Open Play – A Planning Session

Convener(s): Jen Lunn & Trisha Lee

Participants: Michelle, Stuart, Morna, Heather, Ingo, David, Phelim, Stella 

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

The idea is to set up a practical Open Space event along the lines of D&D but with a more practical basis. People would suggest practical sessions that they would like to explore e.g. music, movement, dialogue, making things etc.

Questions to resolve:

  1. What is the right space?
  2. How to address volume levels in one room?
  3. How easy is it to exercise the law of two feet in that context?
  4. Should people be asked to prepare practically in advance or would this change the energy of the process?
  5. How long should individual sessions last?
  6. Is it a day or a weekend?
  7. Should there be interim smaller scale evening sessions?
  8. How do we record what happens or results from the sessions?
  9. How much would people be prepared to pay/should be asked for?
  10. Is it possible to get some backup from Improbable on the admin and marketing side?

Possible solutions to the questions:

  1. Schools of all sorts discussed as ideal venues – a language school has been used in the past for work shopping and primary and secondary schools would have a lot of spaces both large and smaller compartmented ones for different activities, plus an IT suite for recording sessions. BAC, Goldsmiths College, Oval House, The Albany The Courtyard and a community centre in Chalk Farm were all also suggested. We were also told about the law on empty commercial spaces changing and details could be found through creative space agency & derelict London websites.
  2. Labelling spaces as suitable for certain activities i.e. quiet space, sink, piano etc. so when people choose their session space they do so with the knowledge they will have the facilities they require and also that they will not interrupt/be interrupted by other sessions (hopefully).
  3. Phelim talked about a Keith Johnson exercise on holding audience attention and allowing people the ability to be truthful and leave a session when they want. He encouraged us to try it and see.
  4. This would be a possibility and may allow for a stuff exchange – also the idea of a basic set of practical items and junk could be provides e.g. sellotape, newspaper etc.
  5. One hour for the practical part with possibly a bit either end for setting up and discussing was agreed as probably ideal
  6. Pilot it with a day and decide then whether to make it a regular event possibly every three months or so, possibly with interim small scale evening session possibly with themes.
  7. see above
  8. Videos and pictures would work well in this context and the items or poems or whatever created would be a good record.
  9. We would need to try and cover the costs but would need advice both on this and what people feel happy with paying.
  10. Is it? It is close to their D&D work and their practical work as well so could fit in well with their ethos. Please let us know? 

Plan of Action: 

A group of people have now shown interest in the idea and are prepared to explore this further. A venue needs to be found and a date set – the remit of the session ie what participants would be told to expect needs to be formulated ie bring ideas and possibly resources to work them through etc. 

If you have any ideas on taking this forward or feel you can contribute to it in any way please email [email protected].