For the older kids and teenagers, maybe a more “party experience” with music, food and dance…the key point would bem always to find this connections… where their real interests are. Field trips are also a good suggestion to engage them. I believe adolescents need more appeal to engage with, added to maybe a print material, or video or presentation that would materialize what they’ve learned from that.

Field trip

After the interview, much more ideas and approaches came through. I’m reading “Paulo Freire, 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed” for my dialogue bibliography and what Freire suggest on his method is the same I heard at a “Democratic school”that I visited for my son and also what I was trying to achieve on my suggestions above. His method is based on finding a connection with students, to make sense, to make learning an pleasurable and necessary action.
He literate adults by finding the right words (he calls them generator words) to work with them and not using regular books, and words that have no connection with their everyday life and interests. Consciousness is his turning point.
I heard an exemple from the democratic method that was a boy who “couldn’t write and read” so he felt really low self- esteem, he thought he had a problem…so they found out he loved buses, and riding them. Then, he realised he “needed” to read, so he could recognise bus signs. He found a real reason for that knowledge and learned to read through bus signs and not regular word as APPLE, and BOOK etc..

“Education doesn’t change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.” Paulo Freire


INSIGHTS:
What does it mean to design for people who are not like us, even before we ask whether we should design for people who are not like us?
What does it mean to design for people who have different histories, different backgrounds, and different commitments from us?
What does it mean to design for people who might relate to the world differently from the way we do? (Ansari, 2019)