The ask for this project was to create material disruption through the use of denim pants. I framed my project by using denim as a tool to research relationships of care, relationships between individual and collective, and to research around the question: how to bring people together?
The tool of research I created are circular structures in which people can go into/dress namedDenim Pools. By combining it with different prompts and storytelling, Denim Pool engages people in playful workshops and activities to facilitate research around relationships of care.
The Denim Pools were designed through a process of engagement with the community. Starting with quick iterations of a circular shape, I was able to observe and assess what works and what doesn't; what draws people in and what holds them back.
The final outcomes were two different Denim Pools used to facilitate 3 different workshops.
I documented these workshops through video and photo, and with that, analyzed the data collected based on the variables that influenced the workshops, observations from the workshops' outcomes, and participants' feedback.
Through these workshops, group discussions, and data collection and analysis, I discovered and learned the importance in:
*How to behave oneself when hosting a workshop: how confident to be, how clear, how much information to give and how much to with hold, how much distance and space to give participants, where to host it. *How to plan a workshop: how to get people to want to participate, how much notice to give, how specific to be about the duration and timeline of what will be asked of participants. *Who to ask and how to ask: that inevitably changes the dynamics of the activity and the expectations of the ones involved.
2 of these workshops revolved around the prompt: Interact with these shapes. And also, here is some rope. – I started with a very open ended prompt to, again, observe and asses what draws people in and what holds them back.
In a context of 7 friends (the participants who joined for my 1st iteration), the open ended prompt worked great. It allowed playfulness and imagination to take over and new ways of collaborating and trying out new possibilities arose as the time went by and participants became more comfortable with each other and with the objects they were invited to interact with.
In a context of 13 strangers (the participants who joined for the 2nd iteration), the open ended prompt wasn't structured enough and prevented participants to fully immerse themselves in the activity. The unusualness of the prompt and the objects, combined with a loose ask, scared/didn't support participants enough so they could get over the first hurdle of strangeness and awkwardness and fully get into the experience. People still played around and explored new ways of relating and moving, but as a whole the workshop wasn't as fluid and light.
The 3rd workshop revolved around the prompt: Represent yourselves as: separate individuals | a collective | one entity | different but as important as one another | different but with things still in common. You may use the objects around you as facilitators for these representations. – This 2nd prompt was developed to dig a little bit deeper into relationships with and within publics (both spaces and people) and how that influences and dictates the way we act and behave with/around each other.