There is a special week at PCA, in the spring semester, dedicated to a unique learning experience. It’s a time when art kids kick it around with storytelling, digital play, paint, future designing… for a whole week. No grades, no obligations. Just fun learning.
Since I don’t have a class this Monday, I’m out and about with a friend who has come to Paris to visit. I want to show him the place where I did a bookbinding apprenticeship at Listel Or near the metro Lamarck-Coulaincourt. We join up with a free tour through Montmartre and learn about the hot spots, taste a baguette “tradition” and end up at the top of Sacre Coeur looking out over the city.
Tuesday, Rica and I signed up for a workshop called “Storytelling: Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things.” Alexis, the facilitator, shares with us a storytelling prototype from Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab. We set up a crime scene, then enhance it with clue cards (featuring augmented reality HP reveal) and then trade with another group to finally solve the mystery. Our mystery ends up being a hilarious dramatic death and Rica and I pretend to be twins. Back in the classroom we extrapolate one of the clues into a future technology idea. Our idea is to make a brooch that projects a holographic butterfly. This butterfly would provide useful info to children so that they can be autonomous but stay in a safe zone and catch messages from mom.
Tuesday afternoon I do a photo shoot of a collection of folded paper models I made for a 3D fabrication class. I’ve been folding paper for the past couple of weeks so I’m grateful to finish this project and put together an end-of-year booklet for it. Here’s a sample of some of the folds.
From Wednesday to Friday our class participates in a workshop hosted by a team called the Normal Normals. They are a duo studio from Berlin/Paris that build speculative design ideas. Speculative design? That’s right. The team goes to the moon with all kinds of ideas dreamed up for prototypes. Jelly bags for sea turtles, happy face masks to avoid facial recognition, trucks that deliver a farming experience. It’s wild in room 102. We trash the space, build all kinds of prototypes and set up props amidst snacks. Friday the whole revolution is filmed live on youtube. It’s a skit show featuring ideas, props and a lot of acting. Check out the video here called Streaming the Future: Design Fiction Workshop at PCA: https://youtu.be/1bOZAQ373aQ
Sunday is Earth Day so Amy and I meet up at Gare de Lyon and take the train out to Fontainbleu with some friends. We walk straight into the forest from the train station and enjoy a long hike in the sunny weather. There are tons of little bugs, and perfect baby acorns and we even collect a bit of moss for a side project I have in mind.
The best part of this week is that spring is full on strong. The sun is bright, people are smiling and there’s a nice breeze in the air. The wisterias on my windowsill are in full bloom and it is gorgeous in Paris right now. We finally get some good sun and everything is warming up. Happy Spring!