18.09.2018 | Visual Game | Life is Not a Game. So Let's Play!
Have we lost the art of conversation? How can we stimulate more meaningful dialogue? And how do we find good conversation partners? These are the questions that triggered our discussion on the topic of 'Chatting before it was an online act', a Visual Game designed to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of 'conversation' in the current times.
We discussed chatting online versus face-to-face, and agreed that you should never use the full stop in online conversations unless you're serious. Or angry. Or frustrated. And smileys are like body language. We think we understand them. But we can have different interpretations. Above all, we appreciate presence in conversations. Being there and listening, being authentic and respectful. It's all about connecting with others, but secretly we also enjoy exploring some contentious ground in conversations. These are just a few highlights from two hours of interaction and drawing. Check out the photos!
25.08.2017 | Potluck and PechaKucha Party to celebrate 1 year!
Visual Agency is 1 year old! We celebrated this with a Potluck & PechaKucha Party for all members of Visual Agency! Our community of like-minded people is growing, bringing together people interested in visualisation, creativity and dialogue. We shared a potluck dinner and enjoyed PechaKucha presentations on the topic of creative thinking & sustainable change. Fiona talked about sustainable events organisation; Heidi introduced us to the Feldenkrais method; Hin-Yan spoke about the pollution of the oceans; Tordur shared with us his idea of cycling tours in the city; Anja explained what think.dk is about; and I gave some insights into my community-building to encourage more sharing and upcycling between neighbours. Tonia, Justyna, Osama, Carmen and Melinda brought delicious dishes to share. A big thank you to everyone for their contributions, making this a truly great evening! Have a look at the photos!
10.08.2017 | Collaboration with KU's Innovation Hub
I am very excited to announce that Visual Agency has started collaborating with the new Innovation Hub at the University of Copenhagen! The Innovation Hub, or KU PLUS, is "a platform for the development of new ideas and collaborations at Copenhagen University". As this is a perfect match with Visual Agency's goals, I believe that this will be a very fruitful and mutually worthwhile collaboration. To start with, I am organising the creativity course at the Hub, and more workshops will follow soon.
Read more about the Innovation Hub: 'New innovation hub plans to unleash the potential of South Campus' at Uniavisen.
Aug-Sept | Course | Developing Your Creativity
We have started the third round of the course on creativity, this time with a group of 7 participants. During the five classes, we cover the following topics: aesthetics, space, identity, technology and politics. Read more about this course if you wish to participate next time, or check out the photos!
20.08.2017 | Workshop | 'Upcycling kills the economy'
Do you agree that upcycling kills the economy? When was the last time you chose to use an unwanted item rather than buying a new one? This event much more than a standard debate: I brought my Visual Agency toolbox to facilitate the debate through visual communication in order to collaboratively visualise our different perspectives. The debate took the form of the World Cafe - "a powerful social technology for engaging people in conversations that matter, offering an effective antidote to the fast-paced fragmentation and lack of connection in today’s world" - and it was organised in collaboration with the Copenhagen Debaters Meetup. See photos from this debate.
19.08.2017 | Workshop | Community-building at Fionia Hus
Fionia Hus consists of three buildings, with inhabitants from all generations. The relatively new buildings and sterile staircases do not encourage much interaction between neighbours. As this place has lots of potential, I decided to undertake action and to bring my community-building skills to Fionia Hus 2, the building where I live and which has 56 apartments. I organised a Neighbours Summer Party where, aside of the potluck BBQ, we did a Visual Game to encourage funny, interesting and useful conversations. Check out the photos!
27.04.2017 | Workshop | Visual Networking for Professionals
Do you love meeting new people, but not too keen on the standard networking formula? Wondering how to best connect people, I designed this alternative approach to networking based on creative team-building activities in order to do the exact opposite of standard networking events:
- instead of immediately forgetting who's who, we use two techniques (visual and storytelling) to remember all names and you get everyone's details afterwards to keep in touch so that next time you see them in town, you can say "Hi [Name]" without hesitation;
- instead of the boring "What do you do?" conversations, we make it into a game and work in teams drawing selfies to make others guess;
- instead of getting stuck in monologues, we make question cards to stimulate interesting conversations and find out about those curious personal stories;
- and finally, instead of showing-off accomplishments, we tell others about our dreams and why we want to expand out network.
