Discovery phase activities

COLLECTING EVERYDAY ORNAMENTS
IN THE CITY & AT HOME

Objectives
 

1. Improving skills in visual content making

2. Discovering local visual environment

3. Improving skills in story-telling, sharing experience

4. Creating bridges between local culture, culture of origin and each other.

Time frame

Between 60 to 120 minutes

Material needed

- Personal mobile phones


 


Ornaments, understood as lines and shapes organised into a harmonious or aesthetic structure can be found everywhere: in the street, on the pavement, at home, on your objects and clothes. Even when there is no intentionally created ornament, such as on the front side of a building with repeated squares of windows, you can find ornaments there too. This exercise encourages you to change perspective and learn to appreciate at all those details, structures and harmonies that you pass by in your daily life without really seeing them.


1. Explain what an ornament is.
 
You can also show examples from different visual cultures.

 

Why to work with ornaments ?

Ornaments have dozens of different uses, functions and meanings broadcasting universal and very specific messages at the same time. Their main characteristics that make them apt to reuse and recycle :

  • they are free from ideology still they are closely connected to ethnic, religious or cultural identities

  • they can be adapted to many different material and digital artistic medias

  • there are easy and simple methods to create them even without having special artistic skills

  • creating them has a therapeutic aspect and a calming effect.

  • They are everywhere and it's possible to approach many different topics through them.

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2. Take a walk outside in your own neighborhood and make some photos about anything representing geometric ornaments, such as drainers, fence, pavement or even wheels.

You can also  turn your photos into black & white so that patterns become more visible.

3. This kind of discovery activities, where the aim is to create a collection of digital photos that you might use later during the creative and/or the digital phase of the workshop, can be also an occasion to learn how to take quality photos.

 

By respecting a few fundamental rules, it will be also easier to works with the photos within the following creative or co-creative activities.
 


4. After the photos session and walk outside, tell the participants to look around at home and pick up some objects such a piece of cloth, a book or anything else containing or representing geometrical ornaments. It can be an object with a personal story, which is important for you for some reason or something linked to your culture of origin. Such as this pillow with Hungarian folk patterns or this scarf embroidered by Syrian ladies. Take some photos  about these too.