25.04.2022 | Workshop for NGO Crossing Borders
I was invited by the NGO Crossing Borders to facilitate a workshop on 'Visualising the Sustainable Development Goals'. This was part of a one day training event, attended by representatives (students, teachers and management) from 7 Danish schools. It was the first of four modules in which participants are trained up to become ambassadors for Localising the SDG's. In the next phase, they will work in partnership with 7 African schools to develop solutions to local problems.
We are all familiar with the square logos of the 17 SDG's, but these remain abstract concepts until we work with them in specific situations, locally. How can our engagement with the SDG's be visualisued, in ways other than event documentation or data graphics? For my workshop, I designed a 3-stage process of engagement, using mental visualisation, storytelling and creative photography, while providing background information on types of visuals, the importance of visual literacy, and on gaining visual agency.
08.02.2022 | Private consultation
In this one-to-one consultation, I worked together with a professional artist to support her in getting past artist's block. We discussed the underlying causes, as it is often an internal, critical voice that stops us from realising our plans and ideas. We then moved on to discuss practical ways forwards, diagramming all the ideas on a large sheet. A mind spinning session that resulted in a clear action plan for the artist to realise her creative projects.
Are you stuck with your creative ideas, or don't know how to progress with a project? Don't hesitate to reach out for an individual consultation!
01.10.2020 | Collaborative Visual Thinking workshop
The latest workshop brought together four participants to learn about the method of Collaborative Visual Thinking with a focus on the topic of mass tourism and sustainability. We discussed what travelling means in times of increasing existential crises - pandemics, climate change - and wondered what the consequences would be if travelling was fully banned.
10.09.2020 | Collaborative Visual Thinking workshop
In the first Collaborative Visual Thinking workshop, six participants engaged in a visual discussion on the pandemic as an 'eucatastrophe' - an event that brings new value and a favourable resolution. We raised critical questions related to governance, social life & mental health, and science & technology (e.g. "Who decides when the pandemic is over, and in whose interest is it"?), and what a new normal could be when approached with 'existential hope'. In the process, we practised creating pictograms and ideograms, and shared personal experiences of the lock down.
As we start afresh after the long lockdown, we are very excited to announce that the new Visual Agency workshops will all take place at think.dk.
Think.dk is a Centre for Acceleration of Sustainable Change. It is a non-profit project, an event space, and a co-creative community for people who want to support the acceleration of change towards a sustainable way of living. They are now located at Kulturhuset Indre By, in the centre of Copenhagen.
As Visual Agency shares many values with think.dk, I am very excited to be working within their framework!
Owners' Associations in buildings like Fionia Hus often struggle to find representatives amongst their residents who are keen to join the board - a voluntary role in which you manage the building for 1 or 2 years together with a small team.
In the summer of 2020, Fionia Hus II was left without a Board, and hence in a crisis where no one was taking decisions, arranging repairs or paying the communal bills.
Visual Agency took the initative to reactivate the community through informal meetings, newsletters and polls, which resulted in enough people stepping forward to join the new board. We have proposed long-term solutions to the residents and the board which would prevent such problems in the future - solutions which are about stronger community building, as this is the only way towards working together in voluntary work.
01.03.2020 | Visual Storytelling
At this community event, we had the great pleasure to present six visual stories using the PechaKucha presentation format (slightly adjusted to this kind of event):
'All you need to change the world' by Fiona Pelham, CEO of Positive Impact Events
Fiona explained what is needed to change the world, and it involves collaboration and staying connected face-to-face.
'Allegory in photography' by Birgitte Andersen, Professional Artist
Birgitte gave us a preview of her new photography project with a stunning first photo in the series.
'Millenials, please hire me!' by Heidi Gutierrez, Quality engineer at Rovsing A/S
Heidi gave us an honest insight into the journey of job searching, and created a strong piece of video performance art.
'Jumping into data visualisation' by Kirstin Lyon, Visual Analytics Specialist
Kirstin made us realise the tremendous effort behind data visualisation, and how images appear more trustworthy than text.
'Using intuition for decision making' by Melissa Harmsworth, Account Manager Nordics at Parker Hannifin
Melissa showed us her personal journey towards understanding how decisions can be made more intuitively, based on our own values rather than external expectations.
'Dare to Dance Copenhagen' by Agnes Mlicka, Facilitator at Visual Agency
And finally, I encouraged everyone to dance, anytime and anywhere, because dancing on your own in public space is not a taboo, it is an empowering and healthy exercise.
Nov-Dec 2019 | Visual Game
No one teaches us how to have a fulfilling life by bringing together passion, mission, vocation and profession. Ikigai is about what we love to do, what we are good at, what we are paid for and what the world needs - our reason for being. It is something we have to figure out ourselves, maybe with some tips and guidance on the side. Yet, it is a real challenge to reflect on this journey alone. This workshop was based on mutual support of each others' wishes for the near future. Through a carefully designed process, yet open to conversations that emerged, we worked through the questions to set out the various aspects that make up one's Ikigai. The participants created a personal folio, with written reflections on the goals and steps that need to be taken. Finally, each participant had to present a new version of themselves, thereby already becoming who they wish to be.
Oct-Nov 2019 | 5-week course
Working with small groups is so rewarding, because there is more time to find shared interests between participants so that the discussion can go in-depth. In this team, there was a familiarity with classroom teaching and spatial organisation for the learning process, but also an interest in the relationship between identity and rootlessness - what effect migration has on the sense of self, as well as senseless roaming through urban space. As part of developing the Creative Notebook and other visual exercises, we explored the challenges in these areas and exchanged many ideas on how to deal with creative block.
28 October 2019 | Visual Game
It's not easy to draw a Venn diagram consisting of 4 circles, but as an ice breaker it's quite fun! It served as the boardgame for our Ikigai game, where each participant was represented by its little avatar that had to answer questions in order to move forward in life.
10-11 September 2019 | Visual Thinking
Visual Agency facilitated a 2-day workshop for the AI-LeD Research Group. Their ongoing work on A.I. and Disruption explores yet unidentified problem areas. The workshop provided a new approach to brainstorm on a new model for the factors behind and consequences of AI disruption. A huge amount of new ideas were visualised, diagrammed and narrated through sci-fi stories in this challenging workshop.
18 September 2018 | Visual Game
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.
25 August 2017 | Visual Party
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!
Aug-Sept 2017 | Course
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.
10 August 2017 | News
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.
20.08.2017 | Visual Thinking
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.
19 August 2017 | Visual Networking
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 Networking game to encourage funny, interesting and useful conversations.
27 April 2017 | Visual Networking
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:
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.
March 2017 | Course
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.
April-May 2017 | Course
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.
21.02.2017 | Article
Did you know that people use different senses for memories? Visual agency is mentioned in this insightful article by Tonia Michalopoulou.
31.01.2017 | Visual Thinking
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.
05.01.2017 | Visual Thinking
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.
4 January 2017 | Visual Game
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!
24 December 2017 | Visual Game
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 December 2016 | Visual Networking
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.
28, 30 September, 28 October, 11 November 2016| Visual Game
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 workshops 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.
26 October 2016 | Visual Networking
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.
12-13 Oct 2016 | Visual Learning
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.
26 June 2016 | Visual Learning
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.
26.06.2014 | Visual Planning
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.