We had a group of 19 participants, spanning the whole diversity of professions: researchers, astrologers, designers, IT, project managers, engineers, educators, life coaches and tourist guides. Curious to see how the event looked like? Here are the online photos!
April-May 2017 | Course | Expanding Your Creativity Further
I am very excited that the successful 5-week course on creativity continues with new topics: Utopia/Distopia, The Everyday, Failure and Community. We have both new participants and previous attendees who wished to continue their creative process. Photos of the classes can be viewed here.
March 2017 | Course | Developing Your Creativity
This new course on Creativity started in March 2017. It is a 5-week course with classes that consist of seminars, workshops, notebook development and networking. It covers the following topics: Aesthetics, Time&Space, Identity, Politics and Technology. Check out the photos!
21.02.2017 | Remembering information visually
Did you know that people use different senses for memories? Read this insightful article by Tonia Michalopoulou, where she mentions Visual Agency.
31.01.2017 | Visual Thinking | Setting Creative Goals for 2017
In collaboration with Copenhagen Creative Studio, I facilitated a workshop for its 30 members to plan creative goals for the new year. The event asked participants to develop a collaborative project through which each person would acquire new skills, while contributing existing skills to base the project on personal interests. Check out the photos from this event!
05.01.2017 | Visual Thinking | Redefining Creativity
What does 'creativity' actually mean, and how do we become more creative? Or has it become so banal in our overdesigned society that the term 'creativity' should be redefined? Together with seven participants, we discussed its various connotations, sharing quotes ("Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work" - Chuck Close) and challenging questions (Does money provide opportunities for creativity, or does it stifle it?) A workshop that offered a deeper reflection on what it means to be creative today. Check out the photos from this event!
04.01.2017 | Visual Game | Imagining New Traditions for 2017
Which new traditions would you invent for 2017? What kind of rituals would you prefer to celebrate the big events? And how could alternative celebrations change the way our society evolves? These are the kind of questions we addressed in this participatory, creative, social game. The discussion brought up many ideas for alternative festivities - imagine a gratitude day, a day for smiling (especially on public transport), a community day and a sharing week (making the Dutch Neighbours Day international) and a monthly screens-off day (exactly what society needs). We also thought of an upgrade to Valentine's day with free hugs for all, and decided that Women's day should be properly celebrated (we suggest role changing!). Stories of traditions from disparate cultures (Christian, Muslim, Jewish) were shared, and we realised how many crossovers there are. We left feeling quite a bit more excited about the year ahead! Check out the photos from this event!
24.12.2017 | Visual Game | Imagining New Traditions for 2017
How can a family Christmas dinner become more meaningful? In search for a relevant conversation topic, I designed this creative game to rethink the Christmas tradition for the 21st Century - shifting from consumerism and over-eating to more meaningful rituals. What ensued was a 5-hour long engagement in collaborative drawing while we reimagined all the annual festivities.
14.12.2016 | Visual Networking | UAL:DK Alumni Group
Visual Agency facilitated the social networking meeting for the newly formed University of the Arts London Alumni Group in Denmark. The goal was to connect practitioners from various creative fields, so that collaborative opportunities and mutual support could arise. Here are photos from the event.
18.11.2016 | Visual Agency in the media!
Read this great article in Havnefronten written by Carole Christensen.
04.11.2016 | Visual Game | Local People + Global Stories
Another inspiring workshop on the topic of cultural integration, this time with a big group and even more stories! See all photos from this event.
28.10.2016 | Visual Game | Local People + Global Stories
Small groups create a great dynamic where everyone can bring in something interesting! An intriguing dialogue with 5 great participants. Check out the photos from this event!
26.10.2016 | Visual Networking | Internations
An intense 2-hour networking event with 6 professionals around the table, working in the fields of photography, logistics, law, dentistry, impact investments and technology. Check out the photos from this event!
12-13.10.2016 | Visual Learning | Endrupskolen in Fredensborg
Visual Agency facilitated a creative learning process for grade 6 pupils at Endrupskolen to understand better the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The workshop was organised in collaboration with NGO Crossing Borders, and as part of the Global Week at Endrupskolen. Check out the photos from this event!
30.09.2016 | Visual Game | Local People + Global Stories
The second edition of this engaging workshop exploring people's journeys and stories. Six participants went through the process of drawing a world map without talking, making associations between places and colourful patterns, answering challenging questions and discussing statements such as 'I want my neighbour to be just like me'. Check out the photos from this event!
28.09.2016 | Visual Game | Local People + Global Stories
Integration is not an easy process and raises many challenging questions. Can hygge be experienced by non-Danes? Should the city become more multicultural? And should all new arrivals be allowed to vote? These are just some of the issues we will discuss.
Colourful markers, challenging questions and a small group of people around the table - this is the setting for the first workshop titled Local People + Global Stories. This visual game aims to create a dialogue about cultural integration by inviting people with different backgrounds and nationalities to share stories using a playful and creative approach. Check out the photos from this event!
26.06.2016 | Visual Learning | Discussing climate change
This workshop was part of the Climate Youth Ambassadors training organised by the NGO Crossing Borders. It offered students from Jordan, Italy, Lebanon and Denmark to find shared interests in campaigning against climate change. Check out the photos from this event!
26.06.2014 | Visual Thinking | Re-imagining public space
This workshop with five participants took place as part of the ‘Past, Present and Future of Public Space’ Conference in Bologna, in collaboration with the Social Street movement. The question raised for the discussion was: How to realise a truly public space?
28.05.2014 | Visual Planning | A brainstorm about Florence
Together with five architecture students from different design groups, we discussed the future potential of the Orsola building, which is in the centre of Florence. The discussion consisted of a brainstorm, the sharing of stories and knowledge about the area, and the negotiation of various ideas for the development of the building.
20.05.2014 | Visual Planning | Envisaging London's Olymic legacy
With three architecture students, we explored the options that London faces post-Olympics. Indirectly, we looked at the group's dynamics for undertaking a collaborative design project and the challenges involved. How to contribute equally to a collaborative design projects, while harnessing various strengths and skills?
15.05.2014 | Visual Planning | Planning a museum for New York
Together with three participants, we discussed the potential of a new contemporary art museum for Long Island in New York, using roleplaying alongside painting as a way of reflecting on the conflicting views of locals and planners.
17.04.2014 | Visual Planning | London and its Olympic legacy
How can the Olympic legacy become of use to London's citizens? With this design team, the visualisation served as a way of sense-making of the various opportunities and limitations to opening up the Greenway and Fish Island area for locals.
17.04.2014 | Visual Planning | Deciding against institutional expectations in architecture school
This session about the students' project for East London sparked a much needed debate on the cultural and institutional differences that influence the architectural discipline. How can students make design decisions which might go against the expectations of their professor?
16.04.2014 | Visual Planning | The challenge of connecting London's Olypmic Park with the city
How to create a community where once was an Olympic Park? The dangers of masterplanning were explored in this session, while ideas were shared to bring new life to an area after it's primary function has finished.
16.04.2014 | Visual Planning | Redeveloping London's Hackney Wick
Three students, working on Hackney Wick in London, were challenged to think from a local's perspective. This required putting aside finished architectural drawings of new buildings, and imagining the needs of the existing community. This required a deeper reflection on the question of what a foreign architect can bring to an (as yet) unfamiliar place.
15.04.2014 | Visual Planning | Imagining New York
In imagining new spaces for NYC, there is a danger of blindly following the schools of thought offered by the architectural discipline. In this session, we critically reflected on the best approach to designing for a society and community that one only knows through media, travels and personal narratives.
15.04.2014 | Visual Planning | Brainstorming on Florence
Bringing two design groups together, this session enabled students to share their observations of how an underused green area outside Florence can gain new functionality for locals.
15.04.2014 | Visual Planning | Discovering landmarks in marshy land
A session en plein-air, where students shared their creative views for a marshy land just outside the city, while testing these in regards to the already existing natural features of the land.
28.10.2014 | Visual Planning | Moving to a new city
An international move to a new city opens up new opportunities. This session created a space for the sharing of ideas about how to engage with a new place, and what needs might arise out of such a fresh new start.
04.03.2014 | Visual Planning | Practicalities of church design
This session with a pastor circled around the question of how the design of the church and community centre has made life and work possible on its grounds.
01.03.2014 | Visual Planning | Reflection on finished architectural project: the church
Together with the architect, we reflected on his design of a church and community centre in Florence. The challenge was to move away from its physical aspects, and to consider to what extent the religious community can flourishes in its spaces.
24.01.2014 | Visual Planning | Conservation of ancestral home in HK
How to protect an ancestral home that has become a ruin, but which remains alive in the imagination of the owners of the old Chinese village? Set in Hong Kong, we discuss possibilities of reviving such places through turning them into new destinations of historical and culinair interest to the citizens of Hong Kong.
28.12.2013 | Visual Planning | Co-imagining a couple's ideal future house
With an architect and his wife, we imagined how their ideal future house would take shape. By letting go of the conventional architectural drawing, a diversity of characteristics could be communicated between them, such as how shared space is created and how warmth is brought into a home setting.
19.11.2013 | Visual Planning | From architectural concept to actual house
What unexpected situations emerge in the process from concept to construction? In this session with an Italian architect, we discussed to what extent his ideas about form translated into the final building. Some unexplored issues emerged from our conversation, which required us to paint more abstractly than the architect was used to.
27.10.2013 | Visual Planning | A family's garden reimagined
In rural Tuscany in Italy, a married couple was interested to have a meeting about their garden, which until now had been developing without larger plan. Painting out the space, and taking trips to the actual place, made it possible for the couple to exchange views on how they'd like the garden to look like.
26.10.2013 | Visual Planning | The challenge of renovation
Changing the structure of interiors is a daunting task and requires imagination as well as courage. With Ela, we literally built layer upon layer of possibilities. Colours helped to imagine the atmosphere of these new spaces, and to symbolically define the functions of the rooms.
29.08.2012 | Visual Planning | Relationship between developers and architects
What values are of significance in the work of a property developer? What starts out as a conversation about aesthetics and design decisions, turns into a discussion of the negotiation process between various spatial stakeholders. We both learned from this encounter!
18.06.2012 | Visual Planning | Urban interventions and fascinations
On how many levels do we engage with our city? In this session with F., we explore the various ways in which she interacts and intervenes, as well as manipulates the experience of others with urban space.
07.06.2012 | Visual Planning | Preferring vernacular architecture
Can we choose to live in non-standard houses, or in fact buildings made for the right climate? Listening to the stories of J., a painter who moved many times in her life, I learn about her passion for vernacular architecture and feng shui, painting her journey through cities and nature.
16.06.2012 | Visual Planning | Theory v. Life
Can ideas about space inform our approach to inhabitation? As we set out to discuss certain urban theories, the question of how we actually live arises. As architect and academic, I. explains how her studies and subsequent work in the field changed her view of architecture drastically.
11.06.2012 | Visual Planning | Frustrating infrastructure!
A conversation based on pure frustration with the terrible design of public space. With T., we cover in this workshop all the problems and potentials of designing movement in cities. Most importantly, we address the crucial question of responsibility for public space; to what extent do individuals share responsibility with stakeholders such as architects, councils etc.?
04.06.2012 | Visual Planning | From floorplan to spatial relationships
A.B was keen to discuss fer future house, but was primarily interested in the floorplan. I wanted to disucss the ideas context in which this house would be situated. A difficult discussion ensued which resulted in a layered work reflecting the juxtaposition of these two approaches.
09.04.2012 | Visual Planning | Finding a space for thinking
Where can we find the perfect space to think and dream, away from the noisy chaos of the city? With V., artist and engineer, we imagine and desing her creative space, taking as inspiration the firemen training tower looking out over the sky.