Creating multi-sensory experiences can be a powerful storytelling tool. Often when doing workshops I like to introduce sensory exercises as a means of setting the stage for an assignment.
The above exercise is an attempt to design “without telling”. My intention was to get people to self organize themselves into groups of two. As an exercise this activity demonstrates my thesis topic of designing the design process. When given guidance and constraints, people can channel their activities toward a common goal. At times during the creative process, stakeholders can have disparate interest, which can derail a project. This exercise is designed to help c-level executive practice listening to each other so they can be open to new possibilities.
The exercise works by handing out bits of paper with an animal name printed on it. Participants are asked to shut their eyes and on the count of three they are to start making the noise of their animal. The room should be filled with the sounds of “baaa baaaa”, “oink oink”, “eiow eiow” etc. The aim of the game is to meet up with the rest of their species as quickly as possible. The first team to find each other wins. Here is what it looks like:
In deconstructing the experience the narrative can be broken down into three territories of: attraction, engagement and conclusion.
The exchange of papers and the closing of participant eyes.
The sound of animal noises filling the room. Listening for other participants.
The reward of finding a partner.
At the conclusion everyone should be in a completely different frame of mind. Ready, open and receptive to new ideas. This is the beginning of the ideation process to generate new ideas.