Monday, May 27, 2013

Zsennye Workshop

Hey all! Design Terminal has real grass and mushrooms "planted" along the exhibition and it looks awesome! So if you're around Deák Ferenc tér in Hungary, check it out. Entries are free.

Basically, the exhibition introduces Zsennye summer camp/workshop and came along with a mini-workshop organized by Fanni Csernátony last Friday.
The workshop was international and most participants were Erasmus students who came to study at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, so we all had to talk English. I didn't mind the practice and also had a chance to talk dutch a bit.

Our programme
It started with a presentation mainly about design activism followed by a big group talk discussing this topic. Then we were divided to four groups, mainly based on our profession. Our task was to design and plan a movement that will make Hungary better in any way and keep this movement sustainable.
We started brainstorming later at lunch and I don't know why it came to me as a surprise, but almost everyone had noted how grumpy and unhappy the people look on the streets, especially the old ladies. (I must be too used to it.)
So in the end we decided to make people smile and perhaps make them interact to strangers as well.
After getting back we got our place at the window and some special chalk to do our planning and to sort all the information we had gathered at lunch. We moved on to more specific ideas as well.
At some point a guy from our group started waving to the people outside and it made people smile and in some cases wave back. It was a funny experiment. We tried to wave with a sad face to see how it works, but there were too many of us and there was always someone who couldn't hold their smile. :)
We noted various reactions. Some were confused and weren't sure who we were waving at, some were freaked out about us. Many just smiled and around a half of them waved back as well. It was funny to notice how many people turned around and came walking by again to see if we would give them a second wave. Three teenage boys came as close to the windows as ourselves were. We kept waving at each other for 5 minutes! And I am proud to announce that there was one guy, who even came inside to participate for a while.
Later on, I drew some signs and instead of waving, we showed people these. Compliments made them smile or sometimes wave and funny messed up ones like "You Pretty" sign for a guy and "Cool Moustache" for a girl made them laugh. We even went outside our comfort zone/the streets and got more interaction, like people saying thanks to us, which was quite nice. The guys tried to follow around some girls with "Love You" and "Pretty" signs. It made the girls walk a bit faster but at least it also made them laugh.

Flash Mob
After all the experimenting we went to take part in a flash mob. A Buddhist group located next to us organized a 5-minute meditation flash mob at the Deák Ferenc square. We all got a balloon and sat on the ground. The meditation seemed far shorter than five minutes but it was, though. And after that we all let go of our environmental friendly balloons and looked at them fly. It was nice and peaceful, everyone respected this movement. No one started screaming and the phones that started to ring were put silent immediately.

In the last few hours we had to finalize and present our project of the day.
I had this idea though, that I pity we did not carry out. It was about sticking post-it notes with nice messages to the back of some pedestrians thus making other people interact with them and delivering the nice message as well. It would make strangers interact and make people smile as well. I guess our group just couldn't build up the courage to do this, because we also planned on making photos of it.
While I wrote our presentation onto the window, the rest of the group sticked up all the signs. No one wanted to do the talking, so I did the "(sigh) Okay...I'll do it"- thing and started it all, but got some help by the end, thankfully.

Unforgettable experience
This was my very first workshop and it was an amazing experience. I have also learnt a lot about roles and team work. I got more inside information on the differences between MoME and foreign universities as well.
It was also my first flash mob. I was nervous and thought it would be embarrassing but it was really friendly and peaceful.
I really loved this and might participate to take part at the summer workshop as well!

Picture was taken from this facebook page.