This method is intended to disrupt the waking mind’s penchant for habit and logical order and support collective/collaborative imagining, intuitive insights, and metaphorical thinking.
This method is based on surrealist parlor games from the 1920s and is focused on gaining insights and supporting dialogue about specific themes, projects, or issues from multiple perspectives. It gives space to individual perspectives and avoiding “group-think” and/or domination of visioning by more vocal people and it creates a lighthearted vehicle to share multiple perspectives and approaches that arise in transdisciplinary work. Each participant draws part of humanoid being on a sheet of paper, folds the paper to conceal their contribution, and passes it on to the next player for their contribution. Each part drawn represents some aspect of the groups project or a specific theme, or issue: the head (logic and ways of communicating with the outside world); the torso (feelings, concerns, and caring); the waist to the knees (deeper motivations and impulses); the feet (specific actions - the how and what). For example, the head could be a salamander, representing its ability to work in different environments (on land and in water) or the feet could be sensible boots that are covered with sequins, representing practical actions done with eccentric flair, etc. The drawing should be accompanied by keywords, characteristics, or phrases, which can augment the meaning, especially for those who don’t feel comfortable drawing.
If, for example, the image is supposed to represent the way the group perceives itself or the strengths of the project, people could be asked to think about the range of qualities and characteristics that are their own versus how to embrace and take advantage of a richness and diversity that emerges when they work collaboratively/ transdisciplinarity. People might note paradoxes that emerge and discuss whether this creates problems or is a strength, or both.
“We were at once recipients of and contributors to the joy of witnessing the sudden appearance of creatures none of us had foreseen, but which we ourselves had nonetheless created.” - Surrealist poet Simone Kahn [from Rosemont, P. (Ed.). (2000). Surrealist women. A&C Black.]
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