thought not static

where one think leads to another

dynamic form in process facilitation

Posted by thoughtnotstatic on 11 March 2008

In an attempt to make the most of a missed presentation at Stanford last week, I decided to swing by the campus bookstore. I happened upon a treasure of a book, LI: Dynamic Form in Nature, by David Wade. As I perused the pages, taking in the rich illustrations and the annotations that accompanied them, my mind leapt from patterns of nature to patterns of process. Specifically, to the patterns of dialogue and information flow that are created by the structure of interactions during design events.

Being the first to admit my unrefined skill at rendering what’s in my mind to an illustration on a page, I was nonetheless inspired enough by Wade’s work to break out my journal and begin sketching.

The subject I had in mind was the opening sequence of a hypothetical 1-day workshop based off of an actual workshop I had participated in recently. After the event concluded, the facilitators ask for my feedback and whether I would be interested in working with them to design the next iteration.

Each of the sketches depicts the participants entering into the event space, beginning with all participants gathered as a single group, followed by a module of individual work which would then be shared in small groups. The event would then flow into 3 large groups in which each of the 3 facilitators would deliver specific content, after which 8 or 9 small groups would form, each with a mix of participants from the 3 large groups, to share and integrate the information they had collected. Finally, the entire group would gather again and each of the 8 or 9 groups would report their work in plenary format. This entire sequence would last between 2 1/2 and 3 hours.

In the first (my personal favorite) and second sketch, time runs from top to bottom. Information/dialogue flow is represented by a line. In the third (unfinished), time runs left to right and information/dialogue flow is represented by a colored circle.sketch 2
sketch 3


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