Discovery Phase Activities




1. Diving into a topic, question through writing
2. Creating with focus/creative constrains
3. Active meditation

4. Improving writing skills


This exercise can be used both as an active way of discovering things or as a part of a creative activity.

Time frame

60 minutes : 25 - 30 minutes for the writing activity and 30 minutes for the photos collection

Material needed

- papers or notebooks
- pens
- smartphones

If you want to show a different view point about how visual expression can be used in different contexts and with different objectives, you can show first a different use of written self-expression that we use much more often. In this activity, you will use words in a much less structured and a much more intuitive way than what you are used to. Deconstructing what we know about how we should write can help us to deconstruct as well what we think to know about how to draw and what visual self-expression can be used for.

1. Ask your participants to grab some papers or a notebook and a pen.

2. Give them the instruction, explain the framework of automatic writing: "This is an individual task. You will have 10/15 minutes to write. The focus or the title is .... "(give them a focus that is relevant for your group work and that is not very narrow, for example we used in Matera after a creative city crossing: "Findings of you in Matera"). "This activity is called automatic writing, because the base of the technique is that you should not stop writing during this activity, if you don't know what to write, write down 'I don't know what to write', and so on. When I will say: start! please start to write, and after 10 minutes I will tell you stop, at that moment you can finish your last sentence, but please do not start a new one."


3. Set your timer, start the count down and say: "Start!" after you made sure everyone understands the task and they are ready to start.
4. After 10 minutes tell: "Stop!" and really pay attention to everyone and ask them to stop, if they go on too long with writing.



5. After everyone finished writing, ask your participants to choose 5 words, that are somehow important for them in the text. Ask them to make a list of the words.

6. In pairs, the participants should create images (take photos) that somehow illustrate or represent the words from the list. Everyone compose the images him/herself, the other half of the couple supports the creation. You can ask your participants to make themselves part of the composition as well, in some of the photos (3 out of 5). It can be a body part, a whole figure, etc.

7. When the photos are taken, ask the participants to share them with you. You can use WhatsApp, mail  or any other file sharing option.

Here are some examples for the words "far", "light", "old" and "visible".

Recommendations to combine "Automatic Writing" with other activities: