This class, as well as, the group discussions had me think in a different way about myself and my role in a group, I learned how my personality fits in with the group dynamic, what I’m comfortable with and let me experience work with likeminded individuals, in different academic paths. We were all able (and encouraged) to switch roles with in our group based on our personal experiences, strengths and weaknesses. We were able to explore what personality and collaboration is all about and hear from seasoned professionals about their work/personal experiences in such settings. Everyone benefited from such a diverse group in different ways, but the chance to be creative was what I will take away from this class.
This Critical Collaboration class was true to its name from my standpoint. It was an experience of COLLABORATION from conception to implementation in a college that CRITICALLY needs more of an emphasis on interdisciplinary interactions. That was the concept of this experimental class and it was just that. It was refreshing to obtain realworld group experience by simply promoting working together with that as the goal. The emphasis was on creating/creativity and collaboration, as opposed to final product or simple memorization, which allowed for anything to be possible. When you take that sort of pressure off of the table, it allows for ideas you necessarily wouldn’t expect.
The collaboration of preparation and meetings within our team progressed very naturally and easily, Kate and Gabriel are a creative and productive pair of individuals. There were no dominating personalities within our group and everyone was able to present many ideas without feeling discouraged or ignored. All of our ideas were incorporated into the charrettes in some fashion, and we all got along; which was nice, but isn’t always the case.
Not knowing what to expect from an experimental class, plus presenting in the Henry Art Gallery on top of that was where to pressure was felt the most for myself. With complete creative freedom comes that overwhelming idea that anything goes. The stress to create a product to museum standards was felt momentarily by myself and probably others, since I have never presented or showed an exhibit in an art gallery before. The experience of working in such a professional space legitimized our work and was a great platform professionally and personally for me.
Since we are all busy and this class took some preparation beyond class time, it was a little challenging balancing meetings with all of our schedules, but it all worked out in the end. Deadlines and time sensitive projects are what drive me to perform best under pressure, and learning from truly motivated individuals was a really inspiring aspect that is lacking with some other college experiences I have had.
I will take with me more than I know from this experience. The sounds, sights and interactions of Aurora stand out most. Working with a local non profit and creating my first furniture piece. A lot of laughs were exchanged and the ability to look at this area and the community there in a completely different light is important from a urban planning standpoint.
From this class I would, personally, like to explore more creative possibilities in art galleries and pursue my artistic side that I was able to experience this quarter. Professionally, I will keep in mind and bring to the table that “anything goes” mentality when collaborating and working in groups. All too often realistic and literal interpretations happen professionally and the only way to make an impact is to think big.
As a student looking to work professionally in the city of Seattle, our professional collaboration was a really intrical part of this class. We were able to work together creatively toward one goal, regardless of our status. We didn’t always see eye to eye with the professionals, but that is real life experience that you want from a class at the University of Washington.
All in all, we were able to produce work that we are really proud of, learn from local professionals and build lasting memories and friendships at the same time. Our group showed a piece at the Henry and I am grateful that Rob and the College of Built Environments saw the value in a student run class, since their experiences are most relevant being recent graduates.
A class like this would be useful for the College of Built Environments, in any context. The connections and networks I have made have reached beyond this class and outside of my field of study. I would not have had the chance to meet some really great people if I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience this class.