Friday, 26 November 2010

Skills Swap and Barter Market

The Travelling Pantry
Last Wednesday a couple of ARK regulars, including me, attended the Travelling Pantry, a project development workshop run by Tessy Britton, developed as part of the Social Spaces project, and hosted in Cardiff by RSA Cymru. Rather than looking at what a community's problems are and then trying to solve them, Tessy's approach to developing community projects is about working out what assets and resources a community has and then developing projects based on these assets. These asset-based projects can then help to address the problems that the community are experiencing by bringing people together, which is the first big step to community problem-solving.

To pass on what we had discovered I gave a presentation (see the slideshow below) to people who came to thinkARK on Wednesday night, about the asset-based projects that Tessy had mentioned. One of them was Trade School, a Brooklyn-based initiative in which people offered to teach classes to students who bartered with teachers for class time. Classes taught included Foundations in Ghost Hunting, Portrait Photography and Making Websites with WordPress.

thinkARK Skills Swap Beta
Inspired by the example of Trade School, on Wedensday the 8th of December thinkARK Wednesday Club are going to be running a prototype 'Skills Swap and Barter Market' in CAI. So if there is a skill you want to learn or a service that you need come along and offer your skills and abilities in exchange. If you think there is a class you can teach, find some interested students and barter for your knowledge. If there is something to need doing, swap it for something you can do in return.

This will be a 'test' to find out what works and what doesn't, but should be a lot of fun.

Also, thanks to Kevin Hong of CS Studio for inviting us to the Travelling Pantry workshop.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Story telling/animation

Animation but feels like a brilliant way of doing some kind of storytelling or experience?

Saturday, 13 November 2010

ARK Observations


We have been thinking a bit more about the idea of how to create new projects for the future you can see the posts here and here. The thoughts are two fold to bring other people to into projects that may not have visited one of our Wednesday clubs but also to keep a record of the project and how it develops. A fear we have had is that 'project' and 'idea'may already be a bit too advanced. So we are thinking about an observations section to the website. Here you will be able as the name suggests to post observations the above diagram should explain it a bit better.

From the observations on the site it would then be up to people to rate them in terms of interest and comment on the observation. If it gains a lot of comments and conversations then we believe this will naturally evolve into some kind of response. So for example the observations on the above diagram may lead to a project that looks into new forms of how we throw things away, or how to encourage people to actively put rubbish in the 'bin'. Perhaps it maybe even to challenge the concept of what is a bin. After a few chats with people I think we are going to try this out for a while and see where it goes. At first we think the observations will be similar to twitter tweets. short and fun then hopefully as it develops more and more people will get involved.

As with most design it will have to be prototyped and tested but we are looking to create a genuine space where divergent thinking is encouraged which can then lead to convergent developments.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Choice is good???

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Sustainability, Climate Change, the Arts and Creativity

On the 28th of October Cynnal Cymru/Sustain Wales held an event in Chapter Arts Centre about sustainability and the arts. It asked how can arts practice be more sustainable and also what role the arts can play in promoting sustainability and highlighting climate change.

The arts act as a spark which can make things happen in society, bringing issues to the public attention, encouraging people to form their own opinions, changing attitudes. Examples: Punk Rock, Picasso’s Guernica, the First World War poets. So how can the arts, and the creative industries, bring climate change and the need for sustainable practice to people’s attention and provoke the fundamental change in attitudes that is needed?

Unfortunately this message is not one that people find very engaging or take very seriously. The public perception of tackling climate change seems to be all about not doing things and then feeling guilty when you do them. People need to be able to relate to climate change and sustainability as something that involves them and the things they care about. That is what makes it understandable and real.

How can the arts and the creative industries help to bring about a change in attitudes?

What stories should the arts be telling that will spark people's imaginations and help them to relate to these issues?

How can we ignite a feeling of collective purpose in our society so that people are willing to make fundamental changes in the cause of a better future?