top of page

Souvenir Book based on Creative City Crossing and Exploration Kit


Overall objectives

1. Developing skills in visual and digital content making and in visual storytelling 
2. Developing art  & craft skills
3. Awake awareness about environmental protection through recycling


Recommended for

Any public


2 sessions of 1.5 or 2 hours

1. Discovery phase: CREATIVE CITY CROSSING 
collecting traces using Exploration Kits


Specific objectives

1. Getting to know new places
2. Discovering something new in familiar places
3. Reliving urban spaces
4. Stimulate observation
5. Unlock creativity
6. Promote self expression
7. Facilitate encounters and narration
8. Feed curiosity
9. Explore art techniques to facilitate storytelling


Time frame

2 hours

Material needed

For the Exploration kit:

- A map of the place or information material relating to it
- Blank A4 sheets
- White A5 sheets (the sheets can also be non-white, but light colors)
- A wax crayon (possibly black)
- A pencil
- A black pen
- A plastic bag with closure
- Smartphone



The facilitator needs to have a deeper knowledge about the city /  neighborhood or too make some research about it in advance. As an introductory phase, you might choose on of the  ice-braking  activities which can be held outside such as the
Name and gesture or the Word sculptures activity

The Creative City Crossing involves a double level of exploration: the first level is entrusted to a guide or a conductor, who defines in advance the stages to be covered during the experience. The itinerary can be of any type (cities, parks, neighborhoods, stations ...): the different stops can be chosen by the guide on the basis of one's own poetics or a specific topic/itinerary that you want to cross, such as some points of the city, monuments, particular areas of historical or artistic interest, but also botanical itineraries (let's think of a creative crossing of a park or a forest) or street art paths.

The second level is intertwined with the guided itinerary and is the active exploration: for each stop told by the guide or the conductor, participants will use an exploration kit that is given to them before departure: this kit help participants in collecting as many traces of the itinerary as possible. These traces will be used the next phase to customize the Souvenir Book.

Participants are therefore invited, along the way, to collect parts of the city in different ways by “capturing things and details” with different techniques: with frottage (rubbing a wax crayon on the sheet placed on a rough surface); photographing the profile of a building or a decorative detail; noting or making pencil sketches of some of the details encountered; collecting and putting in a small bag natural and artificial objects or traces found on the ground (pebbles, torn posters, leaves, fallen objects, scraps…).


Attendees are given this reminder of what they are encouraged to do:

During the walk, collect traces from the city that refers to these categories:



You can collect the traces by:
1. picking up small objects or fragments and storing them in the bag;
2. photographing places where you collected them and marking them on the map;
3. taking note of what intrigues you by writing and drawing;
4. tracing the surfaces by rubbing the wax crayon on the leaflets.

Their attention should be focused on “topical objects”: everyday findings, travel memoirs, common objects, tickets, pocket items, objects found on the street, natural traces.... These kind of fragments will then have the ability to evoke the place to which they belong and their narrative potential will emerge in the following phases.


Retracing stories

The collected objects contain stories, sensations, feelings and also preserve a memory linked to a specific place crossed during the journey.

At the end of the Creative City Crossing, the collected traces are retraced. Seated at a table, the participants are invited to exhibit all the traces collected on a black sheet, each creating their own "collection". Everyone can observe collections of others: the value of this moment is both aesthetic and communicative: people are invited to look at the traces collected by others and discovering different kinds of beauty and, leaded by curiosity, they could spontaneously find similarities or differences among the collections, discovering how each explorer has picked different parts of the same itinerary.


2. Creative phase: SOUVENIR BOOK

Material needed

- A4 black sheets,
- A3 white sheets,
- Glue sticks,
- Scissors,
- Pens, pencils, markers,
- Inks and pads,
- Blotting paper sheets,
- Crayons,
- White sheets,
- Some magazines,
- Paper tape,
- Transparent adhesive tape,
- Stamps with letters or others objects that can leave an print.


Specific objectives

1. Explore art techniques to facilitate storytelling
2.  T
ranslate feelings and relate them to an emotional map
3. Better visual education and visual composite skills
4. Fix contents and create report by accessible tools
5. Find new ways to catalog things for different needs

Time frame

90  minutes

Now, that you have a nice collection of  different kinds of traces gathered during your creative city crossing activity, you can set up your workshop  to create Souvenir Books.

1. Prepare the support of the Souvenir Book. Starting from a white A3 sheet and following this pattern of folds, you can get a small book consisting of 4 pages.

fold book.jpeg

2. Customize your own souvenir book. Choose and place among the pages the traces of the city that you have collected, looking for your own style and your own narrative thread and using various creative techniques.

3. The idea is to compose a two-dimensional collage with the mixed media technique. Traces on the book can be glued, transferred, photocopied, drawn, written, but also torn: the only rule is that any trace transferred on it should not create thickness in the pages.

4. In addition to writing, drawing or sticking into the pages of your book, your can use 4 image transfer techniques we suggest:

- frottage (rubbing a wax pastel on a sheet to catch rough surfaces)

-printing (using ink and tampons to let objects leave their print)

- contouring (retracing the perimeter of an object to create a silhouette of it)

- tape scrapping (using adhesive tape to "steal" words from newspapers by putting it on a paper and then peeling it off very quickly).

5. Create an exhibition. Afterwards, each souvenir book is placed on a black sheet and a small exhibition is organized, so you can share the work done with others and give the occasion to those who want to tell about their own experience and their personal crossing of the city.

bottom of page