Unpacking Metadesign (a workshop)

The workshop took place on Friday 25th March, 2011
title-image-for-unpacking-metadesign workshop


The workshop aims to explore the development of different generations of metadesigners’ concept of metadesign by inviting them to reflect on their own practices and get feedback from other participants of the workshop to further synergize the value of metadesign within the community of the workshop.


  • Asked the participants to send 5 images which relate to their present practice and concepts of metadesign.
  • Interviewed prior to the workshop either by telephone or video (face to face)where participants narrate their practice of metadesign


  • The workshop will be composed of 3 different groups of metadesign practitioners and 1 group of observers.
  • 12 Participants and the 4 Groups See List


Education Building Room 111, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Workshop Procedure

1. Icebreaking: Role-playing walk

  • Each of the participants writes three different roles about their identities on 3 labels and stick the labels on themselves.
  • Participants walk randomly in the room according to the tempo of the facilitator’s clapping.
  • The participants stop when hearing one loud clap. Upon stopping, the participants perform the facilitator’s instructions, i.e., “call out the first/second/third role on the person's label.”
  • The participants then start talking about the roles with each other.
  • When the facilitator starts clapping, the participants shall start walking again.

2. Collecting Key words form Interview Video and The Image Lake:
unpacking video watching
The participants are watching the interview video with setting around The Image Lake

  • 1. The interview video will be shown along with participating members of group A and B narrating their metadesign practices with the five images chosen by them respectively.
  • All participants are sitting in a circle with their chosen images put in the middle of the table. See The Image Lake
  • While each individual is presenting on the video, the other listeners write down the values they found in the speaker's talk on the post-it notes and give them to the speakers to form a "word bank" for each members from the group A and group B.See The Word Bank
  • 2. Divide the all participants into 3 teams. Each team has 1 member from group A,B,C and observer group D.
  • Group C members get 5 images from the image lake. At the same time, group A and B members get 2 images from the image lake to add to their own image narration.
  • While members from group C explain why he/she choose the images to their team, members from group A and B help him/her to define their value with using key words from the word bank.
  • Short presentation of the group C members in each team about the 5 images which they choose to all participants.

3. Word Circle:
unpacking metadesign word circle
The participants are coming up with new value from the word circle
The afternoon session is dedicated to using a word circle to help with synergizing metadesign values.

  • As a team, each of the participants choose 3 to 5 key values from their “word bank” to form a word circle.
  • Each word can catalyse values and synergize other team member's words in a “word circle.”
  • All members in each team discuss and write new words value across the word circle. See The Word Circle

4. Making tangible metadesign model:
unpacking metadesign 3D modeling
The participants are making 3D models
The value exchange between different members will be exemplified in the form of “word circle” and “3D modeling” to indicate how values are exchanged and mutually constructed with visual tools.

  • Providing small sticks and clay for each team.
  • Make a model base on practice and experience of the workshop.

5. Short groups presentation and observational summary by Ken fairclough:

  • The C members in each team give a presentation of the new value from the key word circle and the 3D model.
  • In the end of the workshop, Ken Fairclough give an observational summary talk.

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