How would your arrange a bunch of different sized blocks in response to the word ‘optimism’? Or ‘ugly’?
What about if you were doing it in collaboration with six other people?
And you couldn’t talk? Or you could talk but you had to keep one block moving at all times?
In Metaform, participants use wooden blocks and instruction cards to think and talk about big ideas in simple, physical ways.
It’s a collective reading.
It’s a game with no winners.
It’s a Ouija board reinvented by Frederich Froebel.
Led by a host, participants use the Metaform deck of cards and Metaform blocks to tune into their collective consciousnesses through the production of metaphors. A card is drawn to reveal the 'centring' word (from 'Awe' to 'Utopia') and the group arrange some or all of the 23 wooden blocks in response to this word. A second card is drawn to guide the group's dialogue (for example ‘work in silence’ or ‘think of it as a dance’) and finally a third card shows the group how to reflect on the arrangement. There is no need to analyse the experience beyond what is suggested through the deck.
Readings for three to seven people at a time last around 20 minutes.
Images: Kala Heatherson(top), Wellcome Collection/ Steven Pocock (bottom)