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Using Creative & Visual Methods online - a Workshop

Contributed by
Angela Moriggi

An interactive workshop to share principles, tools, & tricks on the use of creative and visual methods online

During the last 12 months, researchers and practitioners working with communities and diverse group of stakeholders, have been confronted with the issue: 'How do we apply participatory methods in an online setting?" This is a particularly urgent challenge for PhD students who were just about to start their fieldwork when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

A group of young researchers from Freie Universität Berlin and from Humboldt University - IRI THESys (Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems) explored such question during a 3-hours workshop facilitated by Angela Moriggi, from the team Re.imaginary, on December 2,2020. The event was organized by Jelena Grosse-Bley, PhD researcher and lecturer working on climate change adaptation issues in China.

The workshop started with a brief introduction on the need to transform the modes of knowledge production, towards more inclusive, interactive, context-based, and pluralistic approaches - drawing from principles of transdisciplinary research and participatory-action research.

The core of the workshop focused on creative and visual methods, navigating three specific outcomes that these techniques can yield: (1) enhance inclusive and generative collaboration; (2) support holistic and integrated ways of knowing; (3) spark fresh perspectives and alternative paradigms and visions.

After briefly exploring each outcome conceptually, the students had the chance to learn about and experiment with a number of methods and tools, such as: New metaphor, new mindset, Online timeline of transformation, Online harvest with Dixit methods, Somatic comparisons, and many others.

The workshop also covered other practical aspects of using creative and visual methods (both online and offline) especially dear to early stage researchers: how to analyze the data obtained? what kind of other uses can these methods yield (beyond fieldwork)? 

Additionally, Angela talked about good practices in online settings, sharing also some of the tips and tricks defined by the Re.imaginary team.

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