This method introduces participants to each other in a nonconventional way, creating an atmosphere of unity in diversity and introducing emotionality as a constant in the workshop.
Objects have a great evocative and aesthetic power; they enable people to communicate tactically and metaphorically. Through this process, participants also learn something personal about each other and connect as a group.
Each group is presented with an array of interesting objects. These can relate to the underlying themes of the workshop, including artifacts from nature and/or local traditions. Each person picks one, shares their name, the reason they felt drawn to that particular object, and one word that describes how they are feeling in the moment. Participants attach their object to a common thread or place it in a virtual circle.
Only one natural object is shared with the group, e.g. a dried flower. Passing it around in the circle, each person describes something about the object, based on one of their five senses (e.g. smell, feel). This approach to observation of nature is based on Goethe’s philosophy of phenomenology.
Some people may resist the idea of being instantly part of the group and feel uncomfortable participating. As an option, you can ask them to observe the process and give some impressions of it.
Rafaeli & Vilnai-Yavetz (2004). Emotion as a Connection of Physical Artifacts and Organizations.
Goethean Phenomenology, as developed by Rudolf Steiner: http://www.waldorflibrary.org/articles/597-what-is- phenomenology
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