Let’s say our assumptions, beliefs and conclusions were like Lego® blocks. Making sense of what happens to you is like building a sculpture with these pieces. When new situations happen, we need them to make complete sense, so we place these assumptions on top of it in ways that we are used to: we form a narrative out of it.
Sometimes though, these blocks don’t fit. They don’t make the kind of sculptures we want. We are unable to make healthy sense out of what is happening to us.
In those times, we often need new, healthier ways of looking at things. We need to re-examine what we know, re-think what we believe to be true, and re-organize and re-arrange it all to make better sense.
I design tool-kits to help us learn in those times.
Rooted in (constructivist & constructionist) learning theory, psychology, and narrative & storytelling theory, these tools help turn theoretical knowledge about how to handle different situations into accessible, easy-to-use practices, games and activities.
Some examples of this are:
The sense-maker is a foldable document that guides you through thinking about your “life moments” in deeper ways, examining the challenges and conflicts and reflecting upon the values, beliefs, assumptions, lessons underlying those situations.
This basic version can be adapted for a variety of purposes, including:
» thinking through decisions;
» introspective and retrospective work such as reflecting during transitions, wrapping up chunks of time or just getting some perspective;
» organizing our writing our stories and narratives for our cover letters or speeches;
» a method of journaling…
the collaborative conversations card-game
We know the rules of conduct for a productive group discussion. Yet, often, particularly when involved in a sensitive/ challenging/ difficult conversation, it is easy to forget those rules and get carried away. Some people hijack the conversation, some never speak up.
This tool takes elements of good conversations and turns them into rules for a card-game, encouraging a meaningful and productive while retaining a sense of play.
“Meaning-maps”, a project still in progress, is an attempt at creating an interactive map that actually allows you to visually trace this journey, sketch out your “meanings” through your stories, against your north.
Imagine a journal that adds your story to this map as you go, outlining your meaning patterns, using your own “affective data” to help you make better sense of your own life so you can chart better courses.
“I made a boo-boo” kit
So you made a huge mistake. Hurt someone. Now what?
This tool is a jigsaw puzzle of perspectives you can use to put together all the pieces to see the big picture, and plan your next steps accordingly and learn from it.
“drastic haircut” kit
You know that time you had your heart broken and wanted to feel (really) different, so you got yourself a drastic haircut? This kit is built for days like these.
It contains exchangeable cards full of ideas of what you could do instead and using those as opportunities to rediscover yourself, find empathetic social support & community, and feel the rush of joy again, while growing and having fun in the process.