1. Art Is Place. Art Is Action. Art Is Writing Too.

    Project Title: What is art? What is design?
    Facilitator: Nicole Lavelle, PSU faculty

    What do we mean when we say “art”? What do we mean when we say “community”? What do we mean when we say “social change”? What do we mean when we say “design”? What is the difference between art and design? This workshop will get us brainstorming together and using the power of collaboration to collectively define words, phrases and ideas critical to our program. We will harness the power of visual thinking to better understand big, sticky concepts.

    "The power of collaborative brainstorming processes should never be underestimated. Big, sticky concepts and problems can feel infinitely less daunting when many minds work together to sift through them. The freestyle nature of this brainstorming activity can lead to wild new ideas and strange associations that were never before considered. This activity is intended to showcase the power of groupthink and the fun that can ensue when we let our guards down and let the ideas flow."Nicole Lavelle

    Find the full lesson plan after the jump.

    Materials
    Post-It notes (many different colors)
    Pens and pencils
    Butcher paper or whiteboard/chalkboard

    Process
    Step 1
    Introduction to the day, introduction to some of the above questions. Do the students have questions of their own they’d like the group to think about together?

    Step 2
    Big! Time! Brainstorm! Give the students Post-It notes and tell them to go wild! Anything goes. All ideas are valid. Just get it out. Don’t edit! Post-it notes can contain: definitions, statements, related words/ideas, drawings, stories, questions, symbols, names of people, places, projects that are related to the themes, anything! Students can choose one question to address, or try to think about them all!

    Step 3
    Write different themes up on the wall. Include: art, design, community, social change, people. Put all the ideas up on the wall. Organize them in sections according to the ideas they’re most related to. Spend time walking around reading everyone’s ideas and suggestions.

    Step 4
    Break into small groups and have each group talk about one themes/question. (art, design, community, social change, people.) Did we come up with any conclusions? Do a lot of people have the same ideas, or does everyone have different ideas? Can we make any definitive statements about these themes? What is still unanswered?

    Step 5
    Everyone make a tabloid-sized poster (11” x 17”) re-producing their favorite Post-It or series of Post-Its from the day. This can be something you wrote, or can be someone else’s Post-It. Choose something that has powerful language, something that rings true to you. We’ll display these posters on the walls at school.

    (Examples: “Art is everywhere” or “Community is the most important thing” or “Lady Gaga is a true artist” or “Friends + Family = Community”)

    Discussion
    What are the benefits of working together to think about big ideas? Did you learn anything from your classmates? What kinds of crazy/fun/new ideas emerged? Do these words and phrases make more sense to you than they did before? Did your mind change about anything?

    Reflection
    "The power of collaborative brainstorming processes should never be underestimated. Big, sticky concepts and problems can feel infinitely less daunting when many minds work together to sift through them. The freestyle nature of this brainstorming activity can lead to wild new ideas and strange associations that were never before considered. This activity is intended to showcase the power of groupthink and the fun that can ensue when we let our guards down and let the ideas flow." —Nicole Lavelle