mind off; hands on. community building

You can be done with laying tiles for a small mosaic in a short one hour and a half session. When it comes to working with the community this is what most people want on the one hand. On the other, the promise to have them learn is greatly compromised this way.
The hands-on approach allows for a fulfilling experience. The trick is to turn this into a rhythmic succession of learning waves. People can then both make something with their own hands and gain pieces of knowledge through their hands. The opportunity starts with a simple "I don't know how to draw". You never know immediately what makes people say that but with patience and persistence I usually find out that the person had something else on their mind. It could be the task that wasn't to their liking or simply a way to get some attention.
It's hard to predict exactly how a broken tiles mosaic will look like. The hammer strokes randomly produce pieces that are then placed on the design in a process similar to solving a puzzle. Playing with tiles before drawing a design on paper, helps in envisioning a style. This can later on be reproduced with realistic expectations. It would be interesting to see how the image above translates into a mosaic with the broken tiles system.
The same can be said about this drawing. Two variants are the main influence upon the quality of the final piece: the skill level of your audience and each of the participants' degree of engagement.
The sense of ownership that evolves through the process is present within the group no matter what age they are. The real benefit though of this project is getting people to interact in a way that is both fun and educational. A city needs this type of community building to really serve its purpose.

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